Monday, May 30, 2011

Making Yoghurt

I was recently asked to explain how I make yoghurt. Now, I am not sure if this is the correct way but after quite a bit of reading and experimentation, this is the recipe that seems to work for me.

Before I start warming the milk, I usually put the jars I am going to use into the dishwasher on its hottest cycle.

It is amazing that only two ingredients are needed - yoghurt and full cream milk. I choose to use organic ingredients whenever possuble. Even though organic milk is difficult to get here in the west, the Margaret River brand is getting a little easier to locate. I love the creamy top you get on the milk. Yum.

I haven't made my own yoghurt for a while so I needed to start from scratch. Normally I would just save the last of the batch and use that to start the next yoghurt.

Two litres of milk are emptied into a big pot and brought to the boil. There are a few different opinions on what to do next but I choose to let this boil gently for two minutes and then turn the heat off.

As the milk has been boiling, the next step takes a while. It needs to cool so the bacteria that are going to be added survive. All you need to remember is the magic number - 43. 43 degrees Celsius is the temperature the milk needs to cool to before the living yoghurt is added. I find that a thermometer is a fabulous investment for this part of the process.

When the magic number  has been achieved, a large tablespoon of yoghurt is put into a bowl. A small amount of the warm milk is poured into the same bowl and the two are stirred together. This way the yoghurt is distributed evenly through the milk.

When the yoghurt and the milk are combined, add this back to the large pot of warm milk and give it a gentle stir.

Pour the mix into the jars and put the lids on straight away.

I then wrap the jars in a woollen blanket which is inside an insulated picnic bag . The blanket is folded over and the insulted bag is zipped up. This all needs to be done is a place where the yoghurt will not be moved.

Generally this is all done in the evening and the jars are snuggly in the bag by the time I head off to bed. In the morning the yoghurt is ready to go into the fridge. I usually let it chill before I open any of the jars. It just seems to set better.

Once you have a good supply of yummy yoghurt there are so many fabulous recipes out there. Two of my favourites are labna and gozleme. There is also a new cupcake recipe that is up on my 'to do' list.  I figure that if there is yoghurt in the recipe, it must be healthy.

Take care


  1. I made yogurt many many times. We had a yogurt maker, and then it broke. I have not made yogurt for years now, although I think I might try the insulating method you suggest! Also I have read many places that you shouldn't use your homemade yogurt to start new batches. They say the starter becomes weaker if you use it again and again. It looks like it's working for you though.

  2. Thanks for the details! I have used a similar method a few times now (using my easiyo thermos kit) and it seems to be pretty successful. I was hoping to learn how to make yoghurt from fresh milk without pasteurising it (not a good idea for supermarket milk, which may have be contaminated between the factory and your purchase, you never know what you will grow!) due to all the hype about raw milk being good for you, but it has not worked so far, so I'm stuck with pasteurising (also time consuming) until I figure it out. Cheers, Liz

  3. I haven't tried this method, but I do use the thermos thingy that works well. My eldest turned his nose up at bought yogurt the other day and said he only wanted mama's yogurt, which I thought was great.

  4. Honestly Good Food, I have used homemade yoghurt as a starter for quite a few batches. We usually make it about 3 or 4 times before we get a bit 'yoghurted' out and need to give it a break for a while. That is when I buy a store yoghurt to start the next batch. I have seen some people use a heating mat. I find that the insulated bag and blanket work well.

    Farmer Liz, I have been watching your experimentation with the raw milk with great interest. Good luck with your research. It is so frustrating when you think that people have been making yoghurt for such a long time, long before milk was treated. All the best. ; )

    CHFG, don't you love it when kiddies prefer homemade food over store-bought processed food. You have trained your little monkey well.


Thanks so much for dropping by. I really appreciate any comments you have to make.

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