You can always buy Greek yogurt in a store. However, there’s something awesome about making it right at home. Learning how to make Greek yogurt is easier than most people think, too.
After you make homemade yogurt, there’s an extra step. Of course, you can always eat the yogurt as-is and after it cools. But, the extra step is what turns your regular homemade yogurt into tasty Greek yogurt.
Greek or ‘Greek-style yogurt’ is a type of strained yogurt. Strained yogurt is yogurt that has been strained of its whey content after the culturing process. The straining gets rid of the whey, leaving behind a thicker yogurt that’s said to have a consistency between ‘unstained yogurt and soft cheese.’
Although traditional strained yogurt is typically made from sheep’s milk, it’s commonly made from cow’s milk, especially for the Greek-style yogurt you can find in stores today.
In fact, most Greek yogurt is made from cow’s milk nowadays, particularly if you’re going to buy it in stores or make it at home.
Greek yogurt with a yogurt maker
The following recipe we’re about to show you use whole milk, as its fat content is perfect for making a thick Greek-style yogurt. Although you can use skim or low fat milk, they produce thinner yogurts that will need thickening before you strain.
The homemade Greek yogurt recipe can be made with your normal kitchen utensils but also quite easily transformed to use with a yogurt maker. A yogurt maker machine will take all the problems and timing issues out of your hands. Put in the ingredients and set the timer and you’ll have fresh Greek yogurt whenever you want!
Making Homemade Greek Yogurt ~ The Process
In our last article, we showed you how to make homemade yogurt with just a few ingredients and supplies. This time, we’re going to show you how to make Greek yogurt in the same way, with just one more step.
Once again, make sure your equipment is sterilized before you start. You can do that by pouring boiling water into each of the containers you plan to use for storing your yogurt. After you pour in the hot water, wait about 5 minutes and then pour out the water to let the containers dry.
You’ll also need cheesecloth and some twine for the straining process. While you can use other types of thin cloth, cheesecloth will help you produce a ‘thicker’ and more consistent yogurt.
- Boil your milk to 180 degrees. The candy thermometer should be used to take the temperature while the milk heats. Once it reaches that temperature, take the pan off the heat, while keeping the thermometer in the pan.
- Wait a while for the temperature to drop to 115 degrees. After that, mix in your yogurt or yogurt starter (you can temper this with milk by mixing it with 2 cups of milk before using it) until it’s completely mixed in the milk. Pour the mixture inside your sterile pot or container where the yogurt will culture.
- Put a lid or some plastic wrap over the pot or container containing the mixture. Store the mixture in a warm place for about 10 to 12 hours. If you need to, keep the yogurt warm by wrapping the towel around the pot or container. If you want a tangier yogurt, keep the yogurt stored for an additional 3 to 5 hours.
- Refrigerate once it’s finished culturing. Let the yogurt cool for least 3 to 4 hours before eating.
Here’s where the directions get different or, rather, here’s the extra step we were talking about: the straining process.
- Get a big bowl ready by lining it with cheesecloth. When you’re done, dump about 2 cups of your yogurt into the center of the cloth.
- Bring together the corners of your cheesecloth. Lift the yogurt out of the bowl, holding the corners, and twist to start draining the whey liquid.
- Keep squeezing to get all of the whey out. Once most of the whey has drained, tie off the part that you’re holding with your twine.
- Now, get out a strainer or colander, put it into the large bowl and sit your partially strained yogurt inside. The yogurt will continue draining for a few hours.
- Sit the yogurt bowl inside your refrigerator, as it drains, for about 2 to 3 hours. After that, take out the bowl and remove the yogurt (still in the cheesecloth). Hold it over the sink and gently squeeze out as much whey liquid as you can.
- Once you’re done, return the yogurt to the strainer and prepare another clean and sterile bowl, preferably one big enough to store the yogurt (make sure it has a lid, too). Remove the twine, open the cloth and (with a spoon or spatula) scoop and scrape the yogurt into a bowl. Your end result should be as thick as sour cream.
Making Homemade Greek Yogurt: Closing Thoughts
As you can see, Greek-style yogurt is just as easy to make at home as ‘regular’ yogurt. Although you do have to strain the yogurt for a few more hours, the end result is well worth the effort. Greek yogurt is a healthy snack since it’s low fat and you can easily combine it with fresh fruits. Thanks for reading about how to make Greek yogurt!