The Cottage Smallholder

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Make your own homemade Greek style yoghurt without tears

make your own greek yoghurtPoor Danny got ticked off by the Tightwad Queen for dolloping too much Greek yoghurt on his chick pea cakes last week. TTQ wanted to use the rest of the pot for another meal. The Greek yoghurt that we like is expensive.

I hate being scratchy about money. Would far rather work a longer day and be lavish but the 2008 budget challenge has me checking outgoings like a deranged accountant. I decided that I’d put the rationed yoghurt topping in a bowl on the table rather than plonking the carton beside D, next time. I only had myself to blame.

Hours later, feeling guilty for my outburst, I cruised the internet in the hope of finding how to make Greek style yoghurt. I imagined that it would be a tricky process . I would probably have to buy a starter culture and sterilise the kitchen.

Within minutes I was amazed to find that I could make my on homemade Greek style yoghurt easily, thanks to the Bean-sprouts blog. This site is packed with interesting, useful posts. Melanie Rimmer’s smiling photograph makes me feel that someone sensible and practical is at the helm. Especially comforting when I discovered that she actually makes yoghurt in an ordinary Thermos.

I didn’t want to post this discovery until I had made the yoghurt myself. It’s easy to make. Especially if you have an unemployed jam thermometer (I tried using it once for jam and found the cold plate test to be a better option for me). From my decorating sojourns, I have a plethora of Thermoses (Thermii?) to choose from. *I selected one with a glass interior as they hold the heat better than the unbreakable stainless steel ones. I scalded it with boiling water as everything needs to be ultra clean.

Our jam thermometer suddenly came into its own and indicated exactly when I needed to add the remaining dollop of the prized carton of Deluxe Greek yoghurt. By morning we had tasty yoghurt. Pukka stuff, for a quarter of the price. The deranged accountant in me finally relaxed and took a long bath as the yoghurt strained though the muslin (this allows the slightly bitter fluid to drain away and produced a creamy Greek style yoghurt).

I finally dressed and called up the stairs.
“Danny do you want Greek yoghurt for breakfast?”
There was a flash as he passed me and laid the table with two bowls and a large jar of honey.

* Update: I tried making it in a stainless steel unbreakable thermos night last and it worked fine altough the set is not as thick. I’m going to experiment with warming the thermos before adding the milk and the culture.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Frank

    Sorry to have taken so long to get back to you.

    Great to know that you can use the airing cupboard to make Greek yoghurt. Thanks so much for sharing your method and recipe!

    Hi Artsygal

    I do hope that you have success making your own Greek yoghurt! I’d love to hear how it turned out.

  2. Artsygal

    Glad to have come across this! I remember my mom making regular yogurt all the time as a kid but I never tried it myself. Then this morning as I sat here eating my tiny little tub of greek yogurt with honey that I paid $2 each for and thinking this is delicious but SO not worth the price! Turned to the internet and before I even finished eating I have a recipe! Got to love that!

  3. Frank

    Glad to come across so many enthusiasts for home made yoghurt. I make 4 pints at a time, full cream organic. Large saucepan, glass milk saver. Heat slowly for about 45 mins, skimming the skin off from time to time. Cool in a basin of cold water till temp is about 120F/46C. Good dollop or two of organic live yoghurt (usually little pot of Yeo)into large plastic box with clipped lid and into airing cupboard till it’s set.
    Everything!! sterilised. Always have a spare box with a quarter tsp sodium metabisulphite and a pinch of citric acid (from home made wine shop) dissolved in a small amount of hot water – lidded firmly. Don’t sniff or you’ll have a sneezing fit.
    This makes thick Greek style yoghurt.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Suzie

    Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment. Great to here your feedback on making home made yoghurt with simple equipment. Much appreciated.

    PS I haven’t heard of a cooler/warmer that you turn on! Thanks from the backwoods!!

  5. Susie

    Hi everyone… I’m a big fan of home-made yoghurt, thanks to this blog and bean-sprouts for telling me about the extra step to make it Greek-style. Just wanted to add that it’s entirely possible to improvise and fancy equipment is not necessary – I just leave my pre-heated yoghurt culture in a glass jar overnight on top of a hot radiator in winter, or inside a picnic cooler/warmer in summer – no need even to turn it on, the insulation retains the heat of the milk itself. I have never taken temperatures or anything, just experimented and have (almost) always had great results! the one thing that should NOT be experimented with, of course, is hygiene – everything should always be sterilised and the milk heated to just below boiling point.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Thelma

    St Helens Farm is in Yorkshire! Here’s the link so you shouldn’t have a problem obtaining the yoghurt locally.

  7. Thelma

    Thanks fn – I will try that – does it come from health food shops – in Yorkshire?

    The las lot I made overnight – then overslept and realised half way to work that I had not unplugged my yoghourt maker – when I got home – it was half whey! I stirred it up but it settled out again, tastes quite nice but cheesy – so maybe I made curd cheese by accident!

    Can I get this St Helens yog in Yorkshire?

    I am doing weight watchers at the mo – was desperate! so need to use skimmed milk really – I will try it and see how it goes

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Thelma

    I have used goats yoghurt as a starter for yoghurt (using cows milk). I have had good results using the St Helens brand (white pot, blue writing) and semi skimmed or full cream milk. These always set and are both creamy and delicious.

  9. I just came accdross your site – I used to make yoghourt years ago in my Yogo magic – we lived in Wiltshire and used to buy the most delicious goats milk yoghourt in a white pot with red writing on it – can’t remember the name of it. I would then use it as a starter to make my own yoghourt using cows milk. I am now trying again – the machine is still going strong! was wanting tips on which youghourt to buy to use as a starter. The difference is I used to use ordinary milk but now use skimmed milk plus skimmed milk powder. My results have bee ok but not always set and a bit grainy. – can anyone reccomend a yoghourt to use as a starter? – like the other ideas up above!

  10. Mildred

    Caroline, I wonder if you can advise me. I noticed your comments about making yogurt above using the EasyPo Yogurt maker. Well, someone has just given me theirs as they don’t use it! I don’t want to use the powder sachet mix though. So, do I need to heat the ordinary milk up first before adding my ‘starter’, I would be using pasteurised milk.

    I would be grateful for any advice! Thanks, Mildred

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