Homemade Yogurt: Making Greek Yogurt At Home

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.

Making Homemade Greek Yogurt ~ 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!

Greek Yogurt Recipes Ideas

What Makes Greek Yogurt Recipes So Popular?

Each year in the United States, there is a new food trend that rises to popularity but soon fizzles out within a matter of months. A number of food lovers and critics thought that greek yogurt would face the same fate. But in the last few years, this thick and creamy yogurt has stayed quite popular with those looking to stay healthy and fit in an all natural manner. Much like sour cream, the greek yogurt goes through a few extra steps of preparation but in fact tastes better and has a slight tangy taste to it. For most part, there are greek yogurt recipes to suit about every kind of palette.

How To Make Greek Yogurt?

Although one can add and subtract various elements and come out with new ways to make greek yogurt, the basic greek yogurt recipes remain much the same. The process is similar to making regular yogurt, with a few extra steps in order to get the perfect creamy and thick texture that everybody loves. The basic recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

1/2 – 1 gallon of milk

2 – 3 tbsps of yogurt

Muslin cloth or cheese cloth

For the recipe, there is no restriction about the kind of milk to use. While some may prefer it to be skimmed or low fat, others may use full fat and creamy milk depending on their taste. The same goes for the yogurt. It can be probiotic or regular, as long as it does have some bacteria in it that can help with the process of curdling and making yogurt.

First of all, pour the milk into a pan to heat it up. It is best to heat it on a medium flame, so that it does not burn at the bottom. After it has been heated, pour the milk into a dish to cool down. If you have a cooking thermometer with which you can measure the temperature, then make sure the milk heats till 180 F and no more. When cooling, allow the milk to come down to a 105 – 110 F. When you put the milk to cool, turn the oven on to a setting of 150 F. After the milk has cooled sufficiently, add about two to three tbsps of the yogurt into it. Adding anything more than spoils the flavor.

Stir the yogurt in, put a cover on your dish and then wrap it in a dishtowel or a tea-cozy. You can turn the oven off at this point, put make sure the oven light stays on. The heat will ensure that the milk curdles in time to make yogurt. Now, the mix has to remain undisturbed for close to 8 hours, preferably overnight. In the morning, the milk should have turned into yogurt with a little bit of water left on top. Drain away the water and you can start the next process of the greek yogurt recipes. For those you will need the muslin or cheesecloth.

In another large dish, spread out the muslin or cheese cloth in about three to four layers. Make sure it covers all of the dish and has some space at the bottom for the water to collect. Then, start to pour the yogurt into the dish, straining it with the cloth. Whatever starts to accumulate at the bottom is known as whey. It can be saved up for cooking in case one wishes to make bread at home. If not, it can be discarded. Keep refrigerating the mixture in the fridge in between straining for an hour so that the yogurt does not lose its consistency. Following these greek yogurt recipes should give you a thick, creamy, slightly tangy yogurt after about three hours.

What Are Other Greek yogurt recipes To Try Out?

If you have prepared a large enough batch of greek yogurt, there are plenty of recipes in which it can be used to replace sour cream or even plain yogurt. Doing so allows people to live a much healthier lifestyle due to the way in which greek yogurt has been prepared. For most part, it is used as an accompaniment with various kinds of breakfasts, but it is fast catching on in desserts, parfaits and even with cereal.

Potato salad is one such light first course dish that can use greek yogurt. Instead of using sour cream and mayonnaise to make the creamy part of the salad, simply add the yogurt you have made at home. It can be flavored with vanilla or bean extract if you like. Another simple idea is mashed cauliflower served with greek yogurt, beans and a touch of crushed peppercorns and oregano. There are also a fair number of greek yogurt recipes for dips, that replace the cream with the healthy and delicious yogurt. Making guacamole with it is one such wonderful idea.

What Are The Benefits Of Greek Yogurt?

Even though the taste of greek yogurt sets it apart from most other similar creams and condiments, it is the many nutritional and health benefits that truly make it a winner. It is become a popular item in breakfast items and low fat preparations due to the low calorie count as well.

Greek yogurt is probiotic in nature. Since it is made from regular yogurt, it is full of bacteria that are in fact quite helpful for our digestive system. These probiotic bacteria reduce the amount of germs and microorganisms in the body that can cause infections and keep the digestive tract clean. Not only do food items made from greek yogurt recipes feel lighter on the stomach, they are much easier to digest as well. Those seeking relief from disorders of the abdomen will find a great deal of relief from this yogurt.

When greek yogurt is being prepared, it is put through an extra process in which it is strained further. Doing so removes even the slightest bits of water present in the yogurt, allowing for a creamy and thick texture. Another purpose the straining serves is to bump up the amount of proteins found in greek yogurt recipes. Being such a rich source of protein, it is especially helpful to those on a diet and struggling to find healthy sources of protein through the day. Since it can have as much as three times more protein than yogurt does, one can have lesser quantities of it as well.

Diabetics that love having yogurt but are worried about the sugar content that will go into their bodies can rejoice with some greek yogurt recipes. Due to the process of straining, there is also a great deal of sugar content that is removed from the final mixture. This is why it is seen to be a boon to those looking to get fit and maintain a fat-free lifestyle. Homemade greek yogurt is the best for those wanting to stay away from sugar as it definitely does not have any of the additives that bigger companies put in.

At the same time, greek yogurt is low on sodium content which is wonderful news for those at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. For most part, having the yogurt can curb the rise of blood pressure and other heart related disorders. Since it cuts down the sodium content by 50%, it also allows for more helping through the day. All in all, adopting many of the greek yogurt recipes available makes for a healthy lifestyle any given day

Homemade Greek Yogurt

Homemade Greek style yogurt is like regular yogurt but without the whey. Whey is the soggy part of milk that is left once it has been curdled. Due to the absence of whey, Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than other types of yogurt. This lends it a nice texture and feel. Moreover, removing whey from yogurt makes it more nutritious. It’s not that plain yogurt is not nutritious and healthy, but without whey, there is less sugar and carbohydrates, and more protein.

In other words, it is superior to other types of yogurt in terms of nutrition.

How To Make Greek Yogurt

(Makes approx 6 cups – You can adjust quantities to increase yield)

You will need:
8 cups of milk
4 tablespoons of plain yogurt (with active cultures) or freeze dried yogurt starter
One ½-pint-sized jar and two quart-sized jars (with lids)
Thermometer
A cooler
Cheese cloth
Mesh strainer.
A heavy-bottomed pot big enough for 8 cups of milk
Directions:Step 1: Heat up the milk – Approx 7-8 mins
Pour milk into the pot and put it on the stove on medium heat. You have to heat the milk to 180oF. Use the thermometer regularly to ensure the milk’s temperature doesn’t exceed that level. Keep stirring the milk constantly. Once the milk has reached that temperature, remove the pot from the stove.

Step 2: Let the milk cool – Approx 20-45 mins

You have to let the milk cool to 110oF. You can either place the milk on the counter then wait for it to cool (Approx 45 mins), or make an ice bath in the sink and put the pot in it (Approx 20 mins). Keep checking the temperature so that it is exactly at 110oF.

Step 3: Add the yogurt culture/starter – Approx 2 mins

After the milk has cooled, pour the yogurt into the pot (or dry yogurt starter). Whisk the yogurt and milk so they combine properly. Make sure the two ingredients are thoroughly mixed, or else keep on whisking till they do. Pour the contents of the pot into the jars. Use two or three jars, as per your requirement. From experience, I can say that the two quart-sized jars should be enough. If that isn’t the case, simply pour the remaining mixture into the other jar. After the milk and yogurt have been completely transferred to the jars, put their lids on. Make sure the containers are completely airtight and there is no chance of the mixture coming out.

Step 4: Incubate the yogurt – Approx 6 hrs

Then, put the jars into the cooler. Fill the cooler up with water (temp 120oF) till the jars are nearly submerged, almost up to the lids. Don’t fill to the brim as the water might seep into the mixture through the lid. The temperature of the water has to be precisely 120oF. The thermometer will again come into play. Find a spot where no one will disturb the cooler. Close the lid and then keep it there for six hours. This is known as the ‘incubation’ period and is the distinct feature of the process of making Greek yogurt. The purpose of the incubation period is to speed up the culturing process. The cultures start taking effect, making the yogurt healthy and nutritious.

Step 5: Cool in fridge – Approx 6 hrs

Once the six-hour incubation is complete, move the containers from the cooler to the fridge. Here too you have to keep the containers for six hours. This is done so that the culturing can stop and the yogurt achieves its desired texture and taste. After six hours, remove the containers from the fridge. The yogurt is ready and in an edible state but is not Greek yogurt as of yet.

Step 6: Strain the yogurt – Approx 2-4 hrs

To strain the yogurt, you will use the mesh strainer. You will need a bowl for this. You can use the pot you used earlier for the initial steps.
Next, take the cheese cloth and line it along the sides of the bowl (or any vessel you use). It is better to double the layer to ensure the yogurt doesn’t seep out. Then, you have to spoon the yogurt on to the strainer. Leave it as it is for a couple of hours so that it drains out. You can let it stay longer if you feel the yogurt is not thick enough after two hours. After straining, your Greek yogurt is prepared and ready to eat. You can eat it right after removing it from the strainer and putting it in a container.