Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

I have been saying for months that I wanted to start making my own yogurt. As I've mentioned int he past, we eat fruit and yogurt smoothies just about every day. Yogurt is not cheap (unless I can find it reduced for quick sale or combine sales and coupons), and we prefer to use whole milk yogurt for the health benefits of good ol' animal fat for Katie and us grown-ups, too. At our grocery store, the only whole milk yogurt they carry is Stoneyfield Farms Organic. So delicious, but I've been spending $10+ on yogurt every week. Yikes!

Making my own, I can buy local (though not raw like I'd prefer) hormone and antibiotic free, partly pasture-raised, non-homogenized whole milk at $2.99 for half a gallon and make two quarts of yogurt for less than what I pay for one quart of organic whole milk yogurt. And, it's really hardly any work at all (which is really good for this busy mama). To prove how easy it is, I wanted to show y'all how I've been doing it. I initially tried a crock pot method and it was a flop, so I tried the  method in Nourishing Traditions and I've made it several times with great success. The pull on the spoon when I stir the finished product makes my heart flutter. ha!

First, preheat the oven to "warm". Then, gently heat a quart of milk to 180*. Remove it from heat and pour into a shallow container (glass, stainless steel, ceramic). Cool to 110*. Whisk in half a cup of good quality, live active culture plain yogurt. Cover and place in the oven and turn it off. Leave it alone for 8 hours.

Voila! It's thinner than store bought yogurt, but it does firm up some once it cools in the fridge.

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. A trick to make a creamier, thicker yogurt is to whisk in a little powdered milk right after it reaches 180, and then let it cool to 120-125 before adding your starter. I use an ice chest method, and always have thick creamy's also quite easy to make greek style yogurt! I cant believe how high dairy is, either! Craaazy...

  2. I recently discovered crockpot yogurt, it's SO easy! I use raw milk so I have reduced the temperature I bring it up to to about 110. But the recipe I found mentioned doing it this way.

    Place about 12 C of milk in your crockpot. Put it on low for 2.5 hours. After 2.5 hours turn off the crockpot, but do not open the lid. 3 hours later take 1 and 1/4 C plain yogurt and a little of the warm milk, whisk them together, then stir the mixture into the milk. Wrap crock pot in a towel or two and leave for 8 hours. Then it's done!

    It comes out just as thick as regular yogurt, and to make greek style yogurt, I simply place a colander in a big bowl, line it with cheese cloth and let the whey drain out for a few minutes. I get about 1 qt of whey and 2.5 quarts or so of yogurt with very little work! I use the whey in my bread. :)