Homemade Yogurt

By • February 28, 2011 • 27 Comments



Author Notes: This year, I asked my husband for a yogurt maker for Valentine’s Day. (Super romantic, right?) And because he's a wonderful, thoughtful husband, he got it for me -- along with a few packets of yogurt starter. Sigh. The manual that comes with it provides basic instructions and proportions for a few types of yogurt (plain, with jam, with syrup, etc.), and it’s easy to use these as a jumping off point for other recipes. I tested out my new yogurt maker for the first time last week, whipping up a few jars of plain, a few flavored with honey and vanilla, and a couple infused with espresso. I sweetened the vanilla and espresso yogurt lightly; feel free to adjust the sweetness to your taste.Merrill Stubbs

Makes 7 servings

  • 5 cups (40 ounces) milk (you can use low fat or skim, but I recommend organic whole milk for the best results)
  • 1 tablespoon starter or 1/2 cup yogurt with active live cultures (I don't recommend Greek yogurt)
  1. Heat the milk gently in a large, heavy saucepan until it starts to steam. Remove it from the heat and let the milk cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the starter or yogurt and about a ¼ cup of the lukewarm milk until smooth. Whisk this into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.
  3. Transfer the milk to a measuring cup or a bowl with a spout and pour carefully into seven 7-ounce yogurt jars (make sure these are clean and dry). Arrange the jars, without their lids, in the base of the yogurt maker and cover the base with the clear plastic lid. Plug in the yogurt maker and set the timer for 7 to 8 hours, depending on how firm you like it.
  4. When it’s done, screw the lids onto the jars and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours before eating. ***Note: To make honey-vanilla yogurt, whisk in 3 to 4 tablespoons honey (depending on your taste) and the seeds of one vanilla bean after you combine the starter with the milk.To make espresso-flavored yogurt, whisk in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or more to taste) after you combine the starter with the milk.

Comments (27) Questions (3)

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10 months ago merci74

Home made yoghurt is a tradition,
This is how we do.
5 lt milk and half 3 spoon yoghurt
boil the milk, let it jingle a bit.
there will be a skin on top (cream) don't break it.
let it cool. check it's temperature by your wrist if it is hot
enough not to get burn it is ready .
just from the corner of the milk break the creamy skin.
leave the yoghurt from there and without breaking try to stir.
put the lid on, cover it with a kitchen blanket overnight in the corner of the kitchen top. Voila it is ready to eat in the morning.. with a deliciaously creamy top...

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10 months ago merci74

Yoghurt has a variety of use in the middle east and half of the asian cultures due to lactose intolerance for milk. It is invented out of neccessity. the yoghurt is a home remedy in case of mild poison cases. It is suggested to consume as much as if this the case.Has a cleanse effect.
It may be spread over mild burnings, even sun burnings with a cooling effect and it's shelf life very long in fridge more than 1 week, and after 1 week when it taste became sour, you can blend it with water drink plain, or add a kick of black pepper ans salt or simply drink it by adding different spices or juices to make your very own favourite "indian lassi".
one more, actually water blended yogurt 1 to 1 is one of the techniques to have butter. Just shake it for half an hour
Voila, you have your very own fresh butter... a comment from boshphorus... :)

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over 1 year ago darksideofthespoon

I'm so elated! Followed this recipe, only instead of using a yogurt maker I've incubated my yogurt using the oven with the light left on. I do actually have a "warming" temp but it doesn't say how hot it gets.. to risky for me! Anyways, after only 2.5 hours it's starting to thicken nicely and has a very faint yogurt taste! I used a 100g pot of activia vanilla yogurt instead of the starter. I'm going to add stewed fruit to this for sure! /squeal.

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So sorry for the typo - will correct this asap.

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over 1 year ago hashslinger

40 ounces of milk = 5 cups of milk NOT 9 cups of milk

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over 2 years ago Charity Kittler

Wow, this sounds awesome. Is there a vegan version of this recipe?

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over 2 years ago nycook

Hi, Merrill. I took your advice and used starter (instead of Greek yogurt like you said) and it came out so nice and thick. just like you promised (and I like)! Thanks again for the advice and wonderful recipe!

Jwl_001

over 2 years ago jwlucas

What's the ideal temperature of the warming space? I have a warming drawer on my oven and will try it there on low today. I figure if it's too warm I can accommodate by opening it slightly.

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I think about 100 degrees is ideal. Good luck!

Jwl_001

over 2 years ago jwlucas

Thanks so much for the quicky reply. Milk is cooling now so it's almost showtime!

Jwl_001

over 2 years ago jwlucas

My yogurt has been warming at between 96-101 for three hours now and looks no different than when I started. Am I being impatient? Perhaps it needs to be a little warmer?

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Mine usually takes at least 7 hours -- soldier on!

Jwl_001

over 2 years ago jwlucas

I suspect it will take another hour, but it's happening! Next time I'll know to make this a weekend morning project. Thanks for the encouragement. Eager to try one for breakfast with a spoonful of homemade jam.

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Great news! I'm sure it will be delicious.

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about 3 years ago aruna

I have made my own yogurt for a long time. I heat the milk to 180 degrees, cool it down to 115 and then add about 2 tablespoons of yogurt from the previous batch. While the yogurt is heating & cooling, I scald a 1 liter glass-lined thermos (stainless steel thermos does not work for this) to kill any residue from the last batch of yogurt making, and to warm the thermos. After about 15 minutes, I pour out the hot water and let the thermos sit, until the yogurt is ready. The inoculated milk goes in and 8 to 12 hours later out comes yogurt. Refrigerate before serving.

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over 3 years ago Kimpaw

Bought my machine three days ago and am on my third batch already. I love it! Traveling abroad, the yogurt always seems so much better. Now I can make it at home. I am playing with different flavors. So far my favorite is made with a T of lilikoi (passion fruit) butter. Flavor is great. A thin crust forms on the top similar to Brown Cow yogurt, but not as thick. I love the ability to make multiple flavors within the same batch. While you clearly don't need a yogurt maker to make homemade yogurt, the machine certainly controls the temperature and time variables to insure a great yogurt.

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over 3 years ago Bradsteraz

Being $ challenged my set up is mostly Goodwill scores:
I warm a gallon of milk in 8-quart stockpot sitting in a boiling ball jar canning pot. The water acts like a restaurant steamjacket kettle reaching temp quickly.No worries about burnt milk, boil over, etc.
I whisk a half cup n/f dry milk in (it creates a silky texture at finish)
Chill to 115 degrees in a sink of water/ice.
Place 6 24-oz ball jars in towel lined sink, spoon in contents of jar from last batch evenly in empty jars.
Pour in 115 deg milk in jars, seal them.
Place jars on walgreens heating pad, cover with a fluffy towel.
& 7 hours later, place in fridge.
Next a.m. voila ! My starter is now 2+years old,very tart & yummy.Stands up to sweet home-canned fruits, dulce, honey, etc.began with Traders Joe's Greek Yogurt.
Now making a gallon at a time, lasts me 4-6 weeks.Follow all canning hygiene protocol.
Tried the 7oz maker(from Goodwill,$6), way too prissy and small, guess I worked in too many restaurant kitchens and am used to larger amounts, scale of prep.

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over 3 years ago tomlacalamita

I had a yogurt maker and personally wouldn't recommend buying one, since most of "the equipment" needed to make yogurt is already in most kitchens. I make 2 quarts of plain yogurt every week with minimal work. to do so you will need three wide-mouth,1 quart glass canning jars, 1/2 gallon of organic milk...yogurt sets better when made with organic milk...of whatever fat content you desire, 8 ounces of plain live culture yogurt (I use Chobani) and a small cooler that will easily accommodate the three canning jars, but not much more. Pour approx 3 3/4 cups of milk in two of the jars. Heat the jars, one at a time, in the microwave for approx. 3-4 mins, or until the milk reaches 160 degrees (use an instant read thermometer). Remove and heat the other jar of milk. Let the milk cool in the jars on the counter to 118-120 degrees. Whisk 4 oz of plain yogurt to each jar of warmed milk. Place the uncovered jars in a small insulated cooler along with a jar of very warm water. Close the cooler and let sit, undisturbed on the counter, 8 to 12 hours. I usually let it sit from 7pm until 6 the next morning when I get up. Carefully remove the jars of yogurt. The yogurt will be warm and needs to chill in the fridge before eating. Do not stir it or you will break down the fragile structure. Flavor the yogurt before eating. I hope you enjoy this and find it useful.

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over 3 years ago enessman

My favourite flavour is Maple Vanilla--just replace the honey in the recipe above with organic maple syrup. I use a Waring Pro, available from Costco, but it comes with plastic jars. Glass ones would certainly be preferable.

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over 3 years ago sboulton

I love the suggestion of the crock pot! Brilliant! I've been wondering what to do with that thing.

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I eat a lot of yogurt on a daily basis and have become addicted to it over the years. I love the idea of making my own - thanks for this motivation! I'd be interested in hearing what brand/model you have too. I really love the honey-vanilla and espresso flavors you've created here!!

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over 3 years ago nishis

I am quite space constrained but have discovered my oven doesn't stay warm enough for incubation, so I'm a huge fan of the crock pot / slow cooker: boil on the stove (dissolve in milk powder for greek-style thickness), cool until warm enough to touch, stir in starter, and then into the crock pot on the "keep warm" (not low) setting for 4-8 hours. Works brilliantly!

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

I wish I hadn't tossed my yogurt maker from the 1970's. It was a Salton, kind of a big thermos that plugged in...I think my ex-husband swiped it! Anyhow, I'll buy one is the food52 shop can suggest one.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

So fun! We used to have a yogurt maker when I was little. I think it's now stashed somewhere in my basement, so will have to rummage around a bit. Does it come out exactly the same whether you use starter or yogurt? Thanks Merrill! P.S. I get romantic gifts like that, too. ;)

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yummy! It would be awesome if you added a yogurt maker to the shop ;)

Mlt_yogateau_1

over 3 years ago mtrelaun

Great idea!

Stringio

over 3 years ago testkitchenette

I have been trying to decide which yogurt maker to buy for the past 2 years...what brand do you have?