My interest in making homemade yogurt started with my craving for fro-yo. To tell you the truth, despite my self-professed strong relationship with food, I was a bit snob about frozen yogurt. That is, until me and my friends hanged out in this place and I’d tasted a green tea-flavoured one topped with heavenly berries and other fruits.
So back to yogurt. Of course, it’s always more convenient to simply buy it in a store, but homemade yogurt tastes better, contains no preservatives and is surprisingly easy to make. As such, I’m listing here the basic know-how of making homemade yogurt.
You only need two ingredients: milk and a cup of commercial yogurt for the active cultures. I’m aware that once you’ve done your first batch, you don’t need to buy another fresh cup of yogurt because you can use the homemade batch as a starter, but I rarely do this as I’ve noticed that using the previous batch gives varying results. So, just to be sure, use a commercial yogurt.
Homemade Plain Yogurt
- 3.8 l whole milk
- 125 ml plain yogurt, with active cultures
- In a saucepan, heat the milk right below boiling temperature (i.e., when you notice bubbles slightly breaking on the edge), stirring continuously to prevent the bottom from scorching and the milk from boiling over.
- Set the saucepan over an ice water bath and gently stir until the milk is just hot to the touch (45-46 C).
- Transfer a cup of the warm milk into a small bowl. Stir in yogurt and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the pan.
- Cover the saucepan with lid. Set a heating pad to medium and place on a cutting board. Place the pan of milk on top and cover with a dish towel. Incubate overnight. (Note: there are various ways of incubating the yogurt, e.g., warming the yogurt in the oven or putting it inside a cooler with an inch of warm water overnight)
- Remove pan from the heating pad. Cool the yogurt.
Before cooling the yogurt, you should first check it out. It should be creamy, with tart yet milky flavour. If you’re still not satisfied with the yogurt and want it thicker and more tangy, let it sit longer. Other tips for making the yogurt thicker can be found in The Kitchn.
Chill in the fridge. The yogurt lasts up to 2 weeks.
I know that some of you will ask how to make vanilla yogurt, so here goes. Add 1/2-1 cup of sugar to the milk while it’s cooling and stir in 1-2 tbsp vanilla. In the same way, you can make strawberry yogurt by adding sugar and frozen or fresh strawberries and then processing this with the finished yogurt in a blender. There are other flavours you can play around with once you’ve got the hang of the basics in making yogurt.
If you’ve got a handy ice cream maker, it’s easy to make frozen yogurts of your own choice of flavour.
Do you make your own yogurt? Why or why not?