Homemade Greek Yogurt

My lovely sister-in-law turned me on to this recipe for homemade greek yogurt.  She lives in Africa, and doesn’t readily have access to things like greek yogurt.  When she said that I should give this a try, I couldn’t wait.  This recipe comes from Annie’s Eats.  I love her blog, especially her DIY recipes.  There are so many I want to try, including DIY tortillas and pita bread.

The thought of making my own yogurt was really daunting, but the process is really simple, and only requires a lot of downtime.  Simply heat your milk to 180 degrees F (this denatures the milk proteins).  I used 2% milk, but Annie says you can use skim or whole (she prefers 2%).  Then, allow it to cool to 110-120 degrees F.  Mix in 2 T of greek yogurt.  I had a helper with the mixing :)

This provides the live active cultures that you need to make your yogurt.  If you don’t allow it to cool, those bacteria will die and it won’t work.  At this point, you can whisk in non-fat powdered milk for extra creaminess.  I did this, but I might omit it next time just to see if there is a difference in taste/texture.  I’m always on the side of simplicity, so if I can delete an ingredient, I will!  Then, cover the milk mixture with a lid, wrap in kitchen towels, and place in an oven that has been briefly preheated to 350 degrees, then turned off.

It will need to incubate for 8-12 hours.  I did 10 hours, and mine was nice and thick.  It’s amazing the change when you unwrap your dish and see how the yogurt has formed.  Strain the mixture over a large bowl lined with paper towels or cheesecloth, set in the refrigerator (I let it sit overnight), and allow the whey to drain out.

This is how much whey had drained out by the next morning!  I read online that you can use this whey for different things, but I ended up throwing mine away.  If someone has a good use for it, please let me know!

Then, simply give your yogurt a good stir.  I topped mine with frozen berries and lilikoi (passionfruit) jam to give it some sweetness.  The result is smooth, thick and creamy plain greek yogurt!  It’s amazing when you can make something like this with simple, fresh ingredients.  Plus, it’s a lot less expensive than buying plain greek yogurt in the store!

This little girl seemed to like it :)

Homemade Greek Yogurt

from Annie’s Eats

2 quarts milk

2 tsp. plain yogurt

¼ cup instant dry milk powder (optional)

1 tbsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Heat your milk in a pot over medium heat to 180 degrees F, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and allow it to cool to 110-120 degrees F.  This is important because if it is too hot, the bacteria will die, and if the temperature is too low, the yogurt won’t incubate properly.  Transfer the milk to a glass or ceramic bowl.  Mix in 2 teaspoons of plain greek or regular yogurt.  This adds in the live and active cultures you will need for the incubation process.  At this point, you can whisk in non-fat powdered milk for extra creaminess.  Then, cover the milk mixture with a lid, wrap in kitchen towels, and place in an oven that has been briefly preheated to 350 degrees, then turned off.  Allow to incubate for 8-12 hours (I did 10 hours).  Strain the mixture over a large bowl lined with paper towels or cheesecloth, set in the refrigerator (I let it sit overnight), and allow the whey to drain out.  The yogurt should now be nice and thick.  You can stir in your vanilla extract, if using.  Stores in the refrigerator for 1 week.  Top with fresh fruit, jam, or honey for extra sweetness.  Enjoy!

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15 thoughts on “Homemade Greek Yogurt

  1. I’ve heard of people making their own greek yogurt, but have always been afraid to try. It actually doesn’t look too bad based on your photos! And I’m all for saving money :-)

    P.S. Your helper is too cute!

    • It’s actually really easy, just a lot of downtime! And it tastes just as good as the store-bought ones, without any preservatives :)

      Haha, I love having a helper in the kitchen! How are your classes/tests going this week? Hope everything is going well!!

    • Aw, thanks Carol! She loves to help in the kitchen, and I love spending that quality time with her!

      The crockpot method that Jill mentioned seems really easy, I’m going to try that out next time!

  2. I’m glad it turned out well for you! I ruined the first few batches of yogurt I tried, but now I’ve got the hang of it. I use a crockpot too, and a cooler for the incubation period. Whey is great for making fermented foods. I’ll be posting a recipe tomorrow that uses whey to make applesauce.

  3. I eat Greek yogurt every single day! I get the big tubs of Fage from Costco..A lot cheaper than anywhere else! However, Tim HATES it! serously, what’s wrong with him?!? hehe. Anyway, if he liked it too, I’d love to make it from scratch, but since it’s just me, I don’t know….I have a hard time making anything just for myself..
    But I’m so impressed with the fruit of you and Malia’s labor ;)
    Hope you’re enjoying time with your family! Where in Africa does your sister-in-law live? I wonder what the diet is like there…a lot of grains I assume

    • I bought one of those big Fage tubs once, and it was just me trying to finish it too! I think if you sweetened it or bought the vanilla flavored ones, maybe Tim would like it?

      My sister-in-law lives in Congo. She said she is basically vegetarian there, because she doesn’t trust the meat. Also, food is very expensive there, she says a gallon of milk is $10 because they import everything. She’s actually here right now visiting, and we made mozzarella from scratch together last night!! It’s been SO fun having a partner in the kitchen…she’s made two kinds of pie the past two nights, so we are spoiled :) I’m going to miss her so much!

  4. Pingback: Homemade Cashew Butter « My Healthy 'Ohana

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