If you Google “how to make yogurt,” you’ll find many different recipes with different starter cultures, devices like an Instant Pot or actual machines dedicated to making yogurt.
I’m going to give you a really basic recipe for making yogurt that I learned from my Turkish mother-in-law. All you need is milk, a couple heaping spoonfuls of yogurt, a towel or blanket, and two pots.
Oh, and your finger.
Yes, technically there is actually starter culture in here because it is present in the yogurt. However, it is much easier to attain and can be picked up at your local grocery store. If you’re more particular about what strains of probiotics are present or prefer to use a different starter, more power to you!
We eat a lot of yogurt in our house so when I make a batch I usually use a whole gallon of milk, but you could still do this with a half gallon. Just dial back the amount of starter yogurt you put in there.
When you’re done, enjoy it how you like! I like yogurt granola and fruit as much as anyone else, but with a Turkish husband I’ve learned to enjoy yogurt as a side with savory dishes, mixed with cucumber and dill for cacik (also known as tzatziki) or even with some raw garlic as a sauce topping for pasta or meat!
(Fun fact, yogurt’s origins likely began in Mesopotamia in 5000 B.C. and the word yogurt actually comes from the Turkish work “yogurmak” or “to thicken.” The Turks eat A LOT of yogurt. In fact, the CEO of the #1 yogurt brand in the U.S. Chobani is a Turk named Hamdi Ulukaya. Chobani means “shepard.”)
You’ll also want to check out this post that gives the health benefits of eating plain yogurt. You gotta love food that’s good for your gut, and tastes good too!
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 1 individual serving of plain greek yogurt
Pour the milk into a pot and heat. You’ll want to stir it from time-to-time to ensure it’s heating evenly. Keep an eye on it as it starts to steam as it will start to rise when it gets to the boiling point. As
soon as you start to see the milk bubbling, remove from heat.
Let the milk cool, this may take some time (30-40 minutes, maybe more). The very unscientific method to see if it’s done cooling is to stick your finger in there and count to 10. If it’s very warm but not burning your finger, it is good to go. (You may have read other blogs that give an exact temperature where you can test with a thermometer. If you’re more comfortable with this then go for it. My
husband tried this a few times as he doesn’t have very sensitive fingers and we ended up with some liquidy batches, but you may have better luck.)
In a different, clean pot, put in the starter yogurt. I put in the entire contents of an individual serving, but it would work with just a couple of heaping spoonfuls. Next, pour in the warm milk and mix thoroughly. Cover the pot and wrap with a blanket or towel. I use an old woven Jimi Hendrix blanket that was given to me by a friend in high school and it has always yielded the best results! Set to the side and let sit for six-to-eight hours (the longer you leave it out, the more sour it is).
When the time is up, put it in the refrigerator and let it cool. We usually let it sit for a full 24-hours so it gets nice and thick.
And that’s it! Super simple, and if you eat a lot of yogurt — a money saver as well!
Enjoy! Afiyet Olsun!
- 1 Gallon Organic Whole Milk
- 1 Individual Serving Plain Yogurt (store bought or homemade)
Pour the milk into a pot and heat until just bubbling
Let the milk cool (approximately 40 mints-1 hour).
In a different, clean pot, put in the starter yogurt.
Pour in the warm milk and mix thoroughly.
Cover the pot and wrap with a blanket or towel.
Set to the side and let sit for six hours.
Refridgerate for 24 hours before eating.