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DIY: Homemade Greek Yogurt

DIY: Homemade Greek Yogurt on @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with yogurt for the past ten years or so. I eat it in spurts, and began eating it after college when I worked in an office as breakfast or an afternoon snack. It wasn’t until much later when I began learning more about sugar, aspartame and added ingredients, that I realized that my fruit-flavored yogurt wasn’t really all that good for me at all. I’ve tried plain yogurt a couple of times in the recent past, but I really didn’t care much for the taste at all. I started adding honey, but really didn’t want to add extra sweetener, as I felt it defeated the purpose of eating plain yogurt. This summer, my taste buds did a 360. I tried the plain yogurt again with fresh fruit, and voila! Somehow, I liked it and didn’t feel the need for any additional sweetener. Naturally, my next step was to make it at home.

DIY: Homemade Greek Yogurt on @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

This was my first successful homemade dairy product, and I was beyond thrilled! I’ve tried mozzarella more than a couple of times now, and have yet to achieve great results. The yogurt really could not have been easier to make. Simply heat up milk in a saucepan, let it cool down, whisk in a little bit of plain yogurt as a starter, then let it incubate and work its magic. For true Greek-style yogurt, the yogurt is strained of the whey so that it’s even thicker and creamier.

I thought this yogurt was absolutely fantastic. Thick, creamy, tangy and the perfect flavor. You could even stir in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract for additional flavor, if you’d like. While a few recipes that I found called for dry milk powder as an optional ingredient, I chose to leave it out. I wanted more of a pure, clean product, and was very happy with these results.

This summer, I’ve been pairing my plain yogurt with either mango or nectarine, and a handful of pistachios. I love having it for breakfast, as it keeps me full for a pretty long time. What’s your favorite way to enjoy yogurt?

DIY: Homemade Greek Yogurt on @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Peach Strudel and Malted Milk Chocolate Chip, Peanut & Pretzel Oatmeal Cookies
Two years ago: Honey Fig Scones and Bread and Butter Pickles
Three years ago: Lemon Bars and Artichoke Spinach Dip
Four years ago: Potato-Bacon Torte and Blueberry-Buttermilk Scones
Five years ago: Croissants
Six years ago: Ranch Pretzels

DIY: Homemade Greek Yogurt

Yield: 2 cups

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 15 hours

An easy recipe for making homemade Greek yogurt.

Ingredients:

4 cups low-fat milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
¼ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

Directions:

1. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large glass bowl; set aside. Heat the milk over medium-low heat (do not stir while heating), until the milk reaches 185 degrees F. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 160 degrees F. Strain the milk through the prepared strainer and let cool, gently stirring occasionally, until the milk registers 110 to 112 degrees F.

greek-yogurt-prep1

2. In a small bowl, gently stir about ½ cup of the warm milk into the yogurt until smooth. Stir the yogurt mixture back into the milk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and poke several holes in the plastic. Place the bowl in the oven and turn on the oven light, creating a warm environment of 100 to 110 degrees F. Let the yogurt sit undisturbed until thickened and set, 5 to 7 hours. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 3 hours.

greek-yogurt-prep2

3. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a 4-cup or 8-cup measuring cup and line with a double layer of coffee filters or cheesecloth. Transfer the yogurt to the prepared strainer, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until about 2 cups of liquid have drained into the measuring cup, about anywhere from 4 to 8 hours (I left mine for a long time and it plateaued at about 1.5 cups).

greek-yogurt-prep3

Transfer the strained yogurt to an airtight container or jar, discarding the strained liquid. The yogurt can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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57 Responses to “DIY: Homemade Greek Yogurt”

  1. GB on August 27, 2013 at 1:01 am

    I eat a lot of Greek yoghurt, almost every day. Mostly I eat it with blueberries, but it’s fantastic with a coulis de cassis (black currant) or in winter, just with a tablespoon of maple syrup. I’ve made my own yoghurt before, I even have a yoghurt maker – time to dig it out again…..

    Reply

  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 27, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Your yogurt looks absolutely perfect! I’ve never made yogurt, but I make kefir (vegan, with coconut milk) and kombucha and have pickled and fermented tons of things but I’ve never done yogurt. Not sure why! Needs to change!

    Reply

  3. Susan on August 27, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I like my plain yogurt with homemade granola. Yum!

    Reply

  4. Daphne on August 27, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Thank you so much for posting a recipe for DIY Greek Yogurt! I love Greek yogurt but since it is more expensive, I tend to shy away from it and only buy it when it is on sale. I will definitely be trying this recipe out very shortly!

    Reply

  5. Jamie @lifelovelemons on August 27, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Oh my gosh, you made that yourself?! Fab!

    Reply

  6. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on August 27, 2013 at 9:06 am

    We go through so much Greek yogurt around here, it would be nice to learn how to make it. I think the step by step pics are great! They are always more helpful to me when doing recipes!

    Reply

  7. Leia on August 27, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Guess what?? Homemade yogurt is a snap, but don’t throw away the liquid-that is whey. I use it in breads in place of water and in biscuits in place of milk. It is very good for you, no need to pitch it down the drain.

    Next try homemade Ricotta…also a breeze to make.

    Reply

    • Meg on August 27th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      I haven’t had any luck with homemade ricotta. What’s your method?

      Reply

      • Nicole on August 27th, 2013 at 9:05 pm

        I have had success making Anne Burrell’s recipe for ricotta from Food Network. I make it with Lactaid milk and use it to make stuffed shells, lasagna, etc for my lactose intolerant husband.

        Reply

    • Kim on August 31st, 2013 at 1:35 am

      Thanks for your comment, Meg!

      I was going to ask what we might do with the whey other than throwing it out. I was thinking adding some to cream soups?

      This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I wonder, since there is so much protein in whey… Does Greek yogurt have less protein than regular yogurt?

      Reply

  8. Karen Lynch on August 27, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Definetely want to try this. I thought you needed a yogurt maker and starter to make yogurt. Thanks for the post.

    Reply

  9. indacampo on August 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Like Leia I also keep the whey and use it to bake bread instead of the buttermilk in the recipe I use. It is very high in protein and it makes for a very moist, light loaf!

    Reply

    • Leia on August 27th, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Right, Indacampo, the whey is too valuable to throw out. And it DOES make for moister baked goods. All of you ladies need to try it when you make your yogurt. I even save it when making Ricotta, it has a lemon bite to it, but isn’t all that noticeable in many baked goods.

      Reply

  10. Belinda @themoonblushbaker on August 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I would love to try this for end end project and I keen to try the whey in baked goods! It seems to be very nutritious!

    Yours looks so creamy, I would could I get the same results with other animal milk like goat?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 27th, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Belinda, I have never used goat milk, so unfortunately I can’t say for sure how the results would be affected.

      Reply

  11. Pieliekamais on August 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I didn’t know yogurt was something you could make at home :).
    I LOVE that first picture.

    Reply

  12. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on August 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I LOVE Greek yogurt and eat it and bake with it all the time. I’ve never made my own, and I’ll bet it tastes phenomenal. Looks delicious!

    Reply

  13. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on August 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    My husband eats SO much Greek yogurt. This will come in handy!

    Reply

  14. Emily on August 27, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I eat Greek yoghurt every day for lunch over whatever fresh fruit I have — bananas, melon, peaches, berries. I’m eager to try this recipe out! Looks fabulous! Thanks, Michelle!

    Reply

  15. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie on August 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make yogurt for a long time, and when the Greek yogurt became popular I then wanted to make that instead of the regular. One day I will get the motivation to try it!

    Reply

  16. Brenda on August 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    My breakfast of late has been Greek yogurt (honey or vanilla) with fresh peaches, blueberries, and bananas topped with a few chia seeds and some granola. I just had some Tzatziki at my favorite Greek restaurant and I’m pretty sure they used Greek yogurt for the base – very refreshing!

    Reply

  17. Meg on August 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Don’t discard the liquid! Use the whey instead of milk or water in pancakes or bread recipes. You can freeze for future use too.

    Reply

  18. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist on August 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I used to work in a bakery that made (ie I made for them) homemade yogurt. I also would take their incubators home on the weekends and make batches of it just for me! I loved it and it was such a therapeutic activity for me. I should totally buy an incubator and start doing that again!

    Reply

  19. Kerry on August 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I know you’re having issues with your mozzarella. I just made it last night, and it turned out well. The recipe I followed was very specific that pasturized milk often results in failed mozzarella. I’m not sure if you’ve tried unpasturized milk, but that might help.

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 29th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Kerry, Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find unpasteurized milk. The closest I got was a pasteurized, non-homogenized, low-processed milk, but that didn’t work out well either :-/

      Reply

  20. Holly on August 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    You can skip the straining part if you add a little powdered milk to the milk as it heats up and then hold the temperature of the milk as it heats on the stove at around 180 for about 20 minutes. I also like to add a vanilla bean and seeds to the milk as it warms to give the plain yogurt a bit of a vanilla taste. My yogurt maker with a digital timer is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. :)

    Reply

  21. Margee on August 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Does anyone know – once you’ve made your yogurt, can you use it in your next batch of yogurt to replace the 1/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt in the original recipe?

    Reply

    • Maria on August 27th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Yes. And you can do this batch after batch.

      Reply

    • Michelle on August 29th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Margee, I have seen advice go both ways for this, but I am using my own as the starter and haven’t had an issue yet!

      Reply

  22. Kari@Loaves n Dishes on August 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve been thinking of making yogurt for quite a while, and now your creamy yogurt has totally inspired me!

    Reply

  23. Jane on August 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    How is this making Greek yogurt if one of the ingredients is that?

    Reply

  24. Sues on August 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I soooo need to try this!!

    Reply

  25. Alley @ Alley's Recipe Book on August 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I didn’t realize it was that easy. I have been eating yogurt, granola, and fruit for breakfast the past couple weeks… but before that, I really never ate yogurt.

    Reply

  26. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking on August 28, 2013 at 3:50 am

    I should really make my own yogurt. We eat so much Greek Yogurt I’m still surprised I haven’t attempted to make my own. Need to change that!

    Reply

  27. Barbara on August 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Topped with some good granola and a fresh peach is my favorite way lately. And save that whey — it’s a great substitute for buttermilk on pancakes. I keep a jar in the freezer and add more each time I make yogurt.

    Reply

  28. Dana on August 29, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I tried this and it worked! So happy. Yogurt was smooth and creamy. It wasn’t as sharp tasting as the store version which was good for me. I had been trying to make a Vietnamese yogurt (made with sweetened condensed milk) for the past 6 months but it was always too runny. I was gearing up for another round to get it right when I saw your post. Bam! I got yummy yogurt. I did stir in about a 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk so I got my Vietnamese yogurt just in opposite order as my previous attempts. What a confidence booster of a recipe. Thanks again!

    Reply

  29. 2 Sisters Recipes on August 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I made this about 8 years ago when I caught a recipe from a magazine and wished I had saved that recipe. I bet yours is delicious!

    Reply

  30. david jackson on August 30, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I eat a lot of Greek yogurt, almost every morning; your yogurt looks absolutely perfect! This summer, I’ve been pairing my plain yogurt with either mango or nectarine, and a handful of pistachios.

    Reply

  31. Joshua Hampton (Cooking Classes San Diego) on August 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I can’t stand plain yogurt as it is. But I love adding yogurt to my smoothies, as well as dipping fruits in yogurt. My finding this recipe on your blog is somehow serendipitous – I was of the mind to learn how to make yogurt from scratch. So, thanks.

    Reply

  32. Arthur in the garden! on September 1, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Nice!

    Reply

  33. Karen Chaudoin on September 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Can you use coconut milk to make this? I will have to try. I eat Greek Yogurt everyday for breakfast with mixed berries and coconut chia granola. Since I have a yogurt maker I need to make my own! Thank you for the recipe and inspiration!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 26th, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Karen, That’s a good question, and I’m not sure. Please let me know how it turns out if you give it a try!

      Reply

  34. Diane on October 8, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Can I use 0% fat Greek yogurt in place of the 2% fat Greek yogurt as called for in the ingredients?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 11th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Diane, I think you could do that without a problem.

      Reply

  35. Diane on October 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Would this yogurt be as high in protein as what you would buy in the store and does it contain live bacterial culture or do you have to add that in?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 12th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Hi Diane, It would have the same amount of protein. It does have live bacterial culture, thanks to the “starter” of the regular yogurt and incubating the yogurt.

      Reply

  36. Chef Yianni on November 12, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I have been making my own Greek yogurt in 2 gallon batches, recently. And have had good success. It has been easy and economic to make and use

    Reply

  37. Mike on November 16, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Just my 2 cents having tried the recipe — it comes out delicious but the straining process is not really practical. It takes so, so much milk to make just a little bit of greek yogurt, as most of the milk’s volume becomes whey that filters out, and a lot of the yogurt gets inseparably stuck to the cheesecloth or filter. With a gallon of milk, I ended up with 1 very small bowl of greek yogurt.

    Reply

  38. caro on January 3, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I really want to try it but I have a question befor.
    Do I have to keep it 100 °C all the time or just bring the oven to 100
    °C, then power off and let the mix sit there for the time?
    Thank you:)

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 3rd, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Hi Caro, You should maintain a very warm environment around 100 degrees. If you can turn your oven off and keep the door shut and it will maintain the temperature, then that is okay. I know folks will do that and leave the oven light on for some ambient heat.

      Reply

  39. Cathy D on January 6, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Hiya, just noticed a problem in Caro’s comment; she typed the oven temp at 100C but the correct temp is 100F. Hopefully she realizes that… :)

    Reply

  40. den on March 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

    so….u need greek yogurt to make homemade greek yogurt??????????????

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 23rd, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Yes, you need a starter to get it going.

      Reply

  41. Molly on April 16, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! Love greek yogurt but HATE the price tag. Not to mention I had jaw surgery not ro long ago; soft food diet anyone? I was just curious, about how much yogurt does this make? I didn’t see anyone ask this or it in any of the directions. Sorry if I some how missed it!

    Reply

  42. Moly on April 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    To* So sorry! I just noticed the ‘yield’ line at the top of the recipe.

    Reply

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