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Fill a Pyrex 2-qt microwave-safe bowl or pitcher with milk. Alternatively, pour milk into a heavy-duty pot to heat on the stove.
Heat milk in the microwave until bubbles begin to appear around the edge. The temperature should reach 170-180˚F after you stir it. (In my new microwave, it takes 25 minutes on 70% power). Monitor the temperature closely until you figure out the best time and power for your microwave.
If you prefer thicker yogurt, an optional step is to hold the temperature at 180˚F for 15-20 minutes. (I do this in my microwave for 15 minutes on 20% power.)
Remove the milk from the heat source and stir it. If a skin has formed, remove it.
Allow your milk to cool until the temperature drops to between 100-110˚F. Use an ice water bath to hasten the process, if desired.
Add a small amount of cooled milk to 1-2 tablespoons of fresh unflavored yogurt as a starter. (You may use yogurt from a previous batch of your own homemade yogurt.) Whisk until the starter is smooth.
Cover the milk and place it in a warm environment where the temperature stays around 100-105˚F.
Allow the inoculated milk to incubate for 4-8+ hours or until set like gelatin.
At this point, you could chill the yogurt and eat it as is. Or you can decide whether to pour off the whey or stir it back in. Straining yogurt to make it thicker will result in Greek yogurt.
Very carefully pour yogurt into a wet bouillon strainer or chinois. If the mesh is fine enough, you won't need to use a cheesecloth or paper towel. Or use a double layer of commercial-size paper coffee filters inside a cheap colander. (This is my current favorite method of straining.)
Let yogurt sit in the strainer until the yogurt is reduced by approximately a third. Time will vary according to the thickness of the yogurt out of the oven and your own preference regarding texture and sourness.
Empty whey from the batter bowl and pour yogurt out of the strainer back into the original bowl. Use a good whisk to beat until smooth. Thin with milk or leftover whey if yogurt is too thick.
Now is the best time to add any flavorings or sweeteners, if desired. Otherwise, add extras before you are ready to eat.
Chill. This will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least two weeks.