In this article, I want to show you how to make yogurt. After doing some research I figured out how to make it and I want to share my experience on how to make your own yogurt with you.
How to make Yogurt: To machine or not to machine?
While I was conducting my research on how to make your own yogurt, I found two basic concepts on how to make it:
- without a machine or
- with a machine.
The advantage of a machine is that it’s much easier to control and maintain a given temperature, which is important in the process of making your own yogurt. The bacteria that transform the milk into yogurt need some heat to do their magic. Without it, nothing is going to happen. With too much heat the bacteria will simply die and nothing else will happen.
Of course, a machine is a small investment and you might be unsure if you want to spend 20+ euros on a machine that you won’t use. I thought the same and for that reason, I went the first path and didn’t use a machine.
How to make Yogurt: Sources of Yogurt Cultures
The next step is to decide where you want to get your yogurt cultures. There are again two routes. You can use either:
- packaged yogurt bacteria/cultures or
- some store-bought yogurt.
Both options work. The advantage of the packaged bacteria is that you can pick and choose the specific type of bacteria you want. Usually, these four are used during the production of yogurt:
- Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus,
- Streptococcus thermophilus,
- lactobacilli and
The important part is that you have live cultures in your yogurt at the end of the process. When you have life cultures in your yogurt, the yogurt is probiotic. When this is the case and only then will you benefit from these microorganisms. According to research, the main benefits of those probiotics (not to be confused with prebiotics):
- promoting a healthy digestive tract and
- a healthy immune system
For the sake of simplicity and laziness, I bought yogurt in my local organic store. I went full organic for this recipe since I want to promote my health as best as I can. Good food sources are one key metric to promote your health.
How to make Yogurt: Ingredients
Once you decided on the way to move forward (with or without a machine) and the source of your yogurt cultures you are almost good to go. The remaining ingredient is milk and you are set to make some yogurt.
You’ll see on the internet that some recipes also use milk powder to make their yogurt. The idea is to make the yogurt firmer. This is not necessary unless you use low-fat milk and yogurt as starting base. Or when you really want a rather firm and creamy texture for your own yogurt. I wanted to try it without the powder.
How to make Yogurt: Step by Step Guide
Here’s how to make your own yogurt. The process is easy and consists of 4 steps:
- Heat up your milk to around 90°-95°C for a few minutes. This will denature the milk proteins, i.e. break down the protein cells, thus enabling setting process and prevent curdling.
- Let your milk cool to 45°C and mix in your yogurt (100g – 200g per liter of milk) or your cultures.
- Fill into glasses or a bowl and maintain at 45°C for 7-14 hours. It depends on how firm or liquid you want your yogurt to be.
- Once this is done, keep it cool in your fridge.
Now it’s ready for consumption and should last up to a week in your fridge. To be honest, I doubt that you will have any trouble with the yogurt going bad because it tastes nothing like store bought versions.
Try it out and let me know if this worked for you!