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August 27, 2008

Homemade Greek-style Yogurt

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Homemade Greek-style Yogurt
as good as store-bought Greek-style yogurt

Yogurt Cheese Balls In Olive Oil
yogurt cheese balls in olive oil

I'm a late bloomer in appreciating yogurt. Just a little over a year ago I wrote about my aversion to frozen yogurt although I have always loved tzatziki. I can't remember what brought it on but early this year I started liking yogurt including drinks, smoothies, kefir, and lately cheese which is so much yummier than cream cheese. I can't seem to get enough of it, I always keep a tub or two in the refrigerator. The cookbook FROM THE LANDS OF FIGS AND OLIVES has several recipes for making yogurt (laban) and yogurt cheese. I got curious if it is really that easy to make yogurt at home and yes I can say after making several batches it's a piece of cake but the process takes at least 2 days which is not so bad if I want an endless supply of yogurt. To make a flavorful yogurt at home I only need milk and 2 T of Greek-style yogurt available from the grocery, I make sure they have no additives like xanthan gum, rennet, or gelatin. I use a flat-bottomed super-fine plastic strainer set on a bowl instead of the usual cheesecloth hanging on something to let the whey drip into a container underneath. That method takes lots of space in the refrigerator and I don't know where to hang the cheesecloth bag from. The end result is the same anyway. I also make cheese balls by adding salt to the yogurt and letting them drain some more on several changes of round coffee filters until they are drier and firmer.

Homemade Greek-style Yogurt
2 quarts milk
2 T Greek-style yogurt, at room temperature

Put the 2 T of yogurt in a well-cleaned 2-quart jar with wide mouth (you may use a glass bowl). Stir several times with a wire whisk until smooth. Set aside.






Clip a thermometer on the side of a medium saucepan, add the milk and heat over medium heat to 180°F, stirring occasionally to ensure correct reading. Turn the heat off and let the milk cool to 115°F.





Pour about ¼ cup of the warm milk into the jar, whisk gently until smooth. Add the rest of the milk ¼ cup at a time, whisking after each addition to make sure the yogurt is mixed in thoroughly.






Cover top of jar with a coffee filter and secure with an elastic band. Place in an oven with light on and leave for 6 hours or overnight.






The yogurt should have set after 6 hours. Pour into a fine plastic strainer set over a bowl. Leave in the refrigerator overnight to drain.






Throw the whey away.









The yogurt is now ready to eat or make into cheese. Transfer into a suitable container with a tight lid. This will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Yield: 1¾ C





I'm sending this to Joelen's Culinary Adventures: Tasty Tools (Whisk).

17 comments:

Joelen said...

This looks wonderful! You could even submit this to my Tasty Tools event, featuring whisks since you used it to make this! Details are in my blog's left sidebar. :)

paoix said...

good stuff! pass the souvlaki

Dhanggit said...

oh oggi this sounds a delicious gift to give!! my MIL is crazy about yogurt making i'll definitely give this recipe to her :-) but i need to translate first in french LOL

oggi said...

Joelen, thanks. I'll link the post today.:)

Paoix, souvlaki...I think I'll have that for lunch this weekend.:)

Dhanggit, yogurt is the latest food my daughter and myself are crazy for.

I think are automatic translators online, although not very accurate but you can try it.:)

Lori Lynn said...

Sounds great. I especially like the cheese balls in olive oil photo, the color and the symmetry.

But I have to tell you, I haven't seen an oven with a pilot light in years...

Kevin said...

I have a hard time finding Greek yogurt and making your own sounds like fun.

oggi said...

Lori Lynn, double thanks!:)

Kevin, if you have lots of refrigerator room it's worth making.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Nice pictorial description to make yoghurt. Fist time here u have a nice blog.

oggi said...

Kitchen Flavours, thanks. Will visit your site in a few.:)

sakima said...

important note!

use goat and sheep milk if you can find. It's fattier but 10 times better than with cow's milk.

texas grrrl said...

Hi, I make tons of Greek-style yogurt and have followed the directions that say DO NOT STIR OR WHISK, as it makes your yogurt have a grainier texture.....try some stirred, some not and see for yourself. You add your starter down the side of your container, trying not to disturb the skin that forms on the milk while heating. I use a little less than 1/2 cup yogurt starter per gallon of milk. If you use too much starter, your yogurt starts out more bitter. I make this twice a week using 3 gallons of full fat organic milk. You will get 1 1/2 gallons Greek-style yogurt and 1 1/2 gallons of whey. The whey is nutritious...use it to make bread, mix it in drinks, mix it with a tamarind concentrate....it is what runners drink.....sometimes I will add a quart or more of organic whipping cream to the milk to make a really rich yogurt....this is good for desserts or frozen yogurt recipes.....

texas grrrl said...

Hi, I make tons of Greek-style yogurt and have followed the directions that say DO NOT STIR OR WHISK, as it makes your yogurt grainier.....try some stirred, some not and see for yourself. You add your starter down the side of your container, trying not to disturb the skin that forms on the milk while heating. I use a little less than 1/2 cup yogurt starter per gallon of milk. If you use too much starter, your yogurt starts out more bitter. I make this twice a week using 3 gallons of full fat organic milk. You will get 1 1/2 gallons Greek-style yogurt and 1 1/2 gallons of whey. The whey is nutritious...use it to make bread, mix it in drinks, mix it with a tamarind concentrate....it is what runners drink.....

Anonymous said...

It's been 6 hours and it is still a milk-like consistency. What should I do?

oggi said...

Anonymous, leave it overnight. It says in the recipe 6 hours or overnight (fourth paragraph). Make sure the yogurt you are using doesn't have thickening agent like carageenan or xanthan gum. If your yogurt has any of those the milk might not set at all. Let me know how it turns out after a total of 24 hours.

Heyjami said...

I was worried when I read texas grrl's comments about not stirring but my batch turned out great.
Thanks for the recipe!

I'm curious about the nutritional difference between the various greek yogurts on the market. Fage 0% has double the protein g as the carbs. And their ingredients are just milk and the starter culture.

Gary said...

I'm curious about the yield. Do you really get only 14 ounces out for 64 ounces of milk plus 1 ounce of yogurt?

oggi said...

Hi Gary,

After draining the whey, the yield would be less than a pound. I drained the yogurt really well for a thick consistency, almost like a farmer's cheese.

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