March 29th, 2005

cup of yogurt

I had to wait until I made my next yogurt at home to start my online recipe book; it is a staple food in Turkish cuisine and deserves to be the first entry.

Making yogurt at home is easier than you’d think. And no, I am not promoting any of the yogurt makers sold in the market; you can use a warm corner of your house or your owen slightly turned on.

I grew up in a house where there was always yogurt in the fridge—plain yogurt I mean. My mom made some whenever we were running low, which usually meant we had at least 2lbs or so left. It became such an easy job for her that I never saw her yogurt making failed. There, in Turkey, they have a chance to buy the milk directly from the dairy, which provides whole fat milk—hence making it easy to make yogurt.

When I started making my own, I didn’t have a way to get fresh milk, so I had to learn how to make it with pasteurized milk and use pasteurized yogurt as starter as well. If your first try ever fails, do not give up. During the years I spent in Milwaukee, I made yogurt several times. And my roommate (a.k.a “best roommate on the earth”) who loved yogurt (only the fruity ones) told me that what I made was more delicious than the store bought, and also started eating some plain yogurt ;) That said, believe me, there is nothing like a home made yogurt.

What you need:

  1. 1/2 gallon of at least 2% milk
  2. 3 Tbs plain yogurt (in US I prefer using “Mountain High” brand, or any organic brand would do)
  3. Optional: 1/2 pint of half-half (or cream)
  4. Optional: candy thermometer


  1. Bring milk and half-and-half to boil. Keep stirring to avoid scalding. if you have a double boiler, try using that. I keep my mix boiling for about 10 mins or so—that reduces the water content
  2. Pour the milk into a glass jar or an enamel pot, and put it in a sunny/warm location where it will be warm for 4 hours or so and will not be disturbed/moved.. In order to make sure it is kept warm, wrap the jar with some wool scarves
  3. Put your candy thermometer in the milk and wait until its temperature is down to 120F – 130F
  4. In a small bowl put 3 Tbs of yogurt and 5 – 6 Tbs of warm milk and mix them well. Pour this over the warm milk jar, and stir well
  5. Cover the jar, and make sure the wrap around it is tightly sealed
  6. Wait ;)
  7. After about 4 – 5 hours (depending on the warmth of the environment), check on your yogurt by lifting up the cover and tilting the jar; if it is firm, your yogurt is ready for its next stage; fridge
  8. Be sure to refrigeriate the yogurt for at least overnigt. This will help it set and have firm yogurt. I usually try not to touch my yogurt for a full 24 hrs at least


Enjoy your yogurt. :) Now you can make youre favourite smoothies at home, with your home-made yogurt. What about just mixing it with some fruit chunks and make your fruity-yogurt?

Note: If your yogurt does not look like a yogurt after 4 – 5 hours, try looking at the recipe at April 23rd 2005


5 Responses to “Yogurt”

  1. Claire Miller Says:

    This sounds interesting – and easy enough for almost anyone!

    For the first batch, can I use regular yogurt bought in the supermarket for the 3tbs “starter” ?

  2. fethiye Says:

    Sure, I only used the store bought yogurt as the starter. That reminds me: do not forget to save some of your yogurt for the next batch—usually turns out to be creamer this way.

  3. Chelsea Britton Says:

    I made the yogurt, and put it in a basket of blankets for “processing,” also with an electric blanket around the bowl of yogurt. It turned out pretty good, but a little runny. I used Trader Joes Nonfat Yogurt, Nonfat milk, and their half n’ half. I got impatient and took it out of the warm environment too soon (about 4.5 hours). Will probably let it sit for longer in the blankets next time, and might use lowfat milk for a creamier, thicker consistancy. Thank you Fethiye Very good recipe!!

  4. fethiye Says:

    Chelsea! How nice to see you here :) Try adding some dry milk, if you have some at home. That definitely adds to the consistency. And you made sure to let it sit in the fridge for overnight before putting a spoon in?

  5. Cary Says:

    Hi, I am a die-hard fan of yogurt. In Bangalore, we call it “curds” and it is a staple lunch menu. We eat it with rice, so sweet yogurts are not very popular around here.
    We make yogurt at home and thought I could add to this topic.

    The mix can also be put in a Hotcase/Thermos instead of blankets.

    Also, if the yogurt is not thick enough, try adding a strip of clean banana leaf to it. This helps the yogurt solidify.

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