Technique

DIY Yogurt

Always wanted to make homemade yogurt? Here's how——and why
DIY Yogurt

With so many delicious yogurt options at the grocery store, why bother making your own? Two words: quality control. Homemade yogurt lets you achieve just the right consistency and flavor—without fillers or thickeners. Adding your own fresh fruit or preserves allows you to manage sugar levels and create flavors you won’t find in the supermarket. Plus, freshly fermented yogurt is a rich source of probiotics, since the live cultures haven’t diminished due to long transport or storage periods. Refrigerated right away, yogurt will stay fresh for up to a week. And now that yogurt makers are less expensive and more reliable than ever, it’s easy to produce a perfect batch at home.

What You’ll Need
•Freeze-dried live yogurt culture or store-bought plain organic yogurt (look for “live, active cultures” on the label)
•Milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream
Large saucepan
•Instant-read thermometer
Yogurt maker

How Yogurt Works
When live bacterial cultures (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus) are added to warm milk, they feed on the milk’s natural sugars. The milk then ferments, which creates acids that cause milk proteins to coagulate to make thick, creamy yogurt.

Gear Up
A yogurt maker is basically an incubator—it heats milk and bacterial cultures at the optimum temperature to make yogurt. Here are two we like.

Yolife Yogurt Maker
$39.95; tribestlife.com
This versatile machine comes with seven 6-ounce glass jars, plus an extra-tall dome lid that lets you use larger jars to make a single big batch of yogurt.

Cuisipro Donvier Electronic Yogurt Maker
$49.90; amazon.com
The Donvier’s eight 8-ounce jars fit snugly into the yogurt maker and are made of unbreakable, dishwasher-safe plastic, making it a good choice for butterfingered cooks or families with small children.

get the recipes

Perfect Plain Low-Fat Yogurt

Perfect Plain Low-Fat Yogurt

Not Yet Rated

An extra boost of skim milk powder is added to this all-purpose recipe to increase the proteins in the mixture for a thicker yogurt. Be sure to use instant skim milk powder, which completely dissolves in the milk.

more
Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt

A lightly sweetened vanilla yogurt is prepared over fruit preserves for a stir-in option. For best results, choose preserves that aren’t too firm.

more

Rich Chocolate Yogurt

Not Yet Rated

It took more than a few tries to get this chocolaty-smooth dessert just right. The secret is shaking the yogurt jars or stirring with a spoon before popping them into the refrigerator; this prevents a darker chocolate layer from sinking to the bottom.

more

Creamy Old-Fashioned Yogurt

Not Yet Rated

Full-fat yogurts are gaining popularity with foodies in search of extra-creamy, dessert-worthy taste. Serve with fresh fruit, fruit preserves, or maple syrup.

more

you might also like



comments

Put the warm cultured milk into a clean thermos, one that holds heat well. Leave it sealed overnight and the cultures will grow. In the morning you will have a nice batch of yogurt for breakfast. The key is not to heat the milk over 110, which is not hard. You can also use a container of live cultured organic yogurt as a starter, your first try. This can be done with soymilk as well but add a bit of cashew cream to it to get a thick yogurt consistency. The more protein solids the thicker the yogurt.

Ber - 2014-06-04 11:30:48

You do not need a yogurt maker to make yogurt. Put the warm cultured milk into a clean thermos, one that holds heat well. Leave it sealed overnight and the cultures will grow. In the morning you will have a nice batch of yogurt for breakfast. The key is not to heat the milk over 110, which is not hard. You can also use a container of live cultured organic yogurt as a starter, your first try. This can be done with soymilk as well but add a bit of cashew cream to it to get a thick yogurt consistency. The more protein solids the thicker the yogurt.

Ber - 2014-06-04 11:29:26

I just use a vacuum flask and plain soy yogurt with warm soy milk - no problems:)

christine - 2013-05-10 20:24:41

How about a dairy free yogurt? Yogurt is one of the few things that I miss since giving up dairy. I'd be very happy with either a soy or coconut milk version. I'm easy. More or less.

Milinda - 2013-05-08 03:51:58

Wish you'd figure out how to make plain soy yogurt. In Florida it is hard to find.

ENiles - 2013-05-08 00:50:01

No need for more Stuff, especially this kind of Specialized Stuff. Simplify!! Use your crock pot and an instant read thermometer. Recipes are all over the internet.

Karen - 2011-06-22 12:33:52