Yields 600g of yogurt.
- Prep time: 10min + fermentation and straining time
- Cook time: 5min
- Total time: 20h 15min
- Difficulty: Basic
Making Greek yogurt from scratch is quite simple. The process may take 20 hours, but it’s mostly fermentation and straining time, and it’s worth the wait. Homemade Greek yogurt is really thick, creamy and full of flavor, and you can use it in all sorts of different ways. This recipe was adapted from T and T kitchen and atelier. Although most recipes, including the one I followed, suggest leaving your oven light on while the yogurt is resting in it, I found it doesn’t make any difference. I just leave mine in the darkness of a closed oven for 16 hours, and get a perfect batch yogurt every time. Once you make your own yogurt, you can use the bacteria cultures present in it to serve as the starter for your next batch. The third or fourth generation starter, however, might not be as tasty as a first generation starter, so be sure to invest in some new bacteria.
- 1l whole milk
- 4 tbsp store-bought Greek yogurt
Pour 1 liter of milk into a saucepan, reserving 4 tablespoons. Let the milk heat until skin has formed on the surface and the milk is just nearly scalding. Remove from heat and allow to cool to approximately 40°C. Meanwhile, combine store-bought Greek yogurt and the reserved milk.
Once the milk has cooled, make a slit in the milk skin using a knife and pour the yogurt mixture into the milk through the hole. Cover the saucepan with a clean kitchen cloth, put it in your oven and close the oven door. Let the yogurt ferment for 16 hours.
The next morning, take the saucepan from the oven and remove milk skin from from the surface. You now have plain yogurt. To make a Greek yogurt, you have to strain it. This process gets rid of all the excess water and makes your yoghurt thicker and much creamier. Place the cheesecloth or muslin cloth into a sieve, with a bowl placed underneath. Transfer the yogurt into the cloth and allow it to strain for 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Be careful not to over strain the yogurt. If you leave it straining too long, it will lose most of its water content, becoming a cheese instead of a yogurt.
Once the yogurt has achieved your desired consistency, transfer it to a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with cling film and store in your refrigerator. It should last at least a week, if not longer.
When I first decided to make yogurt from scratch, I was amused by the idea of growing bacteria on purpose. It seemed almost unnatural and the thought of it got me very excited. I could imagine myself using my own yogurt as a starter for every new batch, rendering the store-bought bacteria extinct and creating a whole new bacteria civilization I could call my own. I would be their great leader and I would never ever run out of Greek yogurt again, which, I imagine, is one of many perks when you’re the probiotic master.
My dreams shattered when I read that the third or fourth generation of bacteria might not be as tasty as the first. Looks like investing in fresh bacteria from time to time would be a smart move. Oh, well… You can’t have everything, I suppose. I guess I’ll have to settle for a fresh batch of yogurt using foreign bacteria every once in a while. I can live with that.
None of it actually matters when I have a bowl of thick and creamy homemade Greek yogurt in my fridge. I truly love it and can’t imagine starting my day without it. My favorite breakfast features Greek yogurt, toasted oats, seasonal fruit and a tiny bit of honey. My baby girl loves it, too. Her eyes sparkle with excitement and joy every time she eats it, which fills my heart with a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. I know I’m feeding her something I made from scratch and that’s the best feeling ever.