Make your own yoghurt

Yoghurt is fermented milk, fermented by live cultures – good bacteria which feed off the sugars in milk making it an easily digestible whole, live food. That said, yoghurt should contain only 2 ingredients: milk and bacteria (aka cultures, probiotics, good pathogens). Commercially made yoghurt by giant so-called food companies can contain anywhere up to 20 ingredients and more including artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, natural flavours and colours (natural could range from beetroot to a the secretion from a beaver’s anal sac, eeeeeuw!), artificial sweeteners, sugar and many times containing little to no live cultures at all – making it scarcely more nutritious than ice-cream! The documentary below gives a brilliant overview of how yoghurt went mainstream and the money machine it has become. Wallets, watch out!

I used to make my own using an Easi-yo which was great! Since having a Thermomix and purging my kitchen cupboards of all unnecessary appliances though, I get great results for even less money spent! It costs me $5 to make 2 litres of organic, natural yoghurt. And here’s how…

A few things to take note to ensure best results:

  1. Because you are dealing with real bacteria, ensure that you hands and all equipment and utensils are squeaky clean. Any dust or other bacteria could interfere with the fermentation process therefore not allowing your yoghurt to set properly. Use a brand new tea towel to dry everything after washing
  2. Try use culture (I will explain later) that is room temperature for optimum results, although having said that I have made this many times with it straight from the fridge.
  3. Use organic, minimally processed milk to make maximum benefit of live enzymes
  4. Full credit must go to Canadian Thermomixer ‘TeacherCreacher’ for this recipe.

Smoothie time!

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres of full fat organic milk (I like Barambah or Maleny)
  • 1/4C of (if this is your first time making it) plain, natural pot set yoghurt like Pauls or Jalna OR 1/4C of yoghurt (this is what I call culture as above) from your previous batch of homemade yoghurt

Method:

  1. Pour milk into your Thermomix (TM) and cook on 80C, for 20 minutes on Speed 2-3.
  2. Using your temperature lights on your Thermomix as a guide, allow your yoghurt to cool to 37C. NOT 50C and NOT so that the lights aren’t registering a temperature. If yours has cooled too low, you need to repeat step one. This should take 45mins to an hour. If, like me, you use your Thermomix WAY too frequently during the day to wait for so long to use your machine again, you can tip your yoghurt out into a large (CLEAN!) lasagna dish and allow it to cool for 15 minutes. Pour the milk back into your TM  bowl, switch it on if it’s gone to sleep and check the temperature. If it’s not quite 37C yet, you need to wait until it gets there before continuing. This step is absolutely CRUCIAL to the success of your yoghurt.
  3. Once milk is bang on 37C, add your culture/pre-made yoghurt and ‘cook’ for 20 minutes on 37C, speed 2-3
  4. Pour immediately into your thermoserver, tie a tea towel around it to secure the lid (and for added insulation) and leave it somewhere peaceful and warm like a cupboard or next to your stove for 24 hours. Whack it straight into the fridge to chill.
  5. Step back and behold the beauty & enjoy the satisfaction of making your own gorgeous natural yoghurt.

Layers with fruit for breakfast

Tips and variations:

  • If your yoghurt has set quite runny (they tend to get thicker and better with every ferment using a previous batch’s culture), strain for a few minutes through a muslin cloth to remove some of the whey (yoghurt liquid). This whey has incredible nutritional value so don’t throw it down the sink! Freeze it in ice-cube trays and use it in smoothies, to soak and activate nuts, grains, seeds and legumes or add to soups and stews for a real probiotic boost. Your digestion will thank you – the benefits are real!
  • Scoop 1/4 C of yoghurt out before you start devouring your creation so that you never have to run to the shops to buy a little pot of pot set yoghurt to use as your next culture. Trust me, it’s that delicious and satisfying making your own yoghurt that one tends to get carried away with the eating of said creation and before you know it, it’s all GONESKIS! 😉
  • Add vanilla paste, raw honey, cinnamon, cacao or whatever you like to make this into a batch of your favourite flavoured yoghurt. Fresh fruit or fruit compote is always a winner too as this is the real thing and quite tart.
  • The times that I have opened the Thermoserver lid before the 24 hours are up, are the batches that have not set so do not lift that lid until 24 hours have passed
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Comments
31 Responses to “Make your own yoghurt”
  1. ChonnyM says:

    This is the easiest post I’ve read for making yoghurt; and just when I needed it too! The tip to not peek until the initial 24 hours has expired is gold – I think this is why mine have always failed!
    I’m off to give it another go, wish me luck!!

    • Thanks ChonnyM! Please let me know how you go?! Once you have one success you seem destined never to fail again so just pretend you’ve had a lifetime of successful yoghurt making attempts and voila – you should have it in the bag! Jodi x

  2. ChonnyM says:

    Reblogged this on Chonny's Thermomix Delights and commented:
    I’ve just read tis Hot Pink Chilli post for making yoghurt in the Thermomix! seems pretty straight forward – I’m off to give it a try now!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Is it critical that the starter yoghurt be pot set? Would Barambah yoghurt be ok?

    • Hey Jennifer, pot set (in my opinion) guarantees a superior quality yoghurt with more gut-friendly strains of bacteria. Having said that though, Barambah is such a beautiful product I don’t see why it wouldn’t work? I would definitely give it a try – let me know how you go!

  4. michelle says:

    I do a similar thing, but I just stir in the 1/4 cup yoghurt gently (I don’t cook it at 37 degrees after) and put it in my Easyo thermos with boiling water (to just the base of the red bit so it doesn’t heat too much) and mine has always been done in 12 hours. That means if I do it in the morning and put it in the thermos by 10am I can put it in the fridge at 10pm and it’ll be nice and cool for brekky.

  5. Jane says:

    Do you know why sometimes the yoghurt separates, whey on top and runny yoghurt below. I still mix it together and eat it but I don’t know what I’m doing differently to cause this.

    • I’m not sure Jane but that is normal, healthy yoghurt behaviour! Don’t throw the whey out, it’s so good for you and teeming with probiotics, yum! Or yes, you can mix it all together and it becomes lovely and creamy. Jodi

  6. Kerri Seccombe says:

    Do the cooking and setting times change for lesser quantities?

    • Hi Kerri 🙂 No definitely don’t shorten the time for less yoghurt, it has something to do with changing the shape of length of the protein strands in the milk? Clearly I’m no yoghurt scientist, lol!

  7. Bianca83@optusnet.com.au says:

    Can you tell me how long this will last in the fridge ? 🙂

    • Hi Bianca, mine lasts for at least 2 weeks, if not longer! Being a fermented food it doesn’t really seem to go off – very cool! I guess once it’s furry, time to start a new batch 😉

  8. Tam says:

    When do you actually add flavours eg honey, cinnamon etc? upon serving or when your making it? We love homemade yogurt

  9. Helen says:

    hi, I have to confess I am one of those who love fruit flavoured yoghurt, I find it too sour otherwise! I would love to make it but need to have it ‘sweetened’. Do you add this at the end of the 24 hours, when it is set? could I add sugar somewhere in the cooking process, or would it be better to wait til set and add fruit puree or something? many thanks helen

    • Hi Helen, good question! I tend to add any sweeteners or flavours once it’s ready to eat. I actually keep it natural until ready to serve – adding honey all in one go to the whole batch seems to make it very liquid. Sprinkled coconut sugar on top makes a very yummy, crunchy topping! 🙂

  10. melissa says:

    Hi there, could you use raw milk for this? does it make any difference?

    • Hi Melissa, the one time I tried it, it didn’t work but I’d say it had less to do with the fact that it was raw and more likely that I made some other mistake. I also tend not to use raw since heating the milk is killing it’s enzymes anyway and raw milk is so expensive!

  11. Amanda says:

    I really want to master making my own yoghurt that my kids and I are both happy to eat!! Converting from store bought is tricky! If using fruit compote, can you have it pre mixed through in the fridge? Maybe in separate kid size containers? How long would fruit compote (with or without added sugar) last for in a separate container in the fridge to stir through when ready? Ive had success after 5 hours of sitting, and find it gets more and more sour the longer its left….I’d wonder if I could bare it after 24hrs? Any advice you can offer would be great xxx

    • Hi Amanda, thanks for comment, great questions – it is tricky converting from store bought but the sooner you do it the cheaper and healthier it will be for your family – I’m sure you agree! I find that adding anything to homemade yoghurt makes it watery, the longer it sits in the fridge so if adding compote I would do so just before serving. Fruit compote is cooked so it would probably last as long as any cooked veggies would. If it gets too sour why not add some honey to sweeten it up? What compote are you making? Dates would add a beautiful sweetness to it and adding cinnamon would really lift the flavour, yum! I hope that helps? ❤ Jodi

  12. Cherie says:

    Hi there , if I don’t have thermoserver what container can I use?

  13. Mel says:

    I use this exact method and have wonderful yogurt. I use it to fill refillable ‘squeezie’ pouches for my young toddler. I like to add fruit, organic vanilla etc, but wonder if I add the flavour before the yoghurt sets or mix it with the yogurt once set in small batches?

    • Mel says:

      Just read the above questions – my question has been answered! Sorry, they didn’t show up until I’d written mine!

  14. Mel C says:

    could you use light milk (not skim)?

  15. Abby says:

    I have never tried to make my own yoghurt before but this sounds totally doable. Thanks very much for posting.

  16. Zoë says:

    Hey Jodi,
    It’s Zoë from CFH, the doctor surgery, we were chatting the other day and I got SO excited about the prospect of making my own yogurt!
    I bought 2L of Maleny Dairies Gernsey milk, which I was told was creamier.. and I used 1/4 of a cup of Paul’s pot set yogurt.
    I followed the instructions to a T, and I don’t know if I’ve done something wrong, or if it’s supposed to be like this, but my yogurt was SMELLY. I’m talking strong French cheese smelly. I had it in the pantry with a tea-towel around it for 24hours, then popped it in the fridge overnight.
    The next morning (this morning) I opened the lid and voilà, thick layer of smelly yogurt and when I pushed the spoon through it was all liquid at the bottom.
    At first I tried stirring it through – it wasn’t creamy or smooth. The thicker stuff broke down and looked like ricotta floating in water!
    Then I tried straining it through my nut bag, which left me with about 1L whey and 1L yogurt. My husband was very grumpy about the smell!
    I have tasted it, and it tastes a bit funky.. I added cinnamon, which tasted worse, and now it’s sitting in my fridge while I wonder what I did wrong.
    How does yours turn out? I thought maybe I should’ve put it all back into the TM with the whey etc and mixed it.. but shouldn’t it already be smooth?
    Was it the milk I used? Should I have just used normal milk?
    I have no idea what I’ve done!
    Zoë.

    • Hey Zoe, how you going? I use either Barambah or Maleny milk so that shouldn’t be the problem. Did you give everything a fresh hot wash before starting the process? The bacteria in the culture are very sensitive and any dust or traces from an already used tea towel could upset them and the fermenting process. The first batch your make from a store bought potset is quite runny but then each time you use your own homemade yoghurt to make the next batch, it tends to thicken up beautifully! As for the smell, that’s definitely not right! Was the milk fresh? With the couple fails I’ve had, I’ve never had a stinker, that’s a head scratcher… Try Barambah milk, check the expiry, wash everything really thoroughly before use – all utensils etc and make sure those temps are perfect too. Let me know how you go!! Jodi 🙂

  17. Leah says:

    Just made a batch of this and while it smells like it should, it is really thin. I left it in my thermo server for 24 hours and didn’t open it once (even though I was very tempted!). I didn’t use organic milk but it was full cream. Should I have left it longer than 24 hours? Or maybe somewhere a bit warmer?

    • Hi Leah, it’s possible that it needed to be warmer – did you wrap it in a tea towel? If it’s really cold where you live you could experiement with putting the oven on low and letting it cool to about 40 deg and then leaving it in there to ferment. Don’t throw it out though – my latest batch was quite runny too so I’ve got it straining through some muslin cloth to thicken it up. You can then freeze the liquid whey that comes off it (aka liquid gold!) and use it in smoothies for a brilliant probiotic!

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