homemade yoghurt

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summary: homemade yoghurt recipe; reminder to have shroves; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Not long ago, Glenda (Domesticated Engineer) wrote about her successful yoghurt making and how easy it is. But Glenda uses a yoghurt starter and a yoghurt making machine. Rats. No yoghurt machine here.

But of course, people have been making yoghurt for centuries without the aid of machines. And it turns out that Glenda herself has made yoghurt many times without the aid of a yoghurt making machine as well. She wrote the following reply to my comment:

Yes, you can make yogurt with just milk, a previous culture of yogurt and canning jars. I have done it many times before I finally bought a machine. -Glenda, Domesticated Engineer: Yogurt Making

This was VERY exciting news!! I showed Glenda’s recipe to T and he immediately went onto YouTube to see what others had done.

yoghurt So, following the instructions, milk was scalded. At the appropriate time, few tablespoons of commercial yoghurt were added. A little time passed.

And we have homemade yoghurt!!! Made in our ridiculously chilly kitchen! It only took about 3 hours! And Glenda is right. It’s easy! Simple even.

And simply fabulous!

All of the recipes called for scalded milk. Initially, we thought this was left over from when milk was still unpasteurized. But wikipedia has the following explanation about the need for scalding milk when making yoghurt:

Scalded milk is milk that has been cooked to 82°C/180°F. […] Scalding milk for yogurt makes the proteins unfold. The acid produced during the yogurt development causes less whey separation and a firmer yogurt.

Here’s how T made yoghurt using our stove, oven and fridge:


(Please see our revised recipe for homemade yoghurt.)

  • 1 litre milk
  • 1/3 c skim milk powder, optional
  • 2 Tbsp plain yoghurt*


  1. edit: For very very smooth and creamy yoghurt, whisk skim milk powder into the milk. (The resulting yoghurt is almost like creme fraiche!)
  2. Scald milk by heating it slowly to 180F (82C). Using a candy thermometer is great but if you do not have a thermometer, the milk is the right temperature just before the milk boils (there will be a good bit of foam on top and the milk around the edges of the pot may be starting to form tiny bubbles). Note that the milk should NOT come to a boil. This may cause the yoghurt to break apart.
  3. Remove milk from the heat and place in a cold water bath in the sink until the temperature goes down to 100F (38C). If you do not have a thermometer, check the milk against the back of your wrist; it should be baby bottle temperature.**
  4. Turn the oven to 100F(38C).
  5. Put the yoghurt starter in a small bowl and whisk in a small amount of the cooled scalded milk. Then add this mixture to the warm milk and whisk everything together to ensure even distribution of the starter.
  6. Pour the milk/yoghurt mixture into as many pyrex or earthenware*** containers as you like. Place them uncovered in the warmed oven. To prevent the yoghurt from breaking up, refrain from moving the containers while the yoghurt is fermenting. The yoghurt will be ready in 3 hours but will not be very sour. If you prefer something more sour, leave it to ferment longer. Note that at this point, the yoghurt will look rather loose. Place the containers in the fridge to firm up the yoghurt. The cooling halts the fermentation process.
* The yoghurt must be made with milk solids and active bacterial culture only (ie: zero gelatin or other thickeners which will interfere with fermentation). We used “Phoenicia” brand 3.2% yoghurt, but I suspect any plain yoghurt will do. (“Astro” and “Western” are other brands that would work.)

** If the milk is too hot when the yoghurt starter is added, the bacteria will die and your yoghurt will not set.

*** Although no reason was given, one recipe cautioned against using stainless steel containers to ferment the yoghurt.

yoghurt This yoghurt really is absolutely fantastic. It is a little on the sweet side for our taste – even though there is no sugar. With this acidity, it would be perfect dolloped on top of pumpkin pie.

We really would like it to be more sour though. Next time (which will be soon), we’ll leave the yoghurt to ferment a little longer so that it will taste a little more sour.

We couldn’t be more pleased though. Thank you for the push, Glenda!

Next stop: mishti doi! :-)

Today is Mardi Gras!

Did you remember to have your shroves today? If not, there’s still time! You have until midnight….

(We had cornmeal shroves with honey and goats cheese for lunch. The batter calls for yoghurt. As it happens, we had some on hand. :-))


This entry was posted in dessert, equipment and techniques, food & drink, posts with recipes, side on by .

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4 responses to “homemade yoghurt

  1. Pavel K.

    I would also suggest to add different kinds of fruit to your yogurt, to make it even tastier!

    Nice idea, P, and we probably will add fresh fruit to the yoghurt when we have it with granola. But really, plain yoghurt is incredibly delicious too, don’t you think? -E

  2. Jenny Duram

    I agree, plain yoghurt is lovely, I don’t see why people need to start adding things to it to ‘cover the taste’ like my kids say. Of course fruit is healthy too so if that is what it takes to get them to have a healthy breakfast and not chocolate cereal, then I will do it every time!

  3. Dianne Cris Becker

    Wow, I love yoghurt. Now I know that I can make my own without buying in department store, this will be my best hobby from now on. The preparation is very simple.I Love Yoghurt Forever.


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