Thick and creamy homemade yogurt is so easy to make at home with just 2 ingredients and a heavy pot. It literally takes just a few minutes of actual hands on prep work to learn how to make yogurt at home. And, you don't need a yogurt maker. Once you make delicious homemade yogurt you may never go back to buying store-bought again.
There are many ways to make yogurt at home. I grew up with my dad making a large pot of yogurt over the stove and then incubating it in the oven with a towel wrapped all around it. It's seriously so easy. So that is exactly how we are going to do it too. You can also make yogurt in a yogurt maker if you prefer.
Homemade yogurt is so easy to make with just 2 ingredients. You will need:
- milk - 1 litre (or 4 cups) of milk. You can use milk with any type of fat content. I recommend using whole milk to get the thickest and creamiest yogurt. You can use skim or low-fat milk but the yogurt will be thinner (and thinner than store-bought yogurt that contains thickeners).
- plain yogurt - 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt. You have to make sure that your yogurt contains live bacteria culture. This is what will turn the milk into yogurt. You can also use yogurt starter. Once you make your first batch of yogurt, you can then use it to make your next batch.
How to Make the Best Homemade Yogurt
- Heat milk. Heat milk in a 4 qt. Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat and stir gently until it simmers, about 8 to 10 minutes. Insert a digital thermometer to get a quick reading. The milk should reach 180°F.
- Cool down. Remove from heat and stir occasionally. Let the yogurt cool down to 115°F.
- Add yogurt. Whisk yogurt (or yogurt starter) into milk and stir well to mix evenly.
- Incubate. Close the lid and place the Dutch oven into the oven (not heated) with the light on for 8-10 hours until the yogurt is set. I would move the Dutch oven close to the light to keep as warm as possible. It is recommended to keep the incubation temperature between 95°F to 115°F. Do not let the temperature go above 118°F or it could kill the live bacteria.
- Store. Once the yogurt is set, transfer it into the refrigerator to stop further fermentation. You can store the yogurt in the refrigerator up to 7 days. You can also use this yogurt to make your next batch.
How to Serve Homemade Yogurt
Serve creamy homemade yogurt with your favourite fruit and granola or in a fruit and yogurt parfait. Try it with cinnamon apple granola or coconut maple walnut granola. During the holidays, it's all about the pumpkin pie granola or gingerbread granola around here.
Tips and Frequently Ask Questions
- Can I use any kind of yogurt? Use plain yogurt and make sure that it contains active bacteria cultures.
- What kind of container should I use? Choose a container that will help the yogurt keep warm in oven. I recommend using a 4 qt. Dutch oven and wrapping a clean dry towel around it to keep the temperature steady between 100°F to 115°F.
- How do I monitor the temperature? The best way to monitor the temperature is to place a digital thermometer in the milk during incubation in oven. If the temperature is too high (above 115°F), move the Dutch oven to the lower rack and further away from the light. If the temperature drops under 100°F, turn the oven on for 15 seconds and off to generate some heat in oven.
- Can I incubate the yogurt for a longer period of time? The longer the incubation time and the higher the temperature, the more sour the yogurt will get.
- How to store: Store the yogurt in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.