Let's talk about fermenting some milk with bacteria! What can I say about yogurt? Good yogurt is creamy, rich, and tangy. It can add a special something to baked goods. It can be used to make delicious dips. It is great in a morning smoothie, an after dinner parfait, or as a frosty frozen treat.

Yogurt is a versatile kitchen staple and super-easy to make at home.

So let's grab a spoon and dig in.

I'll be honest, I have never been the biggest fan of yogurt. But Roommate/BFF loves the stuff and we were recently given two half gallons of milk from one of our neighbors. So, I was looking for things to do with all that milk and came across recipes for making homemade yogurt. The results were excellent. I fell in love. This is my slightly modified version for vanilla and brown sugar yogurt.

The Equipment:

  • Heavy bottom pot with lid
  • Measuring cup (not pictured)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Thermometer (sort of optional)
  • Funnel (optional)
  • Container with lid for storage of yogurt
  • Ladel (not pictured, optional)

The Ingredients:

  • Milk (I used whole milk, but you can use 1%, 2%, fat-free, EVEN lactose free milk and non-dairy milks*)
  • Sugar/Sweetner
  • Yogurt* as a starter (with at least one active culture, check the label)
  • Vanilla (optional)

Here is a basic ratio for the ingredients:

1 cup of Milk

1.5 tbs of sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbs starter yogurt

Okay, so you have everything assembled, measure out how much milk you want to use to create your yogurt.

Place pot on stove and pour milk into pot. Heat milk on medium-low heat.

Whisk regularly to keep milk on bottom from burning.

When the milk reaches just above 190 degrees, then turn off the burner.

While the milk begins to cool down to just under 120 degrees but above 110 degrees, measure out your sugar and vanilla.

When it has cooled to between 110-120 degrees, whisk in the sugar and vanilla until sugar is dissolved.

Measure out your starter yogurt in a heat proof container.

Ladel out about a cup of the warm milk mixture and pour into the container with the starter yogurt.

Whisk the warm milk mixture and starter yogurt together to temper the starter yogurt.

Pour the starter yogurt and milk mixture back into milk and whisk to combine.

Put a lid on it.

Stash in a warm place that can maintain at pretty consistent temperature close to 110 degrees. My oven, turned off, with just the pilot light going maintains a 111 degrees. There are other options if you don't have a gas oven.

Let incubate in your chosen warm location for at least 4 hours up to overnight +/- 8 hours.

Here's a little bit of the science in action while beneficial bacteria turns milk into yogurt!

The longer your yogurt incubates, the thicker and more tangy it gets.

Pour into containers for storage in the fridge.

Look at the lovely yogurt. Place in fridge for about 4 hours to finish setting. So delicious and...

...so easy. Hands on time is about 30 minutes, hands-off time 8-12 hours.

*The more fat content in the milk you choose, the thicker the end product. I've made it with whole milk, 2% milk, and 1% lactose free milk and all have turned out great. You can also make this recipe with non-dairy milks and non-dairy starter yogurts, use similar measurements.