Made From Scratch :: Yogurt

I think everything I’ve made from scratch this week has been fairly obvious. Today, not so much. We eat a lot of yogurt around here — Papa and I both enjoy it with granola for breakfast and the urchins enjoy it for breakfast and snacks too. So, instead of paying for all that yogurt we make it instead.

You can make yogurt without a machine and you can make yogurt without using a powdered starter but you’ll have better success if you use both. We have an older version of this machine and my in-laws use this machine. The difference is mostly personal preference — our machine makes seven 6-oz jars of yogurt, their machine makes 1 or 2 liters of yogurt in one large container. As for the starter, you can use yogurt as a starter — similar to how you use sourdough to start more sourdough — just make sure it has active, live cultures. You’ll probably have more luck, though, if you use a powdered starter. We use the Yogourmet starter. We get it mailorder but I’ve also seen it in Whole Foods. Okay, so let’s make some yogurt.


Pour 40 oz ultra-pasteurized milk into a large measuring cup. Using ultra-pasteurized means you don’t have to sterilize the milk first.
Warm the milk to room temperature — I do this by microwaving the milk for about 2 minutes.
Add the powdered starter and whisk until it’s fully dissolved.


Divide equally among the jars.


Put the jars in the machine and turn it on. For 2% milk we let them cook for 15 hours to get a nice thick yogurt, for whole milk we cook it for 8 hours.


Put the lids on the jars and pop them in the fridge, voilà yogurt.
If we want fruit flavored yogurt we just add a little jam to the jar before we eat it but a lot of the time just granola is enough.


Organic Plain Yogurt = $1.00 per 6 oz. container
Homemade Plain Yogurt** = $0.46 per 6 oz. jar

(*Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurt, ** $0.06 per ounce organic 2% milk, $0.83 yogurt starter)


12 Responses to “Made From Scratch :: Yogurt”

  1. 1 Andrea February 22, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try this. It also looks like a great kid-friendly project. Are those baby food jars or jars that came with the machine?

  2. 2 Anina February 22, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    This reminds me of childhood. The milkman used to deliver yogurt with the milk in little glass jars. Full cream yogurt. Yum.
    My mom used to make yogurt too. She would use Thermos flasks to keep it warm.

  3. 3 melissa February 23, 2008 at 10:45 am

    I have a donvier machine and that makes 8 cups. Even with milk at $3 or $4 a gallon, homemade yogurt is a bargain compared to buying it at Whole Foods. I eat it in the mornings with a couple of crushed walnuts and a teaspoon of honey- that combo of proteins will hold me from 8am to 1pm!

    I think I first got interested in making yogurt with French Women Don’t Get Fat came out and have been making it ever since.

  4. 4 amy February 23, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    cool beans
    I think I know what I want to add to the 2008 year list
    a yogurt maker!!!
    We buy it so much!
    makes sense

  5. 5 Jacquie February 25, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Thanks so much for all these recipes. I haven’t made yogurt for years. This might just motivate me to start again. That tomato sauce looks really good too. I think I’ll give that one a try right away!

  6. 6 amandajean February 25, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    how does it taste compared to store bought? I never would have thought of making my own, but I bet it is just delightful with granola.

  7. 7 Berlinswhimsy March 2, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Oh yay, I’m so glad to see that others like to make yogurt, too! I love it—it is such a simple bit of pleasure and my kids love yogurt.

  8. 8 Ellen March 6, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for posting this – it’s just the kick in the butt I need. I was just saying to a friend last Friday that I HAVE to make my own yogurt. Actually have been thinking about doing this for quite awhile – just a bit intimidated by it. We go through it like water (well, maybe not water since only some of my kids like water… maybe like juice?)

  9. 9 Mama Monster March 6, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I makee it using a water bath in a crock pot instead of the yogurt maker (which I also use– it just doesn’t make enough for my yogurt eating fiends). Also, I sometimes add brown rice syrup and vanilla before incubating. The kids like that.

  10. 10 Sonja Lasagna March 23, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Hi there. I had bad luck in the past with a yogurt maker (not sure where I went wrong – it was a Salton) and I’d love to make yogurt without a machine, if possible. How do you do it in the crockpot, Mama Monster? I’ve tried using the oven and the crockpot, but with only minor success. Help!!! Can someone recommend a particular yogurt maker? One with a large container? Thanks.

  11. 11 Marta January 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    You can make yogurt without a machine. Once you’ve innoculated your milk and filled your jars and screwed the caps on (lightly) you’re ready to go. Just get a cooler, fill with water that is 110 degrees fahrenheit and stick the jars of yogurt into the cooler (make sure the water does not reach the tops of the closed jars to avoid any contamination). Close the top and leave in for 8-10 hours (or make it in the afternoon and stick in the finished yogurt into the fridge in the a.m. after you wake up).

  12. 12 Ellen Condon November 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I just mde my first batch with my EuroCuisine yogurt machine. it was rather soft. I used 1 percent lactose free mike and a 5.3 oz pkg of organic yogurt. Would a 2 percent milk or starter make it thicker? Like Greek yogurt???

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