Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Homemade Greek Yoghurt

I'm sure you've all heard that Greek yoghurt is the super food of super-foods. The first time I had it was in Greece 5 years ago.I thought it was the worst thing I have ever tasted in my life and had never gone near it since. It was tangy and thick and physically impossible to swallow. Although it was served with a dollop of honey, I was too foolish to know that I had to stir the two together before consuming.

About a year ago, my sister's friend got her addicted to Greek yoghurt. I think it became a huge trend after so many health benefits were revealed. It is high in protein content and extremely low in fat (the type I eat anyway). Slowly my sister convinced me to try it and this time it was given to be with honey and fresh fruit. The most delicious thing ever! Some of my friends still look at me weird when we go shopping together....I mean, what normal person buys 8 tubs of Greek yoghurt in one trip.

Ok, I want to get something straight first. I remember buying yoghurt at Costco the other day, 6 tubs of 0% Greek yoghurt. The cashier turns to the person next to her and said " I don't know what's wrong with these people buying non-fat yoghurt...don't they know that fat is actually good for the body". I didn't say anything but I was upset..no furious actually (how dare her). I eat it not for the calories but for taste. I'm really sensitive to the fat content in milk, to the extent that I can tell the difference between skim and 1%. A little bit of fat overwhelms my pallet and it's a feeling like "I can no longer taste anything except for these thick layers of things stuck deep inside my taste buds". When milk is made into yoghurt, the fat concentrates and a 2% yoghurt almost tastes like it's made from heavy cream.

If you don't like the thickness of a Greek yoghurt then simply skip the straining process and enjoy right after it sets.

I use 4 L of milk each time which makes out to be 6 cups (1.5L) of Greek yoghurt. It's not bad considering milk costs $4.50 and 1 tub (.5L) of Liberte Greek yoghurt is $4.99. Sometimes I get the Costco brand at $9/3 tubs. The homemade version is sweeter and lighter. The only problem I have is that it turns really grainy after I strain it. The texture is almost like ricotta cheese. This can be fixed by giving it a quick whip using a mixer.

Greek Yoghurt:
4 L of milk
1/4 cup of yoghurt with active cultures

You should probably get a thermometer for this, but if you don't then use your senses. The milk needs to reach 160-180 degrees. If you stick your finger into the milk at this point it should feel hot but not to a point that you can't stand. Then place the pot in your sink filled with cold water and let the milk drop to 110-120 degrees. It should feel just luke warm to the touch.

Wrap it in a large towel and place it in the oven for 8 hours. I preheat my oven for it to reach 115 F then turn it off. The residual heat should last a while and I would repeat this step every hour or so.

After 8 hours, transfer the pot to the fridge and let it set for another 5-6 hours.

It should be chunky when you cut into it and some liquid will appear. Simply pour off the liquid and enjoy.

I strain mine for a thicker and creamier texture. You can use a cheese cloth or a coffee filter. If you are using a coffee filter then be prepared to do this in batches. This is the most time consuming part of this recipe.

Pour away the water and repeat with the remaining yoghurt.

After straining all of the yoghurt, pour everything into a stand mixer and mix on high until the texture becomes creamy instead of grainy. Serve with yoghurt or fruit or both. Enjoy!


  1. Y'know I can never say no to something homemade like this Greek yogurt recipe. Love to try soonest, dear!
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  2. thank you so much! i have been looking for a home-made greek yogurt recipe! do you know if you can use non-dairy milk?

    1. I'm not quite sure, never tried. But I wonder if it has to do with the fat in the dairy for the yogurt to thicken. What milk were you thinking about using? Maybe gelatin will work?

    2. oh thats a good idea too! i was thinking of coconut milk (not the one in the can). what type of milk did you use?

    3. I used skim milk in this yogurt recipe but you can use anything up to 2%.
      I've also used soy milk for a chinese dessert called tofu fa. That I used corn starch and gypsum powder but I've seen people use gelatin.

      If you decide to try gelatin, I'd suggest the following:

      Bloom 4 tsp gelatin in 3 tbsp warm water
      bring 2 cups of coconut milk/almond milk/soy milk
      1/4 cup sugar if desired

      Once the milk is up to a boil, stir in the gelatin and mix well
      Let it set in the fridge (5 hours)

      The texture will not turn out like yogurt though. it's going to be more of a custard/pudding!

  3. Oh, thanks so much!! I really appreciate it :)