Here's what you do:
Put 7 cups of milk (I use 1%, but you use what you like) in a pan on the stove.
Whisk in 1/2 cup of powdered milk.
Stick your thermometer in and heat up the milk (on about medium heat) until it reaches 200 degrees.
(Sorry I don't have anymore pictures right now, but I am anxious to get this posted).
Pour the heated milk into a pitcher (not glass. . . just speaking from experience. . . .CRACK)
Stick your thermometer in it and wait until the milk cools to 110 degrees. This takes about an hour, so make sure you have the time!
Add 1 cup of plain yogurt (Dannon plain is the best to use as your initial starter). After that, you can save 1 cup of the yogurt you make to start your next batch. You can even stick it in the freezer if it's going to be awhile until you make yogurt again.
Stir it up well and pour into four glass pint jars. Put lids and rings on them. (You do not need a new lid, just use a clean one that has already been sealed before).
Now. . .you have a few options. . . the goal is to keep the jars at 100 degrees for 9 hours. . . .
#1 Wrap jars up in a warm fleece blanket or some towels and place in a small cooler. When I did it this way, I put the cooler in the sun. . . I don't know if that is necessary or not, but it turned out great!
#2 Warm your oven up to the coolest setting. Turn it off and place your jars in the oven. It might be best to do this at night when you will not be using your oven. Then the yogurt will be done in the morning.
#3 I have a square dehydrator where the trays come out and I can put my yogurt right in and turn it on to the right temperature for making yogurt.
Let your yogurt culture for 9 hours and then put in the fridge.
A few notes:
*To make vanilla yogurt, add 1/3 cup (or more) of sugar and 2 Tbs. of vanilla when you are heating up the milk.
*If you would like fruit yogurt, add a few spoonfuls of jam to the bottom of your pint jars before you pour the heated milk in.
*A lot of the time, I will make just the plain yogurt and then add a small spoonful of jam to it, along with some homemade granola and dried or fresh fruit and it is DELICIOUS!
Whew!! It really isn't that complicated. . . I just wanted to give you all the details! Enjoy!!