Homemade Yogurt Recipe (Plain & Greek Style)


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurtI’ve known that homemade yogurt was “a thing” for a long time. I always considered making it myself, but it was never really at the top of my list of skills to learn, for a few reasons.

Number one: we don’t have a dairy cow or even goats yet. They’re definitely on the dream list for when we get a bigger property someday, but for now all we have are a few laying hens, some pet rabbits, and a couple of freeloading cats.

Number two: I figured you would need raw milk to make yogurt (which is illegal where I live) and I figured even if I could get it, it probably wouldn’t be cheaper than buying it from the grocery store, so I figured, why bother?

But when I started putting the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine together (all about Home Dairy) I figured I needed to at least give homemade yogurt a try.

I quickly learned that you don’t need your own dairy animal or even a raw milk source in order to make your own homemade yogurt. I also learned that it’s possible to make it with the best quality, whole, local, non-homogenized milk, and still have it come out cheaper than it would cost for me to buy a comparable quality and quantity of yogurt at the grocery store.

While this is a bit more expensive than just using regular store-bought milk (about $3.50/litre for the whole milk vs. about $2/litre for regular store-bought milk), I’ve evolved in my thinking about food over the years, and I’m now willing to spend a little bit more for a superior product (ie. whole, non-homogenized milk from a local dairy where the cows are grass fed and are raised out on pasture).

Your choice will depend on what your goals are with making yogurt at home. If your ultimate goal is to save as much money as possible, you might just want to use regular milk from the store.

If you do opt for regular store-bought milk, my suggestion would be to go with the highest fat milk you can (in Canada, regular homogenized milk, aka. “homo milk,” is probably your best option). While I’ve seen a few recipes for yogurt made with cream, usually there’s some type of lower fat milk added as well, presumably because the cream is a little too thick on its own.

Ideally, whole milk is what you want. Again, here in Canada, the closest thing we have to whole milk at most grocery stores is homogenized milk, although it’s still got a slightly lower milk fat percentage compared to whole milk. Try to avoid using ultra-pasteurized or ultra-heat-treated milk (aka. “UHT”); while it’s possible to make yogurt from UHT milk, you can’t always guarantee a good set or consistent results.

If you do happen to live nearby here on Vancouver Island, I get my whole milk from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. I really love their cheese and fresh milk, and I love that I can get refills in my Mason jars from my Local Refillery, which also helps me cut down on waste. (I used to buy 4 litre plastic milk jugs from the grocery store and hated the amount of plastic waste, so being able to refill my jars with fresh milk is another reason I’ve made the switch).

Another benefit to making my own yogurt is that I can control what’s in it. I usually do a pretty good job of reading labels at the grocery store and avoiding fillers, additives and excess sugar, but every now and then something gets by me.


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As my knowledge of food and my understanding of the relationship between our health what we eat evolves, I find myself making more and more food at home in order to avoid unhealthy additives and use the healthiest and highest quality ingredients I can find.

Plus, with homemade yogurt, you’re also getting a whole bunch of healthy probiotics that will support your gut health and microbiome, which is a pillar of good overall health.

Again, you can purchase good quality yogurt from the store with live bacterial cultures, but it usually costs more and you really do have to be diligent about reading labels to ensure you’re getting something that’s actually healthy, and not just something that looks healthy.

Anyway, I’ll step off my soapbox now. Like I said earlier, the choices you make will depend on your own unique goals and what’s important to you. Now back to making yogurt…

So as it turns out, it’s really easy to make homemade yogurt at home, especially with good ol’ whole milk. Here’s what you do…

 

How to Make Homemade Yogurt From Scratch

Heat your milk up in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 180ºF. (A kitchen thermometer is definitely helpful here). It can take up to around 15 to 20 minutes for the milk to come to temperature. Stir it every few minutes to distribute heat evenly and prevent a thick skin from forming on top (I usually just form any skin that forms during the heating process right back into the milk).

Once the milk reaches 180ºF, turn the heat off. You can either take it off the heat right away or let it sit on the burner and slowly let the temperature some down to 110ºF.

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurt

Once the milk is at 110ºF, it’s time to mix in your culture.

You’ll need a starter culture (ie. yogurt with active bacterial cultures) in order to start your first batch of homemade yogurt. You can purchase a yogurt starter culture or use plain yogurt from the store, just make sure it has no added ingredients, fruit, sugar, etc., and that it has live bacterial cultures. Or you can purchase a starter culture.

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurt

Add your starter culture to a a clean, sterilized Mason jar. I add one tablespoon of starter for every cup of milk (usually I do 1/4 cup of starter yogurt to 4 cups of milk).

 

Add your milk. You may want to skim off any skin that has developed on top of the milk at this point before you add it the Mason jar.

 

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurt

Give everything a stir and then place a lid on the jar. I just use old Mason jar lids that I keep, or you can use plastic lids for your Mason jars. I don’t use new canning lids as I like to save those for my canning projects in the summer.

From here, you’ll need to keep the yogurt incubating at around 110ºF to 115ºF for about 6 to 8 hours. There are a few ways to do this. I like to use my dehydrator.

I have an Excalibur dehydrator that comes with a built-in yogurt setting at 115ºF. I simply place my Mason jar on a rack on the very bottom of the dehydrator and turn it on the yogurt setting. If you have an Instant Pot, it also has a yogurt function. I do have an Instant Pot that I love, but since I can make my yogurt right in the jar and pop it in my dehydrator without having to dirty another pot, I prefer this method.

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurt

If you don’t have a dehydrator or an Instant Pot, you can put your jar in the oven with the light on. You can also keep your yogurt warm in a slow cooker. Just fill the slow cooker halfway with warm water and put your jar(s) of yogurt in. Turn the slow cooker to low and keep the lid off.

After 6 to 8 hours, your yogurt should be thickened. You may have a layer of whey on top (thin, yellow-is liquid). You can either leave this or stir it in.

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurt

* If after 6 to 8 hours your yogurt is still quite runny, keep it warm for a bit longer (you can even let it incubate for up to 10 to 12 hours, or even longer. The longer it incubates at that 110ºF temperature, the thicker it will become, but the tangier it will become too. So this depends on your tastes.

For a thicker, Greek-style yogurt, strain your yogurt through a fine mesh strainer lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth until all of the excess whey drains out and the yogurt reaches your desired consistency.

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurt

Once you’re satisfied with the consistency of your yogurt, place it in the fridge to cool and enjoy. Well, actually, before you enjoy it all, remember to reserve a bit of it to start your next batch of yogurt!

I reserve about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of of my homemade yogurt so that I can start a new batch without having to buy it from the store. I just pop it in the freezer if I’m not going to use it within a week or so. Then when I’m ready, I bring it out and let it defrost and then use it to start a new batch.

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurt

Enjoy your homemade yogurt plain (it’s full of tons of probiotics, so it’s a fantastic health food to enjoy all on its own!), or add it to smoothies, serve it with some fresh or frozen fruit or even mix in a little honey, maple syrup or homemade jam to sweeten it up. Top it with granola, hemp hearts, almonds, etc. Ok, you get it… Enjoy it like you would any other yogurt:)

Your yogurt should store in the fridge for around one to two weeks. If you leave it too long, you’ll see mold growing on top. At this point, discard and start a new batch. You can also freeze your yogurt and then defrost and mix well to enjoy at a later date.

Remember to reserve at least 1/4 cup to start your next batch!

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If you follow all the directions carefully and your yogurt still won’t set or is still too thin for your liking, you may either need to use a milk with a higher fat content, or you may need to keep your yogurt warmer while it’s incubating. If you’ve been incubating it in the oven with the light on, try turning the oven on to the lowest setting and then turn the heat off and put your jar in the oven with the light on and the door closed.

You shouldn’t have a problem with temperature if you use an Instant Pot, a dehydrator or a slow cooker.

Otherwise there’s really not all that much that can go wrong with homemade yogurt (not that I’ve come across anyway), which is why it’s such an easy skill to learn and to add to your arsenal of homestead kitchen skills!

Whether you have a dairy cow (or goats or sheep, etc.) of your own or you’re using regular ol’ grocery store milk, I can now officially assure you that learning how to make your own homemade yogurt is definitely worth the small bit of time and effort that it takes, for more reasons than one:)

* This recipe originally appeared in the March 2021 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. You can click here to subscribe for free and get this issue delivered straight to your inbox until the end of March. Or you can click here to become a member and get full access to all current and past issues, including this one!

Save money and eliminate added sugar by learning how to make your own homemade yogurt with live bacterial cultures. I'll show you how to make both plain and greek yogurt from scratch. It's so easy you may never buy yogurt from the store again! #homemadeyogurt #greekyogurt #plainyogurt

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

Yield: 4 Cups (or one quart)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat your milk up in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 180ºF. Stir it every few minutes to distribute heat evenly and prevent a thick skin from forming on top.
  2. Once the milk reaches 180ºF, turn the heat off. You can either take it off the heat right away or let it sit on the burner and slowly let the temperature come down to 110ºF.
  3. Once the milk is at 110ºF, it’s time to mix in your culture. You can use plain yogurt with live bacterial cultures (and no added ingredients) from the store, or you can purchase a starter culture.
  4. Add your starter culture to a a clean, sterilized Mason jar, then add your milk. You may want to skim off any skin that has developed on top of the milk at this point before you add it the Mason jar.
  5. Give everything a stir and then place a lid on the jar.
  6. Keep the yogurt incubating at around 110ºF to 115ºF for about 6 to 8 hours using either a dehydrator or wrapped in a dish towel in the oven with the light on. Alternatively, dump yogurt into a slow cooker on low or in an Instant Pot on the yogurt setting.
  7. After 6 to 8 hours, your yogurt should be thickened. You may have a layer of whey on top (thin, yellow-ish liquid). You can either leave this, stir it in or strain your yogurt through cheesecloth if you want a thicker, Greek-style yogurt. If after 6 to 8 hours your yogurt is still quite runny, keep it warm for a bit longer. The longer it incubates at that 110ºF temperature, the thicker it will become, but the tangier it will become too.
  8. Once you’re satisfied with the consistency of your yogurt, place it in the fridge to cool. Remember to reserve some yogurt to start your next batch of yogurt. You can reserve 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of yogurt in your fridge or place it in the freezer and then defrost before using it to start your next batch.
  9. Once your yogurt has chilled, it's time to enjoy! Top it with granola, stir in some honey or homemade jam, add to smoothies or enjoy however you like:)

 

 

 

 


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HOMESTEADING
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2 Comments

  1. Michelle

    Hi there! I have been making homemade yogurt for about 3 years. They like it much more than store bought. One point, you can use your homemade yogurt as your starter for about 2 to 3 cycles, then use a new culture (packet) or new store bought batch. Apparently, when you use the homemade yogurt each time to start a new batch, it will lose its beneficial probiotics after 2 or 3 uses. I just found your site and LOVE it!!!

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Thanks Michelle,
      That is a great tip to extend the use of your new culture packets.
      And, I agree, using your homemade yogurt as your starter should not be done too many times in a row for optimal benefits.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

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Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

(Continued in comments…)
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Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-guide to get your free copy!
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#garlic #garlicharvest #homesteading #selfsufficient #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #selfreliance #homegrown #groworganic #growfoodnotlawns #gardenersofinstagram #homesteadersofinstagram
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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-summer/
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#houseandhomestead
#momentsofcalm
#pursuejoy
#simplepleasuresoflife
#thatauthenticfeeling
#findhappiness
#artofslowliving
#simplelifepleasures
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#livemoment
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