Thursday, November 29, 2012

Making yoghurt!

One of the first things I realized after moving to Canada was that it seems to be incredibly hard to find good yoghurt here. 
Whether you look at the dairy section at Coop, Sobeys or Safeway, most yoghurts here either have 0% or 1% fat. 
You can even get Greek Yoghurt with 0% fat (???). That, my dear friends, is not yoghurt. This is bullshit.
Well, I can hear you saying: But we do have 10% Greek Yoghurt, as well! 
That is correct, but have you risked a look at the ingredients list? 
Most of them are made with skim milk (powder) and other awful things. 
No whole milk or cream at all! 
I even once bought a vanilla yoghurt that didn't have vanilla aromas in it, but caramel flavoring (???).

Ok, yoghurt should always, ALWAYS be made of whole milk, means the fat content should be at least at around 3.5%.
I read that you can use milk powder to thicken the yoghurt and make it creamier.
I prefer letting the culture grow for longer, straining it and/or replacing parts of the milk with cream.
Homemade yoghurt can be a bit runnier, indeed. But it's still yoghurt and tastes fantastic.

Making your own yoghurt is fairly easy. And no, you don't need one of those bulky yoghurt machines to do it.
All you need to do is to make sure that you follow the instructions correctly, that your preserving jars are clean and sterilized,
and that you use exceptional good yoghurt and whole milk.

For 1l of homemade yoghurt all you need is:

2-3 tbsp plain yoghurt made of whole milk
1l whole milk
preserving jars

Sterilize your preserving jars and the lids by putting them in a sink with boiling water.
A few minutes should be ok. You can also wait until the water has cooled of a bit.
That way you don't burn your hands. Let them dry completely.

Heat up the milk to about 35-38°C/95-100°F.

Then stir in the yoghurt.

Fill everything in the preserving jars, close the lids and put the yoghurt at a warm spot for at least 8 hours.
I usually let it sit for about 24hours. That helps making the yoghurt firmer and thicker.
You can wrap the jars in a towel and put it next to the heater or even put them in your bed with a hot-water bottle next to it.
Just make sure that the yoghurt doesn't get hotter than 50°C/122°F!

Once you have yoghurt, you may want to strain it (not always necessary) to get rid of surplus whey,
in ordert o make the yoghurt firmer.
Let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours and it's ready to be enjoyed.

Eat it plain or add fruits, granola, sugar or maple syrup...whatever you prefer!

The yoghurt cultures you grew by making your own yoghurt will last 5-7 yoghurt-making sessions.


As you can see, making yoghurt is really easy. Still, sometimes it just won't work, for a reason. Could be the milk, could be that the yoghurt you bought wasn't fresh enough, the jars were dirty or something went wrong with the temperature. I don't know.
Just try again! I promise it works.

Instead of using store bought yoghurt you can use yoghurt cultures.
They come in a bag, are usually more expensive, harder to get (I saw them on ebay), but the result may be firmer and more dense and intense...


  1. Nice post! I love yoghurt!

  2. i don't know if they sell this in alberta, but it's the best you can get in the rest of oh canada:

    try the lemon!