Unearth the magic of tradition in your own kitchen with this homemade Greek yogurt recipe! It’s thick, creamy, and heavenly refreshing! Packed full of probiotics and nutrients, it’s not just a treat, it’s a gift for your wellbeing!
So, how to make your own homemade Greek yogurt.. This might sound a little scary but the process is relatively simple if you follow my recipe. And you’ll have your own fresh yogurt for every possible reason you might need it!
What is Greek yogurt?
Greek yogurt might be one of the most famous ingredients in Greek cuisine. It is very similar to regular yogurt but the whey that you see on the top of most yogurts is removed. This yellowish liquid is strained away during the creation of Greek yogurt and is why it is sometimes called ‘strained yogurt’.
The result is that it is thicker than regular yogurt and has a higher amount of protein while being lower in sugar. It does have more fat content unless you use non-fat milk (which I don’t recommend).
How to make Greek Yogurt – Key Ingredients
There are only two ingredients needed to make homemade yogurt Greek style: whole milk and live natural yogurt. Go for a plain yogurt for this recipe and I’ve always found that a natural yogurt is better than a live Greek yogurt because it has a looser consistency and mixes better with the milk.
Avoid using UHT or shelf-stable milk for this recipe as these don’t give good results.
How to make Greek yogurt – Key Preparation Tips
There are three main steps to take when making homemade Greek yogurt:
- Prepare the milk
- Heat then cool the mixture
- Strain and chill the yogurt
Prepare the milk
Line a large casserole or dutch oven that can hold all of the milk with clean dish towels and preheat the oven to 40 degrees Celsius / 104 Fahrenheit.
Heat the milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring almost continuously with a heatproof spatula to avoid burning on the bottom of the pan. Bring the temperature of the milk to between 82-88 degrees Celsius / 180-190 Fahrenheit, as measured using a sugar thermometer.
Heat the milk for 5 minutes while stirring continuously. If needed, adjust the heat to keep it within the temperature ranges above.
Add the milk to your glass bowl and allow it to cool to between 41-45 degrees Celsius / 105-110 Fahrenheit. Then add your 2 tablespoons of seed yoghurt. You want the milk to cool down so you don’t kill the yeast and bacteria in the natural yoghurt but, equally don’t want it to be cold as they won’t work!
Heat then cool the mixture
Add the bowl to the towel-lined casserole dish and into a pre-heated oven. Leave it there for at least 8 hours until the consistency is a little looser than natural yogurt. Cover it with kitchen wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
Remove the yogurt from the fridge and check the consistency. It should be thicker and have a rich, creamy and pleasantly tangy flavor.
Strain and chill the yogurt
Take a large rubber band and use it to secure a piece of cheesecloth over the top of another clean glass bowl. A wide mouthed jug would also work. Make sure there’s enough give in the cheesecloth so you can scrap the yogurt into the indentation.
Put the yogurt back in the fridge and allow it to strain for around 2 hours so it has the consistency of Greek yogurt.
Exactly how long this is depends on the amount of whey in the yogurt and how you like it.
Transfer the yogurt to an airtight container and use it within 7 days.
Tips for making homemade Greek yogurt for the first time
Making Greek yogurt is simple once you get the hang of it but there are a couple of tips to help you get the best results from the first attempt.
Due to the number of variables, it can be best to start with a smaller amount batch on your first attempt. 600ml or 2.5 cups of milk and one tablespoon of yogurt are ideal to get the first attempt out of the way.
Another first time tip if you go for the full batch size is to test the yogurt with a spoon around the 6-hour mark. If is it the right consistency, then you can continue to the next step.
Do you have to cook it for 8 hours?
Cooking the yogurt for 8 hours might seem like a lot of electricity! So there are some other options. The aim is to have somewhere with a consistently warm temperature that allows the good bacteria to multiply and thicken the milk.
This means somewhere like a warm laundry cupboard would also work. Even a gas oven with just an ambient light running is likely warm enough to get the yogurt making process to take place.
How to use the whey
The yellow liquid strained from the yogurt is called whey and there’s a lot you can do with it. For starters, you can use it in place of water for a longer life loaf of bread. It is also excellent to use for brining lamb chops.
You can also freeze the whey for up to 6 months in an airtight container or jar to use in other recipes.
Can you use your homemade yogurt to start the next batch?
You can use a couple of spoonfuls of your homemade yogurt to start the next batch but there’s a little consideration needed.
The chances of success depend on how many cultures it has developed and that depends on everything from temperature to the quality of the yogurt in the first batch. The longer the yogurt is in the fridge before you attempt to use it in the next batch will also increase the chances of success.
Making ahead of time and storing
Freshly made yogurt should be kept in the refrigerator and will last 7 days.
There are so many ways you can use Greek yogurt that you’ll never find yourself wasting any. From a simple breakfast with some fruit through to smoothies, parfaits and as a base for dips, you can find hundreds of delicious ideas for Greek yogurt. You can even use it for creamy dressings in place of mayonnaise or as part of sandwich fillings.
Delicious recipes with Greek Yogurt
- Greek Marinade for Chicken with yogurt
- Authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- Grandma’s Tiropitakia (Cheese Pies) With Flour Made In 5 Minutes
- Talatouri Recipe (Cypriot Tzatziki Sauce With Mint)
- Spicy Minced Lamb Kofta Kebab Recipe (Giaourtlou)
- Greek Yogurt Cake Soaked In Syrup Recipe (Yiaourtopita)
- Traditional Greek Orange Cake With Syrup (Portokalopita)
- Greek-Style Yogurt Chocolate Mousse With Crushed Biscuits Recipe
- Quick And Easy Greek Yogurt Dessert
- Pork Bites With Greek Yogurt Sauce
- Vasilopita cake recipe (Greek New Years cake)
How to make homemade Greek yogurt? Not as scary as it sounds! Thick, creamy, and heavenly refreshing Greek yogurt recipe!
- 1200ml whole milk (5 cups)
- 2 tbsp live natural yogurt (plain yogurt)
- Pre-heat the oven to 40 degrees celsius / 104 fahrenheit. Line a large casserole or dutch oven large enough to hold a glass mixing bowl that will hold all the milk with clean dish towels.
- Heat the milk over a medium high heat in a large saucepan, stirring almost constantly with a heatproof spatula to make sure the milk does not burn on the bottom of the pan. Bring the milk to somewhere between 82-88 degrees Celsius / 180-190 Fahrenheit, measured with a sugar thermometer.
- Heat the milk for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, and adjusting the heat if necessary to keep it within the correct temperature range.
- Pour the milk into your glass bowl and allow to cool to between 41-45 degrees celsius / 105-110 fahrenheit.
- Add your 2 tablespoons of “seed” yoghurt to the lukewarm milk.
- Transfer the bowl to the dish towel lined casserole and transfer to the pre-heated oven. Leave for at least 8 hours until the yogurt has reached a consistency slightly looser than natural yogurt. Cover with kitchen wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
- Remove the yogurt from the fridge, it should have thickened slightly and it should taste rich, creamy and pleasantly tangy.
- Use a large rubber band to secure a piece of cheesecloth over the top of another clean glass bowl or wide mouthed jug. Allow just enough give in the cheesecloth to allow you to scrape the yogurt into the indentation.
- Return to the fridge and allow to strain for at least 2 hours to reach the consistency of Greek yogurt – the exact timings will rely on the amount of whey in your yogurt and personal preference.
- Transfer to a clean air tight tub or container and consume within 7 days.
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