If you've struggled with making homemade yogurt with limited success, or it just feels overly complicated, try this easy method with just a few simple ingredients!
I've tried making homemade yogurt in many ways. I've had a yogurt maker. I've read complicated instructions. I've tried it with the pilot light in the oven.
It's safe so say I've tried every complicated way of making yogurt, and this method I'm about to share...well, for my family, it couldn't be any easier. My wish is that if you've been wanting to make yogurt, but are intimidated, or are making yogurt, without consistent results, that you be inspired to try this method.
How to Make Homemade Yogurt
Ingredients for Homemade Yogurt
- Milk---3 litres, whatever toots your fancy. I'd probably stay away from ultra-pasturized. I've only ever made this with raw milk, which is apparently harder to do than with pasturized milk, because it still contains some healthy bacteria that wants to fight with the yogurt culture. Because of the higher fat in my raw milk it is thicker than homogenized milk from the store.
- Store-bought, plain yogurt----3 tablespoons, If you don't currently have any, just buy a little serving sized cup, it will be more than enough. For your next batch, use the yogurt from the previous batch!
- Optional---Honey and Vanilla----6 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons vanilla to make a beautifully sweetened yogurt
Equipment for Homemade Yogurt
- Pot - That's big enough and easy to pour from (My Le Creuset spills everywhere, everytime, but my All-Clad has a lovely lipped rim that makes pouring a cinch.),
- 3 Quart jars with lids- (You can even just be saran wrap with an elastic if you don't have any rings and leftover lids. I use lids from previously canned jars that can't be used for canning again) Or 6 pints jars
- Cooler- I couldn't tell you what size ours is, but it's gotta be big enough to fit your jars
Directions for Making Homemade Yogurt
I'm going to write this out in easy peasy steps for making 3 quarts of yogurt. My favourite time to make yogurt, is when I'm done dinner, I put on a pot of milk while I'm puttering around the kitchen anyways. Then it's ready in the morning when I wake up.
1.) Heat your milk in the pot, to 185F. Medium heat, whisking every few minutes. The optional sweetener is added during this step.
2.) Cool your milk to 115F-120F. I usually pour it into a bowl and put it outside, whisking every 10 minutes or so. In our winters, this takes about an hour to cool, but so many factors change this. You'll just have to see!
3.) Whisk the culture into the milk really well, go up and down, side to side.
4.) Pour into your quart jars.
5.) Put your jars, into the cooler, and fill with hot tap water, half way up the jars. Our tap water comes out at about 108F, you wouldn't want anymore than 115F, if you have super hot tap water. Just take the temperature with your thermometer to be sure the first few times.
6.) Close the lid on the cooler, and leave it a minimum of 12 hours, preferably 14 or so, but it's even been forgotten about for 30 hours before.
7.) Take it out of the cooler and put it in your fridge.
It's ready to eat! I love homemade yogurt with granola!
Yogurt Making Formula
You can make any size batch of yogurt, here is the formula...
- 1 litre milk needs 1 tablespoon yogurt culture and is sweetened with 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon vanilla.
Some recipes call for much more culture, but what I've learned, is that the culture needs space to grow, so less is more.
- Large Pot
- 3 Quart Jars with Lids
- 3 litres milk not ultra-pasteurized
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons vanilla
- Heat your milk (with optional sweetener) in the pot to 185F over medium heat, whisking every few minutes.
- Cool your milk to 115F-120F.
- Whisk the culture into the milk really well, go up and down, side to side.
- Pour into your quart jars.
- Put your jars into the cooler and fill with hot tap water, half way up the jars. Our tap water comes out at about 108F, you wouldn't want anymore than 115F.
- Close the lid on the cooler, and leave it a minimum of 12 hours, preferably 14 or so.
- Take it out of the cooler and put it in your fridge.
- Yields 3 quarts
Swimming in milk? Try some of these other dairy recipes.