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Homemade Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is easy to make, and so much cheaper than the commercial varieties.
Here is how I make it.

  • 4 cups whole milk 
  • 2 tbsp commercial yogurt (Greek is good) 
  • candy thermometer 
  • double boiler 
  1. Pour 4 cups of milk into the top of a double boiler and place over the bottom pot that has a couple of inches of boiling water in it --  the top of the double should not touch the water, but keep the water boiling.  
  2. Cook, stirring every few minutes and check the temp. of the milk.  You want to bring it to just below the boiling point , do NOT let it boil.   Take it to about 200F or 90C.  It takes about 20-30 minutes to get it there. A layer of foamy bubbles will form over the top as it cooks.  
  3. Remove from heat, skimming off any top 'skin'  and let cool to lukewarm  100F or 37C  Hint - if you don't want a skin to form over the milk as it cools,  place plastic wrap over the top of the milk - yes, touching it. 
  4. Stir in the 2 tbsp commercial yogurt -- make sure you are using one with a  live active bacteria.(after you make your first batch, you can save a couple of tbsp for your next batch.  It is easiest to mix some of the lukewarm milk into the 2 tbsp prepared yogurt and then stir if back into the rest of the milk.  
  5. Now cover the bowl with a clean cloth and set it in a warm place.  I find putting it into my oven with the oven light left on is perfect.    
  6. Leave it there for about 10-12 hours -  overnight is nice when you don't use your oven!  You can leave it up to 24 hours if you wish.  The longer you leave it the stronger the flavour will be.  
  7. It will set up very nicely with a smooth, creamy  texture. 
  8. After it is thick you can stir in flavouring if you wish  --  Stirred Yogurt is a little thinner -- so the choice is yours.   Leave it thicker and add fruit or granola when you serve it or add flavoring before you refrigerate.   
  9. If you want to make Stirred Yogurt remember to first take out the 2 tbsp. for your next batch.
My husband and I like our yogurt flavored --  our favourite is the following . 
  • juice and grated rind of 1 lemon 
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons honey (or to taste)   
  1. Mix together and stir into set yogurt before refrigerating. 
  2. The gentle lemon flavour adds a tang that is lovely with fresh strawberries ! 


  1. My mom used to make yogurt this way, when I was growing up. I like to add freezer jams (strawberry, peach or blueberry) for a quick flavoring when serving. It's healthy and also a big money-saver. Thanks for sharing, Julie!

  2. I have made my own yogurt for years - first because I was living in Tanzania and I couldn't buy yogurt (one of the Indian shop-keepers gave me a small jar of her yogurt so that I could get started); and now that I am back in Canada, because the plastic containers that store-bought yogurt comes in aren't recyclable. In Tanzania, I used the top of my pot of boiled drinking water covered in a towel to keep it warm, but now I cheat and I use a store-bought yogurt-maker to keep it at the right temperature! I have never used a thermometer in the milk though...

  3. Two other ideas for flavoring:
    1. Add a tablespoon or so of coffee (dark brewed) and sweetener of your choice to a cup of yogurt.

    2. In a hurry, I frequently add a single package of hot cocoa mix to a cup of yogurt. Double the calcium:)

    Thank you for all the great recipes.
    God bless.

  4. Thank you. I love yogurt and this will be a real cost saver.

  5. I've been making yogurt for a while now. I make mine in quart glass canning jars, and heat the milk right in them in a larger pot. Once I cool it down to 120-130 F, I add the starter, put lids on the jars and set them into a small cooler with water the same temp. I cover the cooler with a jacket or towel and leave for about 12-24 hours. We often eat it with jam, or a fruit syrup that I make in the summer using fresh fruits!


  6. Does this also work with 2% milk or do you have to use the whole milk?

    1. I'm sure it would also work with 2% milk. I haven't tried it but don't see why not.

    2. I have made my own yogurt for years using 2% milk.

    3. I have read that low fat yogurt is not so good for your eyes. So homo is a better choice.

      Also, leaving it to sit for 24 hours means it is easier to digest

  7. Will this work if I use Lactose free milk?
    I love yogurt but can't have it because I am lactose intolerant.

    1. I must say that I truly don't think these "GIRLS" have all the answers to the many questions that we ask. They don't have degrees, they aren't experts, or chefs for that matter, try making the yogurt with Lactose Free milk and come back and let every one else know if it works. That would be great if you it.

    2. Anonymous, have you found the yogurt bothers you? Some people who are lactose intolerant can still have yogurt.Studies have shown that the active live bacterial cultures (also known as probiotics) found in yogurt help lactose digestion. However, it depends on the person, so I just thought I'd mention it.

    3. Anonymous #1 my daughter has a severe lactose intolerance, yet oddly enough yogurt is one of the things she can eat. Especially if it is good quality with lost of active bacterial cultures. I would like to think that making the yogurt with lactose free milk would work just fine, but then again, I am not expert. Good luck with trying it.
      Anonymous #2 Thank you for coming to our defense. We are just a bunch of women who try things, and sometimes they work and sometimes (in my case many times) they don't. We don't ever want to give the impression that we have all the answers.

  8. I've been making my own yogurt for a few years now. I've tried it with different milks and it works well.
    I heat the milk in a 2L batter bowl in the microwave (25mins gets it to the right temp) I allow it to cool down to 50-55 degrees Celsius mix in my 2 Tbsps of active culture, cover it with plastic wrap it in a thick towel and incubate it in the oven with only the oven light on for 7hrs. Makes thick creamy yogurt every time. I drain the whey off to make greek yogurt. I add a little vanilla and 7-8Tbsp agave syrup. Love it

  9. I have tried to make good thick yogurt for years without success. Last night I tried this recipe using Balkan style yogourt for the starter. It turned out perfect - nice and thick! I also love lemon flavor and will try this tonight with strawberries and toasted almonds... Thank you.

  10. Once I have added the starter, I pour the milk/starter mixture into a thermos bottle for five-six hours. It keeps the milk at exactly the right temperature without any fiddling.

    But the real secret to my success with yogurt making is that I buy my 2% milk from a local farmer and it's fresh and pasteurized but not homogenized. It makes AMAZING yogurt.

    Deb, thank you for the tip about adding hot cocoa mix -- I'm going to have to try that!

  11. I had to try this immediately after reading the recipe. I left it in the oven for nearly the full 24 hours to create a stronger flavour. Then I couldn't wait and enjoyed it warm with leftover fruit crisp. So good for so little effort!

  12. Do you know how many cups of yogurt (approx) that you get from 4 cups of milk?
    Thanks so much for all the fabulous recipes!!

    1. The amount of milk you start with is pretty much the amount of yogurt you end up with!
      and I'm happy you are enjoying the recipes !!