Easy Homemade Greek Yogurt!

Easy homemade Greek yogurt

Who would have thought I would be making homemade yogurt?

Well. Me actually.

I remember my first small group after we moved down to Georgia. The discussion around the women’s table was “The moms who make their own baby food….” I sheepishly said, “Well. I do.” It’s easy really, and that’s what I told them. You cook the veggies and blend. Take the fruit and mash it up and serve. 

Then I started making my own bread, with my home-ground wheat. I no longer do that but some days I miss it. I feel we are getting to the point where my children are old enough that they could probably handle the bread-making!

I tried my hand at yogurt with a yogurt maker. Epic fail. I’m pretty sure it just got used in place of milk in smoothies….or dumped down the sink. I don’t remember. I was frustrated because I thought it would be SO EASY! Yet, it seemed so hard.

Until recently. I had a friend share her recipe with me and I have since been making my own yogurt! I know you can also make it in a crockpot, but I have yet to try that. I’m pretty happy with my current method and the way it comes out!

Things you will need:

1c. Starter- I use a cup from my last batch of yogurt. You can also use a container of store bought Greek yogurt (6oz)

1 Gallon of milk- I use whole milk and have not experimented with 1% or 2%

A large pot

A thermometer

Cheesecloth (if you want to strain your yogurt

Strainer

Canning Jars- I keep my leftover sauce jars that I buy from the store. I would also recommend these jars.

Homemade Greek Yogurt Recipe:

Pour gallon of milk in a large pot. I mean, pretty large. You want to be able to stir it and the milk not spill out the sides! Not that I have ever had that happen….

Slowly heat the milk to 180 degrees. This takes a while. I put my burner on 3 and let it slowly heat, stirring so that the bottom doesn’t burn until it reaches the right temp. I turn it down to low once it reaches 180 and let it sit for 20 minutes.

While the milk is ‘cooking’ get out your starter and put it in a bowl. Try to give it enough time to come to room temperature.

Once the 20 minutes is up, it is time to cool the milk to 110 degrees. I will fill up my sink with ice and water to help it cool quickly. Also, I have let it naturally cool. Both methods worked (obviously the ice water was faster) and I didn’t noticed a difference in the end result. When cool, add some of the milk to the starter and whisk it together. If you don’t, your starter will be lumpy and won’t mix into the milk very well….. Again, not that I have experienced that.

Once mixed you have two options:

distribute into jars, or leave in the pot. I left it in the pot last night and I don’t feel like it thickened as well as when I put it into jars.

After you distribute (if you so choose to), put it in the oven with the light on for 10-12 hours or overnight. I like to wait at least 12 hours. After this, you again have two options:

Put it in the fridge, or strain it. If you want Greek style yogurt, you will most likely need to strain it. If you don’t mind it thinner, you can just go ahead and stick it in the fridge.

Straining the yogurt

Here is another note:

I just started straining our yogurt. The first time I did it, my yogurt was cold. The second time I did it, it was warm from the oven. It seemed to me that it strained better cold, but that could all be in my head. Experiment and see what works for you!

When you strain the yogurt you will get nice, thick, Greek-style yogurt and whey. DON’T dump the whey out! Keep it and use it for pancakes, biscuits, smoothies, pizza crust.

Here is my finished product from today:

Easy homemade Greek yogurt

Let me know if you try it! If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them!

Happy yogurt making!

Gail

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