Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

I’ve been making yogurt for about a couple of months now…when I first saw the process, back in the old Laurel’s Kitchen cookbook, I thought—why bother? Only women with huge hairbuns make yogurt! It is cheap to buy. And the idea of fixing up a heating pad, and using a blender for dried milk powder…seriously. Too much effort for something that would not be tasty. Then, Sunset magazine had a recipe involving a small cooler and some canning jars of hot water and I thought, What the heck? I have some extra milk. If Sunset readers can do this, I, as an Urban Homesteader, can. It was amazing. Homemade yogurt is significantly better than store bought (and cheaper). It is light and delicate. No need for sugar; it has not had time to sour. Pair it with some homemade cinnamon walnut blueberry granola and you are styling.

So here’s the process:
Heat 4 cups of milk to 180 degrees.
Cool said milk to around 116—I put it in a sink with some ice water and stir frantically.
Add a couple of tablespoons of yogurt from the last batch.
Pour into a quart canning jar (because I stir so vigorously, I end up with a half pint overflow jar of froth).
Put into small cooler with two jars of hot water for 8-10 hours. In the winter, when the cooler was chilly, I pre-heated it beforehand with some of the boiling water.
Put in the fridge to stop the fermenting process.
The trickiest part is not having the kettle boil right when the yogurt is ready to be poured into jars.

Give it a try. It is worth the effort—and you do not need the hairbun.


  1. Starting out making yogurt can I use the plain yogurt you get at the store to "start" my homemade yogurt or do I have to buy cultures from somewhere?
    Thank you so much for posting about this!
    Bonnie MS

    1. I use the local organic yogurt, plain, unsweetened, to start mine. If I get a good batch, I'll use that for the next. This is so easy!!!! and so much better than store bought.

  2. Do you have to use raw milk? Or can it be pasteurized?

  3. I was store bought, not ultra pasterized milk and it works just fine. Get a good starter! It is so easy!