Back when we were milking the sheep we used the fresh milk for drinking and on cereal, and we also made butter with it. Both were delicious! We were surprised because it was our first time ever milking sheep.
The milk was surprisingly sweet, especially from our Lincoln Longwool, Stella. We found that we liked sheep’s milk better than goat’s milk, and even a little bit better than cow’s milk. I wanted to try making yogurt with it, but didn’t have the time, so we froze some so I could try it later.
This week I decided it was high time to get to that and so I took it out of the freezer, thawed it, and made it into yogurt.
I decided to use the same recipe that I use for cow’s milk. We like our yogurt thick and custard-style, so we add some gelatin to it to achieve that texture. It is optional and if you like it thinner then you just skip that step.
Gather your supplies. You will need:
- A pot big enough for the amount of milk you have
- Sheep’s milk
- Unflavored gelatin (optional)
- Plain yogurt with live cultures (can be from your last homemade batch, doesn’t have to be store-bought)
- Spoon & whisk
- Jars for the yogurt
- Boiling water (I use an electric kettle)
- A small cooler
First, pour your milk into the pot and whisk in your gelatin if you are using it. Then, start it heating gently over medium or medium/low heat, stirring occasionally. While you are waiting for it to heat, preheat your cooler by pouring about 1/2 gallon of boiling water into it. Set your jars in there to preheat too. I do not submerge my jars in the water, my cooler is small enough that if I put 6 pints in there they hold each other up on top of the water. Close the cooler.
Heat to 180F degrees and then remove from the heat and let sit and cool to 110-115F degrees. I stir it occasionally while it is cooling because a crust forms on the top if I don’t. And if I am in a hurry for it to cool, I set the pot in a dish of ice water and stir the milk gently, refilling the ice water as needed to keep it cooling.
Once the milk is at 110-115F, stir in your live yogurt. Then pour into warmed jars and put lids on loosely.
Pour the preheating water out of the cooler and put the warm, filled jars of milk into the cooler. Then pour boiling water into the cooler until it is about half to 3/4 of the way up the side of the jars.
Close the cooler and wrap it in towels. Keep it in a warm spot, undisturbed for 6 hours.
After 6 hours, remove one of the jars and check the consistency and flavor. Because it is still warm, it will not be as thick as the final product will be after it is cooled. If you want it to be stronger flavored, put it back in the warmth for another few hours.
Now it is done! Tighten the lids and put it in the refrigerator to cool.
We enjoy it with our favorite fruit/s, granola, or oatmeal. We also like to sometimes add vanilla extract and a little sugar for flavoring.