Cooking with Anna: Yogurt Making

Making yogurt is not hard nor is it a complicated process. And, if you flop a batch? No problem. There are plenty of things plain yogurt is good in, so runny yogurt would work great. Start thinking muffins, cornbread, smoothies, and more. That being said, we have not had any problems (except for forgetting the milk on the stove and what a mess that makes!) that we can remember with this way of making yogurt. The full recipe is at the end of the post.

Get your gallon of whole milk out.

Pour the milk into a large pot. We know others that use crockpots, but Anna prefers the large pot.

Stir, keeping an eye on the temperature. Beware; it does take a while to warm up, so it is easy to forget about it! Setting a timer is a must. We have experienced forgetting it and finding milk boiling out of the pot–it got just a little too hot!

Checking the temperature.

Once the temperature has reached 185-190°, remove pot from stove. Place the pot in the sink, and fill sink with cold water.

Stir occasionally, keeping an eye on the temperature. Once it has reached 120°, you are ready for the next step.

It’s best to have these next two ingredients out and ready so once your milk has cooled you can add them. This is unflavored gelatin.

Yogurt starter ready.

Dump into cooled milk.

Empty gelatin packets in. Make sure you stir the milk well!

Pour milk into jars.

Put lids on each jar.

Place in cooler.

Give the jars a warm/hot water bath.

Let sit in cooler for 6-10 hours.

Take out of cooler, wiping each jar off.

Yogurt is ready to be placed in the refrigerator.

After yogurt is chilled, enjoy! Make it into fruit yogurt by stirring in non-sugar sweetened jam. Add vanilla and honey for a creamy, vanilla yogurt. Top with fruit and drizzle honey for a pretty breakfast. Add yogurt to a breakfast smoothie. The possibilites are endless. Use your creativity.

Anna’s Yogurt Recipe

1 gallon whole milk
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 Yoplait yogurt (I like to use Yoplait, because I know it works well. The little bit of starter doesn’t flavor the batch, so it doesn’t matter what flavor you get. Important: whatever brand you get should say “Live and Active Cultures” on it!)

Pour milk into saucepan. Turn on low. Stir while heating milk (Doesn’t have to be constant, but don’t want the milk to burn on the bottom). Heat milk to 185-190° then place pan into cool bath of water in sink. Cool to 120°. Thoroughly whisk in the yogurt starter (Yoplait yogurt). Whisk in gelatin. Pour into jars and put on lids. Place jars in small cooler. Cover jars with hot tap water. The goal is to keep the cooler around 110°, but it varies. I really don’t watch the temperature that closely anymore I just make sure it stays nice and warm in the cooler. Let it sit for about 6-10 hours give or take a few hours. When it has reached the desired consistency/tartness remove from cooler and put in fridge. Once it has cooled serve and enjoy.

You can make smaller batches just by shrinking the recipe without any problems.

“Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.”

–Genesis 50:21

38 thoughts on “Cooking with Anna: Yogurt Making”

  1. When my chikdren were growing up I made all our yogurt, and recently started making it again. I do raise my own culture, hove you done this?

    I would love to make the recipe, but with just me eating here that would a lot of yogurt for me eat :)

    –Mrs. Mari
    We haven’t tried our own culture. The current way is pretty simple.

  2. Hello! I just wanted to say that I too enjoy making yogurt! I do it differently though- after I heat and cool the milk, I carefully stir in 1/2 a cup of plain yogurt from a previous batch (we don’t buy yogurt from the store). Then I pour the mixture into jars and let in sit in a warm oven (I preheat it, then turn it off) overnight.
    We buy our raw milk from a couple near by us who run a small dairy farm. It’s such a good feeling to know that I am preparing something that will be as delicious as it is nutritious for my family! We are very much into eating organic, raw, healthy foods, (we aren’t vegetarians though) and it gives me satisfaction to be able to feed my parents and siblings good food without all the junk added in.
    Thanks for the post! I hope that you have fun making more yogurt in the future! :)

  3. Wow! That doesn’t look too hard and it looks like fun! And what good timing to read this post because our animal for the week (with my little ones) is a cow. I was already going to make some butter and cheese with them…yogurt is perfect too!
    And the verse you chose is one of my favorites. I love the story of Joseph. I just read it in my Bible reading last month and it brings tears to my eyes every time. Our Lord is so good!

  4. This is great! We go through ALOT of yogurt at our house so this would save us lots of $$. I’ve never considered making it because I thought it would be way more difficult. I don’t have any jars but will be getting some.

    Thank you Anna,

  5. I have a question: do you sterilize (boil) the jars and lids before you add the yogurt?

    Thanks for this post!
    No just wash them well.

  6. Homemade yogurt is delicious and economical!

    A few tips that might be helpful for smaller families, who are making smaller batches:

    I make just 1 quart of yogurt at a time. I freeze my yogurt “starter” in ice cube trays (I buy one of the larger containers of plain yogurt and freeze it all), pop the cubes out when frozen and store in a ziploc bag in the freezer, and then thaw one ice cube per quart batch. I then proceed with the same instructions as Anna–except I wrap my my quart jar with a kitchen towel and place on a heating pad (set to med or high) for 8-12 hours instead of a cooler (since I only have one jar).

    I sure do enjoy your posts. :)

  7. Yogurt making looks fun! How long do your batches of yogurt keep in the fridge before going bad?
    We have had it in the fridge for two weeks without a problem.

  8. Bleesings for sharing your Yogurt idea. I make it too and is such fun!!

    I will try your idea!!

    love and blessings

  9. Wow, really great post!! I loved how it was step by step, then the recipe at the bottom! I wonder if this would work with whole goat’s milk? We do buy goat’s milk yogourt and it is SO expensive. I think I will try and like you say if it doesn’t work, I could bake/make smoothies. Thanks so much for this informative post!

  10. I have also heard of a yogurt making appliance called the easy-yo. Do you have any opinions on that compared to making it by hand?
    No experience!

  11. I’ve always been intimidated to trying to make yogurt, so this is inspiring! As a large family, I imagine you go through this batch size quickly, but do you know how long it will keep in the refrigerator? And can it be frozen? I’m almost getting the courage to try it! Thanks for the tutorial! :)
    It’s always been eaten before two weeks so we don’t know about longer. We haven’t tried freezing it.

  12. Anna, thanks for sharing this recipe – I think I will give it a try! In future batches, could I just use some of the homemade batch to make a new one, instead of buying the Yoplait? Or does the homemade not really make a good starter?
    We are told that works but we have heard that over time it wears out. We want each batch to have strong cultures.

  13. Two questions: First, would it work to make a half-gallon at a time? Second, would it work with 1% or skim milk? Thanks!
    Yes you can reduce the size and it works with other milk as well.

  14. You know properly made yogurt does not require gelatin, right?

    Here’s my method of making yogurt:

    Heat milk over a double boiler. Heat to where you can’t stick a finger in without stinging, but not to boiling.

    Allow to cool to where it’s still warm, but you can hold a finger in for about 5 seconds.

    Grab starter yogurt (plain greek yogurt, is best; it has the most bacteria) and put in a bowl. Grab a cup or so of the warm milk and temper it slowly in with the yogurt. This keeps the milk from killing the bacteria.

    Stir the temper in with the milk. Cover, and refigerate overnight.

    The next morning, you should have thick creamy yogurt! If you want it thicker, put some cheesecloth over a strainer and pour the yogurt in. Allow it to strain for a few hours, then enjoy! The whey can replace water in most baking recipes for some extra umph. :)
    Yes, we are aware of that and have made it like that before. But, the gelatin adds a nice, creamy texture.

  15. I should try this. We spend lots of $$ on yogurt each shopping trip. I’ll cut it down 1/2 size and see how it comes out for me.
    Thanks for the idea Anna.

  16. How big is that amount yogurt? I’ve tried two other ways of making yogurt without a lot of satisfaction so now I’m feeling inspired to try your recipe. :)
    A bit over a gallon.

  17. We use to use plain yogurt as our starter but then found out that all the good bacterias did not always live and travel over. We started buying our starter from dairy connections and wow – it makes the best, creamiest, thick, non tart yogurt ever. You only have to use 1/4 of a teaspoon as well each time you make and you get many many good bacterias. It is by far our favorite homemade yogurt. We go through a lot of yogurt here since it is so good for you. We use raw milk to start with or the hormone free milk from Costco if we can not get raw milk at the time. The problem with using store yogurt as your starter we were told from the ladies at dairy connections is that all the good bacterias do not always live in the yogurt making process where when using theirs since it is a different form for a starter does and you get many more – why you do not need extra things in your yogurt to make it so good, thick, creamy. Hope that helps someone.

  18. Just last week I had a ‘faint’ thought that I should buy more yoghurt for our family – it’s a favourite, but (can be) expensive item to buy lots of. So we add our voice to those who have been inspired that yoghurt making isn’t as hard as first thought! Thanks so much – might gather the children for an afternoon adventure together!!

  19. I never thought about putting them in smaller mason jars like that. Our recipe makes 2 gallons and I found 1 gallon jars to store it in. Which work great, but they’re a bit large to try and store in the fridge-they’ll only fit on the top shelf. I love your Large canning jar idea. I actually just bought supplies to make yogurt and have leftover canning jars from Pearsauce. I will try it that way instead!

  20. Yay! I have been looking for an easy yogurt recipe for forever! This looks like it will fit the bill. Thanks so much! 😀

  21. Thanks for the recipe. I make small quantities using the Easy Yo that someone mentioned earlier. I don’t use Easy Yo packet mixes though, just milk and a starter. The Easy Yo is really just a plastic jar inside a non-breakable thermos flask. It is handy for people to take jars of yoghurt to work etc, but you could just use a thermos flask if you already have one.

  22. We make yogurt in a similar fashion. When done we add it and fruit to the blender and mix. Then we pour that into popsicle molds and freeze for a great summer treat.

  23. We enjoy our homemade yogurt also! I don’t use the gelatin though. Homemade yogurt is my husband’s favorite. He puts my homemade jelly or granola in it and has it as a snack. It is easy enough that even my children make it. I also use my own starter, in less that gets eaten too:) Then I use a store bought yogurt and here in California I found Brown Cow has worked best and it has a great flavor.

    Blessings Sondra

  24. I didn’t read all 29 comments so forgive me if this question is redundant. Once you have made a batch like you described, can you use the homemade yogurt as a starter for the next batch or is it best to use store-bought yogurt for every batch you make? I am looking forward to trying this! Thanks for sharing.
    Some use homemade as a starter, we don’t. We always buy new starter.

  25. Another question-Can you use raw milk or here again is it best to buy store bought milk?
    Your choice

  26. Interesting technique. I make yogurt for my family. Will you be branching out and experimenting with unripened cheese? I am experimenting with home made mozzerella and marscapone.
    No idea on the cheese at this point.

  27. I had never gotten yogurt to turn out right. I’ve not added the gelatin before, but I’ve used expensive yogurt starter and tried the warmed cooler, the oven and the crockpot. I gave up after a half dozen batches of warmed milk. My husband finally bought me a Yogotherm, and now it turns out perfectly. Something about the constant insulated temperature, I think. Who knows. I just know it was money well spent after much frustration.

    On the other hand, I’ve made lots of other cheese with much success. It’s a lot of fun and great tasting. Sour cream and cream cheese are both ridiculously easy to make. I can send you my recipe if you want. I also like to make feta. The hardened cheeses, like jalapeno cheddar, are our favorites, but do better with a special place to ripen. I’ve used a fridge, but it’s hard to keep the humidity constant for best quality.

    Okay, now I’m hungry.

  28. I want to try this but I am wondering when you put the jars in the cooler do you keep adding hot/warm water over the 6-10 hours or could you do it after dinner and leave the cooler overnight with ready yogurt in the morning?
    In your description, I couldn’t tell if you personally kept adding to the water to keep it warm over that period of time or if the cooler itself maintained the temperature sufficiently.
    Thanks for the simple, personally tested recipe. It looks great.
    Yes, you can leave the jars in the cooler overnight. We do that regularly. We put the warm water in to keep it warmer and more of a constant temperature.

  29. I love making yogurt! It’s great to see so many recipes that work – people can experiment with different things to find out what they like best. Someone mentioned using different size jars and I just wanted to mention that I use baby food jars that we have saved for “single serving” containers. The small 4 oz sizes are just the right size for the kiddos and I can tuck them into random places in the fridge if I don’t have room for bigger things.

  30. Thank you for your recipe. It was very timely for us, as I have been attempting to make yogurt in the crock pot for about a month now, with some success – but sometimes it came out as a milky “soup.” I tried your recipe last night, and it turned out perfect! The heating and cooling steps took much less time than using the crock pot, and I like the fact that I didn’t have to transfer yogurt into smaller containers since they were already in quart jars.

    Thanks again for the tips and the encouragement!

  31. I made the yogurt Wednesday and had some today. It is delicious and I thank you for sharing such an easy recipe! I appreciate the pictures and your post. It all was very helpful.

  32. Thank you so much for this easy recipe. It turned out perfect on the first try! Everyone in our family loved it and it’s so inexpensive to make! This will be something that we will be making on a weekly basis and will save us a ton of money! Thank you so much for your great ideas and encouragement!

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