This recipe for How to Make Homemade Yogurt is a simple way to create a creamier, healthier yogurt in an easy-to-follow method that does not require a yogurt maker.
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In my from-scratch style kitchen, it is all about learning how to do things for myself. My thought process is well, how did people do this before there was a prepackaged version? Like yogurt.
This question alone has led to the discovery of so many healthier more beneficial foods in my kitchen. Most of which I have been downright shocked to realize how simple they are to make yourself. Things like pancake mix, creating a homemade cake instead of a boxed one, and using a sourdough starter but to name only a few.
My pantry these days is now stocked with actual ingredients like sacks of flour, baking powder, different salts, and honey. Things that can create something from nothing. Just check out my Stocking a Pantry to Cook from Scratch post and you will see. Having a well-stocked pantry you can make pretty much anything from scratch you can need.
In the spirit of from-scratch cooking and adapting my kitchen to a whole food kitchen. I began making fermented foods and foods that are more “alive”. This homemade yogurt is a weekly item that has become a pantry staple in its own right.
From making smoothies, and parfaits, in baking recipes, and even as a sour cream substitute. It works well for anything you can use plain yogurt or sour cream only in a healthier version. It is so simple to make and refill batches of homemade yogurt that it will likely become one in yours.
Why buy a store-bought yogurt of lesser quality than make a fermented probiotic-rich yogurt at home?
Benefits of Homemade Yogurt
Lately, I have been on a fermenting kick. I am learning what these amazing “alive” foods can do for our bodies. The benefits of adding these to your diet daily range from increased energy, a healthier gut, boosted immune system, and even increased cognitive abilities.
One easy way to add fermented food to your diet is by making homemade yogurt and keeping it on hand. It can be used for just about anything from dressings to smoothies to a yogurt parfait. Anything you would use Greek or plain yogurt for. Adding a bit of raw honey to sweeten and some fresh berries is how we start most mornings. But any way you decide to eat yours, adding them to your diet is a great way to eat healthier.
If you would like to learn more about foods to ferment. Be sure to check out my guide for Lacto Fermented Pickles and Easy Homemade Sauerkraut. During the summer months, a fun drink to make and keep on hand is Ginger Beer, a fermented delicious bubbly drink that is not beer at all but a fizzy summer drink made with ginger. One that is also packed with fermented goodness.
What You’ll Need To Make It
8 cups of milk
½ cup of live active culture yogurt
Tools You May Need
Pour the milk into a large Dutch oven. Begin heating the milk until it comes to 180℉. Make sure to stir the milk as it heats to avoid any clumping. Once at 180℉, turn off the heat and let it cool to 110℉. Making sure to stir again to avoid it developing that skin on top.
Once 110℉, scoop out about a cup of the milk into an awaiting bowl and whisk in the active culture yogurt until it’s fully incorporated.
Then pour the mixture into the dutch oven.
Cover the pot.
Place it in your oven with the oven light on and let it sit for at least 4 hours. Lately, I have been allowing it to sit for at least 8 hours and sometimes even overnight. The longer it sits (max 24 hours) the tangier and probiotic-rich the yogurt will be.
If you would like a thicker yogurt you can skim the top to remove the extra moisture if you’d like. Or place a cheesecloth into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to remove the excess liquid. I have done both ways and find that the added step of the cheesecloth is worth it if you like a thick greek style yogurt.
However once it’s to your liking thickness wise, you can scoop it out into small single serving jars (as pictured) or even larger mason sized jars. Keep in the fridge.
How do I make the yogurt thicker?
Place a cheesecloth into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to remove the excess liquid and then jar as instructed.
How long does the yogurt last?
Store in a air tight container as (mentioned) in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Can you make flavored yogurt?
You can use flavored yogurt however the fermenting process breaks down the sugar in the milk and will have the same effect on the sugar used to sweeten flavored yogurt. You may have a slight aftertaste of the flavor but not an actual sweet yogurt. We sweeten ours with a bit of raw honey or date syrup when serving. Or a nice way to add a bit of vanilla essence is to place a split vanilla pod in the milk while heating.
Do I have to keep buying active cultured yogurt for each batch?
No. You can save a cup of the yogurt for the next batch you plan to make and have yogurt continuously on hand by doing this method.
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- 8 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of an active cultured yogurt
- Pour the milk into the Dutch oven and begin heating it until it comes to 180 ℉
- Make sure to stir the milk as it heats to avoid any clumping.
- Once at 180℉, turn off the heat and let it cool to 110℉
- Make sure to stir again to avoid it developing that skin on top.
- Once 110℉ scoop out about a cup of the milk into an awaiting bowl and whisk in the active culture yogurt until it's fully incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the Dutch oven.
- Cover the pot. Place it in your oven with the oven light on and let it sit for at least 4 hours.
- It can ferment longer if you'd like a thicker yogurt and you can also skim the top to remove the extra moisture if you'd like. I personally let my yogurt ferment overnight for about 8 hours. It comes out a bit thicker and tangier.
- For thicker yogurt, use a cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer to strain off excess liquid.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g
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