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!