There's something very satisfying about making your own yogurt at home. Warm milk and a spoon of friendly bacteria containing yogurt starter left on the counter wondrously transform into a thick, creamy, nourishing yogurt with a delightful tang. Strain the yogurt when it's finished, and you've made your very own homemade Greek Yogurt. Read on to discover How to Make Yogurt .
Not only is it more economical to make your own yogurt rather than buying it, but you can be assured of having an all natural, healthy yogurt that contains no artificial thickeners or stabilizers.
Making Homemade Yogurt couldn't be easier. Besides warming the milk and cooling it, it pretty much makes itself.
Warm milk to 185 degrees F then let it cool to 110 degrees F. The heat kills any bad bacteria. It's important to allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees F so that the friendly bacteria will thrive.
When the milk has cooled, remove the skin that forms on top. Whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt per cup of milk. 2 tablespoons will produce a slightly thicker, tangier yogurt, 1 tablespoon a slightly thinner, milder one. Be sure to use a yogurt that contains live and active cultures. I use whole milk to make yogurt. You can add a little cream to make it even richer. Instead of yogurt, you can use a yogurt starter culture. I've used the one sold by the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and really liked it. It's a good choice if you don't already have yogurt on hand for a starter.
Pour the milk and yogurt starter through a strainer and into 2 quart sized jars or any other sized jars.
Now it's time to let the milk rest at a warm temperature so that it can incubate. There are several ways of doing this:
- Simply set jars on the counter in a warm place for about 24 hours
- Set jars on the counter wrapped in a blanket or towel for about 24 hours
- Place jars in a cooler and fill with 120 degree F water, almost up to the lids, for about 6 hours
- Place jars in a slow cooker with water set to the lowest setting for about 6 hours
- Place on a heating pad set to low and cover with a blanket or large towel for about 6-8 hours
Because my kitchen is quite warm, I wrap the tightly closed jars in a blanket and let them sit on the counter for 24 hours. The blanket does a good job of keeping the yogurt at a steady warm temperature. I have also successfully used the crockpot and cooler methods when I wanted a faster result. A longer incubation time results in a milder yogurt, a shorter, warmer incubation time results in a slightly thicker, tangier yogurt.
Make the yogurt in small jars for on-the-go, convenient, single-size servings.
Check the yogurt to see that it has reached your desired thickness and tartness, without disturbing it too much. Refrigerate for 6 hours to chill and stop the culturing process.
To turn regular yogurt into Greek yogurt, simply strain out some of the whey. Check out the details in my post, How to Make Greek Yogurt from Regular Yogurt.
- 2 quarts milk (8cups)
- 4-8 tablespoons yogurt or one packet yogurt starter culture
- Heat milk to 185°F in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent scorching.
- Once milk has reached temperature, allow it to cool to 110°F.
- Whisk in yogurt or starter culture.
- Pour milk and starter into 2 quart sized jars or any other sized jars and tighten lids.
- Allow to rest in a warm place until desired thickness and tartness is reached. *see note
- Place in refrigerator for 6 hours to chill and stop culturing process.
- To make Greek Yogurt, strain the whey, instructions found here.
There are several ways to keep the yogurt warm:
*Simply set jars on the counter in a warm place for about 24 hours
*Set jars on the counter wrapped in a blanket or towel for about 24 hours
*Place jars in a cooler and fill with 120 degree F water, almost up to the lids, for about 6 hours. Keep cooler lid closed.
*Place jars in a slow cooker with water set to the lowest setting for about 6 hours
*Place on a heating pad set to low and cover with a blanket or large towel for about 6-8 hours