I just made my own homemade greek yogurt. I am not exactly Betty Crocker so am still shocked at the fact. I had heard of people making their own cheese and yogurt at home and was always intrigued. I finally decided to try it after paying $7 for a small container (17 oz) of Fage Greek Yogurt and realizing it’s not even organic. And the results were well worth it! It was fun and tastes delicious!
Making yogurt at home costs considerably less. I am able to make about twice the amount in a Fage container for about $2 . Since it is double the amount, that is $2 cost vs $14 which is an 85% savings. (that’s for non-organic yogurt made with regular milk). To make the same amount of organic yogurt, it costs $3-4 depending on the price of organic milk. That is more than 2/3 the savings as compared to the price for Fage– and it’s organic (which Fage isn’t!)
Making homemade yogurt is very easy. It only takes a little patience because it has to sit 7-8 hours. AND….it tastes the SAME! It is incredibly delicious and if I was blindfolded I would never be able to taste the difference between my homemade yogurt and store bought.
So here’s how to make your very own healthy organic greek yogurt ( Adapted from the Joy of Cooking):
- 1/2 gallon of milk (I used 2% but any preferred type can be used)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons plain prepared yogurt
- Cooking thermometer
- Cheesecloth, enough for 4 layers in strainer (I found cheesecloth at Whole Foods)
Pour all except 2 tablespoons of milk into a double boiler or heavy bottomed pan. (I used a heavy bottom pan) and turn the heat to medium. Watch the milk very closely making sure the bottom does not burn. Stir constantly.
Heat the milk to 180 degrees F using a candy thermometer.
Immediately remove the pot from the stove and pour the hot milk into a glass or ceramic bowl.
Leave the dish uncovered and let cool until the milk reaches a temperature between 105-110 degrees. This took almost an hour for me.
Once temperature is reached, turn on the light to your oven. Light only, no temperature. The oven light is sufficient heat to keep the yogurt at the correct temperature for the bacteria to develop.
Now add the 2 tablespoons of milk to the 2 1/2 tablespoons prepared yogurt in a separate bowl. This is called the “starter”. It seems crazy to add such a small amount of yogurt as a starter but that is all it takes to make the correct bacillus. According to the Joy of Cooking, if more is used, the bacillus can become crowded and will make a sour watery product.
Once the milk temperature has reduced to 105-110 degrees, mix the starter in with the milk very well.
Then put the lid on the dish and cover with a towel. Place in oven and leave the light on. Make sure the towel is not near the oven light bulb. Leave in oven for 7-8 hours. I left mine in overnight.
In the morning, I was so surprised — MAGIC appeared! I thought I had a bowl of milk…
but when I placed my spoon inside what an amazing thing to see – YOGURT!! Creamy thick beautiful yogurt!
(If yours is not quite thick, place back in oven for one more hour.)
If you want regular yogurt, you can stop here. Place in fridge, chill and then enjoy.
However if you want thick Greek yogurt, it is necessary to do one more step that involves straining:
Chill yogurt in fridge for two hours. Then line strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Sit strainer inside another bowl and pour yogurt in. Allow to chill for one to two hours in fridge. After doing so, there will have liquid called “whey” in the bowl that can be discarded.
Transport the top portion of creamy yogurt into a container and store in fridge.
That’s it to making your own Greek yogurt! Great with fresh fruit or honey!