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 a simple process. The process may take 20 hours, but the majority of that time is spent fermenting and straining, and it is well worth the wait. Homemade Greek yogurt is thick, creamy, and flavorful, and it can be used in a variety of ways.
Although most recipes, including the one I followed, recommend leaving the oven light on while the yogurt sits in it, I discovered that it makes no difference. I simply leave mine in the darkness of a closed oven for 16 hours, and every time I get a perfect batch of yogurt. When you make your own yogurt, the bacteria cultures in it can be used as the starter for your next batch. However, a third or fourth generation starter may not be as tasty as a first generation starter, so invest in some new bacteria.
- 1l whole milk
- 4 tbsp store-bought Greek yogurt
Pour 1 liter of milk into a saucepan, leaving 4 tablespoons aside. Allow the milk to heat until skin forms on the surface and it is nearly scalding. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to around 40°C. Meanwhile, whisk together the store-bought Greek yogurt and the reserved milk.
After the milk has cooled, cut a slit in the milk skin with a knife and pour the yogurt mixture through the hole. Cover the saucepan with a clean kitchen cloth and place it in the oven, closing the oven door. Ferment the yogurt for 16 hours.
Remove the saucepan from the oven the next morning and remove the milk skin from the surface. You have plain yogurt now. To make Greek yogurt, strain it first. This process removes all of the excess water, making your yoghurt thicker and creamier. Place the cheesecloth or muslin cloth in a sieve with a bowl beneath it.
Place the yogurt in the cloth and strain it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. Take care not to strain the yogurt too much. If you strain it for too long, it will lose most of its water content and turn into cheese rather than yogurt.
Transfer the yogurt to a glass or ceramic bowl, cover it with cling film, and store it in the refrigerator once it has reached the desired consistency. It should be good for at least a week, if not longer.
When I first decided to make yogurt from scratch, I was intrigued by the idea of intentionally growing bacteria. It seemed almost unnatural, and the thought of it piqued my interest. I could see myself using my own yogurt as a starter for each new batch, eradicating the store-bought bacteria and establishing my own bacteria civilization. I’d be their great leader, and I’d never run out of Greek yogurt again, which I’m sure is one of the many perks of being the probiotic master.
When I read that the third or fourth generation of bacteria might not be as tasty as the first, my dreams were shattered. It appears that investing in fresh bacteria on a regular basis would be a wise decision. Oh well… I suppose you can’t have it all. I suppose I’ll have to settle for a fresh batch of yogurt containing foreign bacteria every now and then. That’s fine with me.
When I have a bowl of thick and creamy homemade Greek yogurt in the fridge, none of this matters. I adore it and couldn’t imagine beginning my day without it. My favorite breakfast is Greek yogurt with toasted oats, seasonal fruit, and a drizzle of honey. My baby girl enjoys it as well. Every time she eats it, her eyes light up with excitement and joy, filling my heart with a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. I know I’m feeding her something homemade, and it’s the best feeling in the world.