Sunday, May 23, 2010

Homemade Yogurt Tutorial

I love yogurt!  I mean, I really love yogurt!!  I love yogurt with toast for breakfast.  I love it topped with fresh fruit for a snack.  I love adding frozen fruit and whirling it in the blender for a nice thick smoothie.  Did I mention that I loved yogurt?

I've eyed up those yogurt makers that you can buy, secretly wanting to get myself one.  Imagine my delight one day casually reading blogs when I came across a recipe for making yogurt in your crock pot!  Who knew?!  Another that caught my eye was this recipe.  There are plenty of tutorials online.  That got me looking for more recipes to make my own yogurt.

I tried a couple of the tutorials that I found, but none I made turned out thick enough.  While runny yogurt is great for smoothies, I wanted something I could eat with a spoon.  I read all the comments and different ideas and took what I thought were the most useful to make my own version.  What I came up with is thicker than the others as well as nice and creamy.

Homemade Yogurt 
-1 litre (quart) 1% milk
-1 litre (quart) cream, (I usually use 5% or 10%)
-1/2 cup non instant powdered milk, (available at Bulk Barn)
-1/2 cup of plain, room temperature, unflavoured yogurt containing only milk ingredients and live cultures, nothing else added (such as Organic Meadows or Astro),  

-5-500 ml (2 cup) Mason jars 
-large pot
-oval Crock pot, large enough for the jars to sit in
- thermometer (check that it will read the temperatures needed)

Step 1:
Put clean jars and crock pot on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200F (100C) degrees for abt. 5 minutes.  Then turn off oven leaving the light on.  If oven has digital control, set to abt. 108F (43C) degrees and turn on the oven light.  Leaving the light on helps to keep the oven warm enough.
Step 2:
Measure out the ½ cup yogurt “starter” and set aside so it can come to room temperature.

Step 3:
Pour milk and cream into large pot, stir gently and cover with lid.  Heat on med/low temperature until temperature reaches abt. 140F (60C) degrees, no higher than 145, stirring occasionally (takes about ½ hour). DO NOT LET IT BOIL!! 

Step 4:
Gently stir in the powdered milk until dissolvedYou want to stir gently because if you add too much air to the milk it will slow down the incubation time. 

Step 5:
Remove crock pot and jars from oven.  Fill kitchen sink about ¼ full with cold water.  Immerse pot of hot milk in the cold water making sure not to splash the water into the milk.  Stir constantly (but gently) until milk temperature drops to about 110-112 F (43-45C) degrees.  Remove from sink.    

Step 6:
Add the ½ cup of room temperature yogurt to the milk mixture, stirring gently, but thoroughly. 

Step 7:
Carefully ladle/pour warm milk into the warm jars (a funnel is helpful).  Set jars into crock pot, then, put crock pot on cookie sheet in oven and place near oven light.  Your oven should still be warm from preheating the jars.  If not, turn it on as low as it will go to produce a small amount of heat, then shut it off again. 

Leave jars undisturbed for 6 to 7 hours in oven with light left on.  The oven light will help retain the heat.  Do not open oven door at all during the incubation time.  When the time is up you will notice that your yogurt is thicker, but it’s not quite ready yet.

Step 8:
Loosely put lids on jars and refrigerate until completely chilled, at which time it will have finished thickening. Tighten lids.  DO NOT STIR YOGURT until you are ready to use it, adding the flavourings to sweeten by gently folding it in.

(Homemade yogurt topped with rhubard sauce and blueberries)

Some of my favourite flavours to add to my yogurt are; maple syrup, strawberry jam, cinnamon, vanilla, rhubarb sauce, blueberries or bananas. Flavour individual servings as needed.

You can use the yogurt plain like sour cream in baking recipes.  If you want it thicker, line a small strainer with a coffee filter and sit it over a bowl to drain the whey (the liquid that usually separates when the yogurt sits).  Add desired amount of yogurt and let the whey drain until it’s as thick as you want it.  The longer you let the whey drain off the thicker it will become. If you want to use it for cream cheese, let it drain for a couple days, then add seasonings if desired. 

The whey that drains off is just as nutritional as the rest of the yogurt.  You can use it in baked goods to replace milk, water or sour cream in baked recipes.   


  1. 1 litre of cream? No that is ridiculous. I want the high protein but not the fat

  2. You don't have to use full fat cream if you don't want to. I've used 5% without any problem.

  3. Hi Debra....would this be as thick if I just use WHOLE MILK for the 2 qts. liquid needed? Cream is very expensive where I live and I only use organic milk so the cream is really costly.
    Also your rhubarb topping sounds you have a recipe to share for that too?

    Thanks for your help and blog!

  4. I'm sure it would be fine. If it doesn't turn out as thick as you want, you can always strain some of the whey off with a coffee filter. The whey can be used in baking to replace liquid in a recipe.