Thursday, November 19, 2009

Homemade Yogurt

Its been some time now that I've made my own yogurt. I first read about making yogurt from Prayer of Hannah, which is also where I first heard about Super Baby Food.

Ruth Yaron, the author of Super Baby Food, has very detailed instructions about making yogurt, including what all of the steps of the process do to the milk.

Here is how I make my yogurt:

Put milk (I use 2%, but whole milk will make your yogurt thicker) into a mason jar and heat in a large pot of water. I put a washcloth under the mason jar because when the water starts to boil the glass jar rattles. You can scald the milk in a pot without using the glass jar, but I think this works best.

Using a thermometer, heat the milk to between 180-185 degrees. Small bubbles will form on the top of the milk as it begins to get close.

Remove the milk from the pot and allow it to cool to between 105-115 degrees, but 112 is best. I put the jars in a little bit of water in the sink. You could cool it in the fridge, but I think it is easier to check this way.

While the milk is cooling, set your starter out on the counter so that it can warm up to room temperature. The starter is just yogurt with active cultures. I had not made yogurt in a while, so I needed to use store bought yogurt as my starter, but you can use your homemade yogurt as a starter too. Use 2 tablespoons of yogurt for every quart of milk.

We prefer vanilla yogurt instead of plain, I get a large bottle of pure vanilla at Costco for about $7, but I also have a smaller bottle of imitation vanilla from the Dollar Tree ($1). I use about half and half, and it tastes the same!

Once the milk has cooled to around 112 degrees add (for each quart)
2 T. yogurt
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/8 - 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla

Gently mix the ingredients into the milk with a metal spoon. Put the lid on the container and let it rest in a very warm place for about 4 hours. This is the incubation phase. You want the temperature to be between 90-120 degrees, but closer to 112 degrees is best.
I put the containers in a cooler for the incubation and use the hot water from heating the milk to keep the cooler warm. Be careful about the temperature here, especially. Too hot or too cold and you will kill the active cultures!
After the 4 hours is up, you can test the yogurt to see if its down by touching the top of the yogurt with a clean finger. It should feel like....yogurt! Mine gets a little bit more firm in the fridge, so it does not need to be completely firm when you check.
Making yogurt takes very little hands on time. It also takes a little bit of trial and error. The first time I made yogurt it tasted fine, but was pretty runny. Mine is still a little more runny because I use 2% milk; whole milk would make it thicker. Edited to add: I have started making whole milk yogurt and it is soooo much better! We really like how thick it is, and there is really no way to tell that it is not store-bought!! Getting a temperature off can change things too. If it doesn't come out right the first time, don't be discouraged!

Homemade yogurt is way cheaper than store bought yogurt, even then large 32 oz containers. It goes great with homemade granola....which is a sneak peak into the next recipe I will post!


  1. sounds delicious! what "container" are you referring to when mixing the ingredients together to incubate? the glass jars or is it a plastic container you saved?

  2. Yes, I let the yOgurt incubate in the glass jars. I put them directly into the drive once they are done incubating, and serve from the glass jars also.

  3. thanks for the clarification! I cant wait to try this recipe.


What do you think? I love hearing from readers!

Related Posts with Thumbnails