Homemade yogurt: simple pleasure

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Yogurt.

Thick, creamy yogurt, with enough tang to let you know it’s cultured, but not enough to come off as mouth-puckeringly unpleasant.

Where do you find The Perfect Yogurt?

Right at home. Making homemade yogurt is a lot easier than you might think…

…especially when you have an electric yogurt maker at your disposal.

The instructions that come with an electric yogurt maker will lead you through the yogurt-making process using whole milk, 2%, skim milk, or soy milk. Here’s our favorite way to make a fairly thick nonfat yogurt, which can then be drained to make thick, rich-tasting Greek- style yogurt.

The following instructions will yield 2 quarts of regular yogurt, or about 3 to 4 cups of thick, Greek-style yogurt.

Put 2 quarts of nonfat (skim) milk in a saucepan or stock pot. It’ll bubble up as it heats, so use a big enough pan.

While your yogurt maker may not call for the addition of nonfat dry milk to the basic recipe, we find that it helps thicken the yogurt nicely, giving it body it might otherwise lack. So, stir in 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk, the kind that dissolves easily in liquid.

Don’t use our Baker’s Special Dry Milk here; it’s made for baking, and doesn’t dissolve readily.

Heat the milk over medium heat until it’s about 180°F; it’ll probably be bubbly around the edges.

Remove the pan from the heat. Your goal is to cool the milk to right around 110°F, so get out your instant-read thermometer, or the thermometer that came with the yogurt maker.

To speed the cooling process, place the saucepan into a larger bowl of ice and water. Or into your ice-and-water filled sink. Or pour the milk into a metal bowl, and place in another bowl filled with ice and water.

Stir the milk frequently as it cools. This will happen faster than you might think – about 10 minutes, if you put your pan in ice water.

Once the milk is at the desired temperature, pour some into a small bowl. Stir in 2 packets of starter.

Or stir in 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt containing active cultures – or however much your yogurt maker suggests.

An organic yogurt, like Stonyfield, is a great choice. Read the side of the container to make sure it lists cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, or the like.

Pour the starter and milk back into the pan, mix thoroughly…

…then pour the mixture from the large pan into the yogurt maker’s removable plastic inner container.

It may be VERY full. Best to do this right on the counter where the yogurt will incubate.

Snap on the smaller inner lid, and place the plastic container of milk into the outer container. Cover with the larger, outer lid (not shown).

Plug in the yogurt maker. The red light at the base will turn on; this tells you it’s working.

Let the yogurt “work” for 8 hours; the longer it works, the thicker it’ll be.

A cautionary note: make sure the yogurt maker is set in a quiet spot, away from the general hubbub of your kitchen. In order for the yogurt to thicken properly, it should remain absolutely still as it incubates.

Unplug the yogurt maker. Take the outside lid off, and carefully remove the inner lid to reveal thickened yogurt, with perhaps a thin layer of foam on top.

Place the container of yogurt in the refrigerator overnight, to cool and thicken some more.

Next day, your yogurt is ready to enjoy; stir to smooth it out, if desired.

Notice it’s thick enough to stand up a spoon. Whoever said homemade yogurt has to be thin and watery?

For thicker yogurt, drain the yogurt in the draining bag included with the yogurt maker, following the instruction book. If you’ve lost your draining bag, cheesecloth works just fine.

After about 8 hours, you should have thickened yogurt. After 12 to 16 hours, the yogurt will be thicker still: Greek-style.

Or, to avoid the dripping and perhaps precarious positioning of a wet bag of yogurt in your crowded fridge, drain the yogurt in a Wave yogurt strainer.

See the “wave” inside? The design exposes more of the yogurt to the strainer, yielding thicker yogurt more quickly.

Put a quart of yogurt in the Wave; it’ll just fit. You won’t be able to add the lid for about 30 minutes or so; that’s OK.

Snap on the lid, set the Wave in the refrigerator, and let the yogurt drain until it’s as thick as you like.

Here it is after 4 hours…

…and here it is the next day.

The result: 2 cups of whey; a scant 2 cups Greek-style yogurt. Many bakers like using whey in their bread-baking; it’s full of protein, and the yeast seems to like its mild acidity.

Remember, this is only half the yogurt you made; drain the remainder, if you like. Your eventual yield, from 2 quarts of prepared yogurt, is 3 to 4 cups of rich-tasting, Greek-style yogurt – thick as sour cream, and just as tasty!

So, now that you’ve made your own tasty homemade yogurt – what next?

Well, how about tzatziki, a refreshing yogurt/cucumber salad (or topping, or dip)?

Or frozen vanilla yogurt?

Or what about a simple breakfast parfait of yogurt and homemade granola

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Mary.B

    Great blog! I make homemade yogurt all the time. I don’t have a yogurt maker; I make it in the evening, then put it in my oven overnight. Leaving the oven light on keeps it at the perfect temp. In the morning I put it in the frig to chill and thicken further – it always comes out perfectly!
    I usually do what you show above – use half to make Greek yogurt, which is perfect for dips and frozen yogurt – and the other half for eating as is. With fruit or granola stirred in, of course! I use the whey for baking, or as a nutritious part of a smoothie.

    Reply
  2. mariannewardle

    Why do you pour it from the bowl back to the pan and then directly into the yogurt maker? Seems like you could cut a step there . . .

    I drain my yogurt in a regular strainer lined with coffee filters or paper towels. Works great.

    I pour back into the pan just to make sure it’s thoroughly combined – it’s rather hard to stir in the REALLY full plastic container… And I’ve tried the coffee filter/paper towel thing, but mine always end up breaking and spilling the yogurt into the whey! PJH

    Reply
  3. LeeB

    Thank you for demonstrating these yogurt makers. I’ve been making yogurt for about 12 years but it’s been hit-or-miss as to whether it sets up because I can’t settle on a foolproof incubating method. It might be time to purchase the real deal.
    Here are great recipes for what to do with the leftover whey from making the Greek style yogurt:
    probiotic salsa – http://www.cheeseslave.com/2010/08/08/lacto-fermented-salsa/
    cold brined pickles – http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/08/26/finallycrunchy-pickles-lacto-fermented-and-canned/
    nourishing oatmeal – http://www.nourishingdays.com/2010/04/soaked-oatmeal-porridge/
    Whey is SO healthful! I hope people don’t just throw it out!!
    Thank you so much for sharing these links. I’m sure folks have lots of questions on the way/whey. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  4. foodslut

    My sweetie does as Mary B. does, making her’s in the oven. She sets it at 100 degrees, though, and it, too, is done overnight. In a pinch, when we forget to buy milk, she just uses nothing but reconstituted dry milk powder, and the results are great as well.
    Thanks for sharing! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  5. "magyar baker"

    Thank you for showing us how to make delicious yogurt, and delicious greek style yogurt at home. This is another great recipe to add to my repertoire for ‘doing it myself’, and one less product I ‘have to buy’ in the grocery store!
    I have a question about the whey that is extracted:
    1/how long can the whey be stored before spoiling?
    2/ In a basic bread recipe, would you add the whey at the beginning with the dry ingredients? or do you mix it with the liquids first then add to dry?
    3/ can you use this whey in sourdough recipes, or bread recipes that use a sponge?
    Thanks again for a great site and your very educational ‘how-to’s.
    Hi there,
    Good questions on the whey. Hotline baker Mary T. had this to say about whey: ” I usually store it not more than a week in the refrigerator, but I have never seen signs of spoilage in that time. I add the whey in place of some of the liquid. I think I haven’t used it successfully in sourdough- seems to be too much acid, but I have used it in other breads probably have done some with a sponge, but can’t remember for sure.” Hope this helps. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  6. jak387

    Would this work with almond milk or coconut milk? I’m flirting with being a vegan…Thank you :-)
    I know that one of our dairy free bakers, Mary T. has used soy milk, but I don’t honestly know if almond and/or coconut will work.

    Anyone out there have any info? ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. iahawk89

    What am I missing here? What’s the draw to homemade yogurt when you use store-bought stuff to make it? This doesn’t seem more cost effective either. Am I just uninitiated to the splendors of home-made yogurt?
    Hi there,
    Just like homemade breads, homemade yogurt is miles ahead in flavor than store bought, IMHO. For a gallon of milk at Cumberland Farms, we pay about $3.25. That makes two 2 quart batches, so each quart is less than a dollar to make. Cabot Yogurt is running over $3.00 a quart, so for us it makes sense money-wise. Of course, it’s definitely up to each baker to decide if it fits their style, but hope this helps. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  8. milkwithknives

    Oh, wow, this looks great! I knew about the other yogurt machine, but never considered it because I didn’t want to fiddle with the little jars. But this one looks much more practical, and I can’t believe you actually get two quarts of yogurt from two quarts of milk. That makes the yogurt about 1/4 the cost of buying it at the store, and that’s if yogurt goes on sale. How long does the homemade kind keep? Is it better to use really fresh milk, or could I use half a gallon, then use the other half the following weekend and still get good yogurt? Can you add any kind of flavoring (vanilla, lemon oil, almond extract, etc.) and at what point in the process?

    But most importantly, how much trouble is it REALLY to make yogurt in this thing? I mean, like, how much hands-on time and babysitting and such? I love the idea since my husb goes through two or three quarts of yogurt a week, but I hate to think about buying the machine and then just discovering it’s too big a hassle and we never use it again. Sorry for the dorky interrogation, but I’m really interested in this and would like to know what I’d be getting myself into. Thanks. -Erin
    Hi Erin,
    Great questions, and the exact questions I asked before I got my first machine. First of all, it is a very simple process, and you can have milk in the incubator in about 30-40 minutes, then you don’t have to bother with it again for 6 to 8 hours. Perfect for a Sat. or Sun. project. I don’t use any special milk, just what I buy at the grocery store, usually 2%, but sometimes I treat us to whole milk and let my 16 year old drink the rest.
    I usually make either plain or vanilla but you can add any kinds of flavoring you want. You can use sweeteners too. I stir these in after the starter is in, so I know it’s getting enough stir time to dissolve everything. I tend to like thicker yogurt then my hubby, so sometimes I do add gelatin to the mix at the same time.
    Probably the hardest part is waiting overnight until it is well chilled before eating it. The rest is sooo easy.
    Hope this helps! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
    1. yogilass

      Where do you find a crock pot that maintains a 110 degree temperature?
      I wanted to use one for yogurt making, but the temperature readings given online
      for the Low, medium and high settings are all too high for the incubation.
      Please let us know which brand yours is, model, and what
      your incubating temperature is that is working!

      Incidentally, I got a second hand Yogourmet machine that works great. I put all
      sizes of glass jars in it, from large to small, then fill the water area with warm water–let
      it incubate all night.

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      That’s great to hear you found a yogurt maker to use and we actually do use a yogurt machine as well to insulate the temperature at 110 degrees. We use the EuroCuisine Yogurt Maker, MODEL YM260 which is actually on our website (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/large-electric-yogurt-maker). One of our other bakers also uses a bread proofing box to incubate a crock at the proper temperature as an alternative method. Happy Yogurt Making! Jocelyn@KAF

    3. susan

      I use a crockpot also. It takes some experimenting but most crockpots with a low setting will work. The lid just needs to be offset with either a pair of wooden spoons or a pair of chopsticks. Spoons or chopsticks rest on the. Pot and lid rests on the spoons. Easy way to find out is to fill the pot half with water, place the spoons on the pot, and the lid on the spoons. Turn on to low and check the temp several hours later. It works like a charm. Change to chopsticks if the temp is too cold. BTW, a folded clean towel in the fridge makes a good resting spot for the crock when the incubation is over.

    4. susan carney

      I’ve been making yogurt in the crockpot for years. A gallon of milk takes about 2.5 hours to come to the boil when turned to ‘high.’ Then turn off and cool down to 115 degrees (about 2-3 hours) Next I add about a scant cup of yogurt, whisk it well, then move whole crockpot to a quiet corner, wrapped snugly in a thick towel to ferment undisturbed for 8-12 hours. For draining, I pour it into a nut bag which sits in a mesh strainer inside a large bowl. 4 -5 hours in the frig to drain the whey, and it’s divine Greek-style, VERY thick creamy smooth yogurt. I make a batch every week. It’s so forgiving because the different steps give you long periods of time to do other things. I use 2% milk and save out about a cup for starting the next batch. I flavor with fruit. Everyone who tastes it is now doing it themselves.

    5. The Baker's Hotline

      Susan, thank you for sharing your crock pot yogurt-making techniques with us! Barb@KAF

  9. nlshugars

    I just bought the 2 quart yogurt maker in my last order and am a huge fan! What great stuff and even better that you know exactly what ingredients are in your yogurt. Any suggestions on flavoring the yougurt for regular eating?
    I like to add about 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar to my big batch. Then, I stir in dried fruits, fresh fruits, the occasional tablespoon of nuts and little mini chocolate chips for dessert yogurt. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  10. bakerww

    I gave up making yogurt with my old yogurt maker, but am interested in the Cuisine model you feature. Can I use Lactaid milk with it (lactose free)?
    I could not find any recipes for making yogurt on the Lactaid website, and very little info online with solid testing behind it. Sorry we don’t have a definitive answer on this one. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  11. lishy

    I have been making my own yogurt for almost two years, and have never looked back. I first owned the one with the little jars, and I loved it for making different flavors using jam and fruit, especially when my kids were babies, but I was finding more and more that I preferred making just plain, so I can use it in my baking and cooking. Strawberry yogurt doesn’t work so well in curry after all. I recently purchased the 2 quart machine and it works much better for our family. My mom took my old machine for her and my dad to take yogurt with them to work. They are enjoying it as well. She uses sugar free flavored gelatin to make her yogurt sweet flavored and diabetic friendly at the same time. The only other comment I have though, is to double check the directions on your powdered culture, if you have one with probiotics you need to cool the milk down to closer to 80 degrees, which takes a little more time. Just make sure to read carefully, I only cooled to 100 once, and got yogurt that looked like whey with a small amount of cottage cheese on top, not pleasant at all. Don’t make my mistake!
    Lishy, thanks so much for sharing. Cooling the milk is such an important step, it really does warrant taking the extra time to make it right. Great reminder for all of us ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  12. HMB

    A nice gadget to have when heating up the milk and then cooling it down is one of those probe thermometers that can be set to beep as temp is rising and then as temp is cooling to the desired degree. This way I don’t have to keep checking the temperature — I just bustle away with other things I have to do until I hear the beep.
    Before I got that gadget, I used a specialty thermometer from a cheesemaking supply. It had yogurt temperature ranges clearly marked, so that was nice and easy.
    If you’ve got a nice, large thermos, you can also use that for incubating your yogurt.

    Reply
  13. kitsia

    Can this be made with Lactaid milk? what could you use instead of the nonfat dry milk that would be lactose-free or low in lactose?
    I love yogurt, but can’t tolerate much even with lactase pills, so it would be great to be able to make a lactose-free version. I don’t do soy, or almond or rice milk.
    I could not find any recipes for making yogurt on the Lactaid website, and very little info online with solid testing behind it. Sorry we don’t have a definitive answer on this one. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  14. lindadv

    I love that 2 quart yogurt maker! I didn’t want to fiddle with the little jars either, when I saw this one, I ordered it right away! Next, I want that wave strainer, that looks easier than the coffee filter and strainer method.

    I am on vacation and really missing my homemade yogurt! I don’t care for the gelatin and cornstarch gloppiness or the highly sweetened grocery store varieties. My husband likes flavored and sweetened yogurt so he uses the flavored syrups for coffee drinks. The best part about the 2 quart yogurt maker is that we can make the kinds that we like out of one batch. I usually scale back the recipe to make one and a half quarts, it fits our consumption and it is easier to handle in the plastic container for the yogurt maker.

    The whey makes great whole wheat waffles with the KA recipe!
    Thanks for sharing all the tips. I bet the waffles are “whey” good! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  15. "Just One Donna"

    I made homemade yogurt earlier this year for the first time in my slow cooker. It was delicious and I used it in baking, but it was whole milk yogurt which made it too fattening and the texture was too thin for my everyday yogurt eating. I am definitely going to try this recipe for low fat yogurt. I love the idea of adding the dry milk. Here’s the link for my post on using the slow cooker in case anyone is curious about how that works out. http://www.justonedonna.com/2011/04/making-yogurt-at-home.html

    Reply
  16. moniqueterrio

    I have Diabetes, using an Insulin pump and therefore am on a very carbohydrate restricted meal plan. I love the plain Greek style yoghurts and would love to try making my own. Is there any way of knowing what the resulting nutritional breakdown is when using skim milk? I can’t try this without knowing.
    I’d say try an online recipe analyzer like the one at sparkpeople.com . You can enter your ingredients, and it will give you the nutritional info. Hope this helps. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  17. carleenjones

    What a great info piece! I make yoghurt in a thing called an “Easiyo”. It’s basically a glorified vacuum container you fill with boiling water, and a container insert. I am a little lazy & I don’t heat the milk (whoops)…. it still works, but it is a little runny. What’s the reason for heating the milk?
    I puree strawberries and blueberries in the good old bullet blender, mix in a little maple syrup (gets the kids to eat it) & keep that ready to go in the fridge & mix that in when i’m serving. That way you only need 1 container of yoghurt, but can have lots of flavours.
    Hi there,
    The heating of the milk is to kill off other bacterias, so the yogurt starter cultures can take over. Give it a try next time and see how the results compare. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  18. "4importantmail@gmail.com"

    Great post. I had “Greek” style yogurt recently in a Turkish restaurant, mixed with garlic, walnuts and dill. Terrific. I’ve been making yogurt for years. I find heating the milk in the microwave to be much easier and less messy than doing it in a pan on the stove. Fairly easy to guess the right length of time (for me, one quart in about six and a half minutes, taking into account the time of year). It takes about half an hour for it to cool to 110. I don’t fuss with an ice bath; too much trouble. I set the timer and go off to do other things. I use all powdered milk for the convenience, but I’m wondering, after all these years, if I could get a creamier version with whole, fresh milk… I use my Zo to make fruit topping to mix in. Basically, any jam recipe without the pectin, although I often make it half and half with Macintosh apples for the pectin they provide.

    Reply
  19. "Chris F"

    I make yogurt too and would love to know how to make my favorite flavor, lemon. Anyone have a recipe?

    Re using Lactiad milk: I don’t think this would work because the yogurt bacteria eat the lactose in the milk; that is how they turn it into yogurt. If you can tolerate store-bought yogurt, you should be able to make your own as this recipe directs. If not, try incubating it for a longer time, up to 24 hours. It will be more sour, but after 24 hours all the lactose should be gone.
    Thanks for the lactose info Chris. I haven’t made the lemon, but I’m thinking about 1/4 teaspoon of lemon oil should flavor one quart of yogurt nicely. Thanks again for sharing. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  20. hdamon

    Hi all
    I used to make yogurt with in the small jars, haven’t for years. But it did work with lactase-treated milk (i.e. Lactaid) – not as thick as commercial yogurt but delicious. I find the lactase-treated milk is sweeter tasting so the yogurt tastes a bit sweeter as well. You might try the suggestion above to use unflavored or flavored gelatin to thicken it. Good luck! Hope

    Reply
  21. ghartel

    I freeze the whey and I have used gallon sized food jars such as mayo or whey protein to make large batches, put jar in large stock pot with water and a thermometer to watch temp. I put a hole in the lid to stick a long stem thermometer into the yogurt. Use a turkey baster to change water as needed or put in oven with light on overnight. If you use a rack in the pot you could turn on heat to warm water. The gallon jars cool in fridge and I filter a quart at a time in my bag. The cone shaped colander on the round ring stand are perfect if you use cheesecloth but they take up a lot of room if you refridge. I usually just tie my bag on a cabinet door and let it drip for several hours w/o refridgeration squeezing lightly if I want it thicker.

    Reply
  22. Joanna

    Hi there. I’ve been making yoghurt for about a year now and skip the heating milk step and use long life milk (the type that you can keep at ambient temperature in a carton instead and get great results. Long life milk is heated to a higher temperature to start with, so the work has been done for you. I have made yoghurt with ordinary milk too and what seems to make the most difference is that extra spoonful or two of dried milk powder, presumably because it is extra sugars for the yogurt culture to work with..
    Thanks for sharing Joanna! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  23. Swathi

    I grew up homemade yogrut, in India my mom and grandmom makes yogurt by boiling the milk and then cooling and adding starter and set aside for 5-6 hours at room temperature, here I use yogrut maker. I found that whole milk yogurt are thick and rich compared other%. Most worst will be from 1 % milk it contains more water than rest of counterpart. Thanks for posting a wonderful post on yogrut, I don’t know without them how the life exist.

    Reply
  24. pweeks59

    I’ve been making my own yogurt for a year. I just do it in a pot and cover it with a towel and put it in the oven overnight. After the first batch, you can use some of the yogurt as the starter for the next batch. It tastes better than store bought and doesn’t have the sugar, gelatin, cornstarch, etc. Most important for me, the store bought yogurt had been consistently giving me acid reflux problems, but I’ve had no problem with the homemade yogurt.

    Reply
  25. Shirley

    I have perfect success making Greek yogurt by draining fat-free yogurt in a Chemix coffee maker with a Chemix coffee filter. Mine holds a quart container of yogurt. I drain it at least 4 hours for a sour cream consistency, or longer for a thicker Greek yogurt. When finished put the yogurt in a bowl and beat it with a wire whisk a few minutes until smooth. I usually beat in a tablespoon or two of honey. A little grated lemon or orange rind is a great addition to this, depending on how you plan to use it.

    Reply
  26. LeeB

    according to Sally Fallon’s cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, whey will keep in the refrigerator for about 6 months.

    For lemon flavor how about a dollop of lemon curd stirred into your homemade yogurt?

    Sounds good, Lee – adds fat, too, which will certainly make for richer mouth-feel… PJH

    Reply
  27. crouchmj

    To answer the question as to whether or not you can use Lactose free milk, I found the following item on amazon.com and am posting the link — hope that’s okay. In the description of the product (which KA doesn’t carry), it states you can use any dairy, goat, soy or lactose free milk. If you can use it in this device, you should be able to use it any yogurt maker. Hope this helps answer the questions.

    http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Milk-Carton-Yogurt-Maker/dp/B000I61A1Y/ref=pd_sim_k_41

    Thanks for sharing. Hopefully this will help those who are lactose free. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  28. LinaBrooks

    Hi! Great post on yogurt! We’ve been making yogurt for years now, and there are just a couple of basic things we’ve learned that really make it sucessful:

    1) Use good quality milk. We get raw whenever we can, (heating it in the first part of the recipe also pastuerizes it, for anyone concerned about bacteria), and especially love the creamy feel when we use Jersey milk

    2) Use Dannon yogurt starter-but don’t use too much! Dannon is the thickest yogurt we can buy here in our supermarkets, and it is a very dependable brand. About a 1/4 cup per half-gallon is about right–any more and the yogurt turns sort of grainy/chunky.

    Also, to go with the latter, we save some of our yogurt for “starter”, sort of like sourdough. You don’t have to be dependent only on the store’s yogurt each time you make your own. However, after awhile the homemade starter doesn’t seem to thicken it as well, and you have to start over with the Dannon again.

    Thanks for the helpful tips, Lina – much appreciated! PJH

    Reply
  29. sue666

    I just made my first batch of yogurt and I’m so excited! It was such a wonderful treat with fresh raspberries! I’m now straining some for Greek yogurt. I thought about buying the wave but it hasn’t had great reviews. I’d be interested in knowing if there are other options in addition to the muslin bag and cheesecloth. Thanks for such a great thread and such helpful suggestions. The consumer comments really convinced me to purchase this wonderful appliance!

    You might reconsider the Wave, Sue – we brought those negative reviews to the attention of the manufacturer, and they’ve worked to resolve the issues to our satisfaction. That said, some people use coffee filters; though when I’ve tried it, they’ve become too soggy and fallen apart. PJH

    Reply
  30. carver1939

    Hi I am just starting with yogurt making, and have some questions:
    1.) What kind of syrups are used to flavor yogurt?
    2.)When is best time to add these flavorings for best taste?
    3.) Do you puree fruits & then put them in? and when?
    4.) how much of the different things do you put in?
    We have an 7 jar yogurt maker by Euro Cuisine
    Thanks carver1939

    Hi Carver – with this many questions, it’s best for you to call our baker’s hotline – that way you can have a back-and-forth discussion, and be sure you have any additional questions answered. Please call 802-649-3717 – our bakers will be happy to help you. Enjoy your yogurt! PJH

    Reply
  31. maenelson

    I’ve never made yogurt but decided to give it a try – especially after reading the five-star reviews for the Large Euro Cuisine. The machine arrived yesterday and I made yogurt for the first time last night! In reading through the instructions, I noticed the recommendation to use a store bought or homemade starter once. Has anyone had success with always using the starter from a previous homemade batch?

    I am VERY pleased with the results. The yogurt is not as thick I as thought it would be (processed for 9 hours), but the flavor is WONDERFUL!!! The consistency is similar to the yogurts you find in Europe. I placed the yogurt in two glass jars and I’m thinking I will use one to make Greek-style yogurt.

    We eat a lot of yogurt so this purchase will more than pay for itself in a short period of time…Loving It!!!

    Reply
  32. maenelson

    Since mine was the last post, I should just continue although a few days have past since my entry.

    As previously menitoned, I was not that thrilled with the consistency of the first batch of yogurt. I knew I would be making more so I decided to add the cup of instant dry milk as well as allow it to process longer…VOILA!!! The yogurt is very thick, pungent and DELICIOUS!!! I am so happy with the results and I guess my store bought yogurt days are over. My next experiment will be adding preserves.

    Reply
  33. AmandaL

    I’m curious. What is the nutritional makeup whey? Store-bought Greek yogurts have a significantly higher ratio of protein to carbohydrate. Does this mean that the whey which is drained from homemade yogurt is mostly carbohydrate?
    AmandaL – I am no expert on this, but yes, that does seem to be the case! Whey is mostly carbohydrates. Elisabeth

    Reply
  34. brub144

    To Jak387 who asked about using almond or coconut milk:
    No, neither of those have a sufficient amount of protein to create yogurt. The yogurt process makes acid out of the complex sugars, which in turn curdles the protein in the animal milk or soy milk.

    Adding the starter bacteria to almond or coconut milk would only produce a slightly alcoholic, sour drink.

    If you are interested in a vegan diet, you might try making yogurt out of a grain milk, such as barley or rice milk, which have a good amount of both complex sugars and protein.

    Reply
  35. Fran

    I just bought the Euro yogurt maker with the little jars. Just made a batch today for the first time and came out pretty good.
    How do I convert them to Greek yogurt? Is greek yogurt just thicker or does it have better health benefits? I used nonfat milk and plain yogurt as a starter.

    Fran, it’s thicker yogurt. Our yogurt strainer makes it super-easy to convert regular yogurt to Greek-style. Or drain yogurt through cheesecloth, or through coffee filters, until it’s as thick as you like. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  36. Katie

    I attempted to make yogurt yesterday, but I think I got the milk too hot…it looks like curdled milk/cottage cheese on the top and thin milk all underneath instead of yogurty. Did I actually make cottage cheese, or is this just curdled milk and unsafe to eat? It doesn’t taste bad, but it definitely doesn’t have the yogurt tang I expected.

    It sounds like the yogurt was incubated for too long. If you’d like a hand troubleshooting this one, give us a call on the hotline, 800-827-6836. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  37. mchristi31410156

    A few years ago I made some yogurt with mason jars and a cooler filled with warm water. It was always good, but I found the method a bit of a hassle. Today I received a yogurt maker and I’m looking forward to making yogurt again. The thing is I don’t really fancy keeping the yogurt in that big 2 quart container. When is the best time to transfer it to two or three smaller containers? When incubation is complete before refrigerating it, or after it’s been thoroughly chilled?

    I’d transfer once it’s completely set; but be careful – the more you work with it, the more it tends to lose its stiff consistency. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  38. ohiosister53

    I’ve had my yogurt maker for about a year now, and I really love it. At first I used my old recipe for making it, which is similar to your directions, but I wasn’t that happy with the results, so I shelved the machine for a while. When I chanced onto this post, I realized the mistakes I had been making. First, I wasn’t using enough dry milk, only 1/2 cup. Second, I wasn’t putting the filled machine in a quiet enough place and it kept getting slightly jostled or moved because it was in the way. Now, I simply love the ease and convenience of having my own source of delicious yogurt. This machine has become one of my favorite kitchen appliances. So simple, yet so functional. No more coolers with heated jars. Yay!

    A few points I would like to share:

    1. I think one of the keys to developing very smooth yogurt is cooling naturally. I think the ice water method is too harsh and causes the yogurt to break, or curdle slightly.

    2. I always process the yogurt for at least 10 hours.

    3. I think it’s unnecessary to remove some of the cooled yogurt from the heating pan to stir in the starter. I just do it right in the pan to skip a step.

    4. I always preheat the machine while I’m cooling the yogurt mixture to 110°.

    5. When I carefully remove the finished yogurt from the machine, I also carefully remove the lid, keeping it level, and then let the accumulated water inside the lid drip into the sink (it’s quite a lot). Then I wipe the inside of the lid with a clean dish towel, before putting it back on to place in the fridge. I do the same thing again after it is completely chilled.

    6. I don’t find it necessary to stir the yogurt after chilling, or put it into separate containers (unless you are sharing with someone else). As you said, it weakens the structure, and causes a much thinner yogurt.

    7. I found that I can use starter from my homemade yogurt about 3-4 times, and then it starts getting a little too tangy for my taste, so I go back to the Stonyfield Organic Plain yogurt as my starter.

    8. I always use organic 2% milk. I’ve tried 1% and skim, and I just don’t think it’s as good.

    Thanks for such a great product!

    What a helpful list of tips! Thanks so much. Some of these I use, but others I’ve never thought of – really appreciate you taking the time to share here. Enjoy your fresh yogurt! PJH

    Reply
  39. Larry

    I got out my OLD(!) yogurt maker with the individual jars a few weeks ago. Seemed like a hassle and took a long time relative to the amount of yogurt I could make at one time. Thank you for your instructions. I have started making 2 quarts at a time by putting the cooled yogurt and culture (either starter or reserved yogurt from my last batch) into quart mason jars and cover with plastic wrap and rubber bands.While I’m heating the milk, I pour boiling water into the jars, let them stand for about 5 min., and then pour off the water so they cool down by the time the yogurt is ready. I put the jars in a big roasting pan with fairly warm water (but less than 120 degrees) in my oven. I also initially heat up the oven to about 110 to 115. I have fresh yogurt in 4 hours. (About 2 hours into the process, I replace some of the water with warmer water to keep the incubation temperature up.) I have been using 2% milk but am going to give another try with skim milk and some FRESH nonfat dry milk. I’ll admit that this requires some attention from time to time, but so does baking homemade yeast bread, which I also love to do.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Thanks so much for sharing Larry. I’ve recently discovered coffee yogurt and can’t wait to try making it at home. Thanks for the inspiration! ~ MJ

  40. Betty S. Gibson

    GOOD GUIDE. I LOVE this Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker. This appliance makes perfect yogurt every time and it is absolutely no work at all. The key is bringing your milk to a beginning boil, then cooling it to room temperature before adding your starter so that you don’t have any other bacteria in the milk but your starter. I like to leave my cultured milk sit in the yogurt maker overnight for a nice solid curd. I save on starter by starting my next batch with about 1/2 C. of previously-made yogurt. I do that over and over again until it no longer works. Your purchased powdered starter will last almost indefinitely in the refrigerator and you won’t need to purchase fresh starter for a long time using this method. I love the large size of this yogurt maker, as I prefer to make one large batch instead of small individual cups of yogurt since I make a yogurt smoothie with fresh fruit every day for one of my meals, so I go through it pretty quickly.more detail reviews http://www.topbestreviews.org/top-4-yogourmet-electric-yogurt-maker-review/

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Thanks so much for sharing Betty. It sounds like you get so much pleasure from your machine. :) ~ MJ

  41. Janet Jones

    I make yogurt in my Easy Yo…3 tablespoons of live yoghurt from previous batch, 50 grams skimmed milk powder, add half a litre of semi skimmed ultra heat treated milk and shake to dissolve powder, top up with remaining milk and leave overnight. I then transfer yoghurt to another container and pop into fridge. When the next batch of yoghurt is made I put that into the Wave…which is a fabulous gadget for making soft cheese and keep the whey for bread making etc. Every batch has been successful JJWalesUK. Thanks for the blog

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Thanks Janet, it’s always nice to hear about different techniques from all over. Happy baking! ~ MJ

  42. Jena

    I sweeten our homemade yogurt with date paste/syrup we whip up in the blender. It’s so tasty and has no refined sugars. Just put your pitted dates in a bowl and pour boiling water over to just cover the dates. Let sit 30 minutes and put it all in the blender. I add a pinch of salt and a 1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

    I also use the date paste to sweeten our oatmeal.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for the tip, Jena!Dates are super sweet, so this should work quite well. Jon@KAF

  43. deb

    Has no one forgotten to take out a cup and stir in the starter? I forgot that step and just put the starter in the pot and whisked it in..so will it turn out? When I took it from the oven it was thick like yogurt but I stirred it and now it is lumpy. I am straining it in the fridge and I did taste it, tastes ok.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Not sure, Deb. I don’t believe we have tried doing this before. Perhaps one of our other readers will have more insight! Jon@KAF

    2. PJ Hamel , post author

      Deb, it should be fine – It’s easier to thoroughly mix the starter into a smaller amount of hot liquid, but I don’t see that mixing it into the whole thing would hurt. Yes, if you stir it warm from the oven it’ll separate and thin; next time, it would be best to refrigerate it overnight before disturbing it, OK? And straining will definitely take care of any thin texture, turning it into Greek yogurt. Enjoy! PJH

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