Easy Homemade Yogurt

by Daisy

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To make yogurt, you have to have yogurt or a store-bought culture.

THAT was a big disappointment to me. I like doing something from SCRATCH-O-LA. But, then I learned why. It’s not because the art of yogurt making is lost. It’s because we pasteurize in this country. The naturally occurring, beneficial bacteria that are born in the milk are killed with the baddies. So none of the cultured milk products can be made sans store-bought starter without your very own goat or cow. (Which I am two seconds from buying a dwarf goat, I tell ya. Just waiting on the go-ahead from the Town.)

So, suck it up and go buy some plain yogurt. But read the back and make sure there’s no gelatin or other nonsense in it. One of the ORGANIC brands has, like, ten ingredients on the back. Don’t do that. Look for this:

One ingredient. ACTIVE cultures.
Ivory’s Yummy Yogurt

1 qt milk (whole, 2%, skim, soy, or reconstituted dry milk)
1 cup dry milk powder
1/2 cup yogurt

1. Heat first two ingredients to 180 degrees to kill off any competing bacteria. Pour into a covered container to cool to 110-ish.

2. Add some of the warm milk to yogurt and mix before slowly incorporating into the big bowl of warm milk. (Hello Kitty cereal bowl not required)

3. Cover. Place in oven on lowest setting possible for 4-8 hours depending on the tang you like. The goal is to incubate it at around 110 degrees. If the oven system sounds un-fun, wrap the container in a towel and set it on a heating pad. Just poke it periodically with a thermometer the first hour or two to make sure you aren’t killing the culture.

( I’m in a dinner swap co-op, so I have SO many dishes here that aren’t mine.
My finger is covering the real owner’s name. HA!)

4. Chill when you like the consistency. (Check consistency by tilting. For the love of Pete, DON’T stir it. I killed three batches that way. Runny, blech.) It will come out a bit firmer than what you see in the oven. I like REALLY firm yogurt, so I also put a cloth on it in the fridge to soak up the naturally separating whey.

5. Serve.
(To make the strawberry yogurt at the top of the page, stir in the jam dollop. The bottom pic and the top is the same scoop.)

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirley June 19, 2009 at 11:08 am

Home made yogurt is the best I have a yogurt maker which I brought from the U.K. when I moved to Florida, but because of the difference in the elecricity cannot use it any more.

ivorysoap76 June 22, 2009 at 11:00 am

@Shirley–You can’t find a converter?

Dana August 19, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I get raw milk. Can I still use this recipe? Is there one for unpasteurized milk?

Ivory Soap August 20, 2009 at 6:15 am

By heating it up to 180, you’re 35 degrees past pasteurization temperature. I’m pretty sure all milk is equal after that point, but I’m not a raw milk expert. Sorry!

Mamamoonchild August 29, 2009 at 2:02 am


I’m having a heckuva time finding one-ingredient yogurt. Mind sharing what brand you used?


Mamamoonchild August 29, 2009 at 2:03 am

Oh, also, why the powdered milk? Will it work without it?

Ivory Soap September 1, 2009 at 11:55 am

@Mamamoonchild–Yes, it will work without it, but having the milk a little more concentrated than usual milk helps with coagulation. It’s a crutch.

Ivory Soap September 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

I think it’s Dannon. It’s something really main stream in the US.

Forrest October 8, 2009 at 11:46 am

The brand of yogurt is Dannon. At least that is what the pic reads in bright red letters… ‘Questions and comments?, call 1-877-DANNONUS or visit “www.DANNON.com”

dan September 2, 2010 at 5:56 am

When I make yoghurt I leave it in the oven with just the oven light on – that seems to generate enough heat over 8 hours for it to work every time – and much less electricity than actually turning the oven on.

Joy June 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm

My oven’s lowest temp is 170 is that too hot to incubate it since that is almost hot enough to scald milk?

Stacy September 20, 2011 at 11:39 am

170 is too hot for yogurt cultures to survive. They really don’t like it to be much over 115, and will grow even as cool as 80. 100 is sort of the sweet spot. One site I saw suggested that you turn the oven on to 200 for a couple minutes, then turn it off and leave the door shut, and that should keep it warm enough for at least several hours.

Melissa November 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

Hi I just wanted to thank you for your recipe. I prepped and cooked it my yogurt maker last night and this morning I had perfect yogurt. Thank you. (I used some of my strawberry rhubarb jam in mine.) I made too much and need to make cream cheese with the extra. I was wondering though if the homemade yogurt has the cultures still and could use what I made to make more. Kind of like sourdough starter, just keep it growing.

Joelle May 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I have been making my own yogurt for a few months now. Love it! I use a 2 litre (I’m Canadian…) or 2 quart of milk. Heat to boiling. Let it cool until you can touch it. Then I add 1/2 cup of plain yogurt (I started with Astro). Wisk it in. Pour into jars. Put in a cooler with a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. That’s it! I usually do this late in the day or evening then it’s ready by morning. Melissa, I always just use a 1/2 cup of my own yogurt for my next batch. Works great! I have never tried it with the powdered milk.

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