Homemade yoghurt

When I was a girl, we had a brown piano in our living room. My Mom had a collection of glass birds of different sizes that resided on the piano. Some of them were from Finland and had been designed by Oiva Toikka. I remember dusting all of the nooks and crannies of the piano and the birds when it was my dusting turn. On Saturdays we would have cleaning day and everyone had a couple of jobs. Today the piano is still in the same spot but I think the birds have been put some place else and there are photographs on the piano of children who do not live at home anymore. Some years back, when I was a girl, I took piano lessons every week from Susan. I always really liked Susan and felt that she was an adult that I could really relate with. Once we had a recital and if I remember right, I think I may have played the Tarantella Spider Dance from the Michael Aaron Piano Course Book.

Some time ago, Susan mentioned on facebook that she had made homemade yoghurt. She shared her recipe with me. It was delicious. The recipe she sent had two methods, one using the slow cooker. I used my Crock pot but if you prefer, you may make it using the other method.

Since we have been getting our milk straight from the farm, the milk I used was whole milk. Because of the this, the fat rose to the top forming a slightly yellow layer that I mixed in with a whisk when the yoghurt was done. You may use milk that has a lower fat percentage if you wish. The recipe is quite large, feel free to make a smaller quantity.

milkAnnika’s Yoghurt–from Susan
3.8 l/ 1 gallon milk
seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean,
2dl/ 3/4 c sugar/honey or according to taste (optional)
(the original recipe called for 3.5 dl/1.5 cups of sugar)
1.5 dl/ 3/4 c plain yoghurt (I used Turkish yoghurt)

Directions for the Crock pot

Place the milk into the Crock pot and set on high for two and a half hours so that it reaches 75 C/170 F. Let cool until it reaches 38-40 C/100 F. Add the vanilla to the milk. If preferred, whisk in the sugar or honey. Take a cup of hot milk aside and mix with the plain yoghurt and then add into the hot milk mixture. Wrap the Crock pot with towels and allow to rest at room temperature for eight hours (mine was overnight). Remove the towels and place the pot into the refrigerator for six hours. Whisk out any possible lumps. Enjoy with berries, muesli or perhaps a little drizzle of honey.

making crockpot yoghurtFor the more conventional version heat the milk to 75 C/170F. Cool the milk down in a cold water bath to about 38-40 C/100-105 F. Remove a cup of warm milk and mix with the yoghurt. Add in the sugar and vanilla. Place into an oven that is warmed to 43 C/110 F. Turn the oven off, leave the light on and allow to rest for eight hours. If your oven does not heat to such a low temperature turn it on preheat for about three minutes and then turn off. After eight hours place the yoghurt into the refrigerator for six hours to chill. Whisk out an possible lumps.

crockpot yoghurtyoughurt parfaitOur family goes through several liters of plain yoghurt a week and this option is rather budget friendly although it does of course require a little initiative. The flavor was quite mild. This time I added a bit of sugar. I think that this recipe may become a regular at our house.

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83 Comments

  1. You have reminded me to make some yoghurt again. I love the photo of the milk bottle with the child.
    I don’t use honey, sugar or vanilla beans, preferring a plain, unsweetened yoghurt as most of my yoghurt is used with savoury dishes, such as raita ( a side dish to curry) or in Turkish and Greek dips, such as Tzatziki. I like the crockpot idea. I use an old Chinese thermos, rinse the inside with hot water to heat it, then add the yoghurt and leave it for 8 hours or so. Another way to increase the fat content of regular milk, thus aiding setting, is to use commercial standard milk and to add a cup of full fat milk powder as well.

    1. Thank you Francesca for your useful tips. Next time I will have to make the plain version without vanilla bean or any sweetening and try making raita or Tzatziki. Yoghurt is so versatile.

    1. Hope you have a chance to try it out Heather. Once learned, it really is a simple procedure. I had the yoghurt parfait as an afternoon snack and I was just debating whether to have another as my breakfast. 🙂

  2. All the time when I read your posts (every single of them) I am on my journey to my childhood, where I had a lot of things like you do right now for your kids and family. I like your style of life. It seems to me your children will appreciate that with all their hearts in time. You are building their future. All the best!

    1. So glad you have enjoyed the posts…it warms my heart. I hope that my children will have pleasant memories from their childhood and perhaps they might read my blog when they get a little older. Somethings are just easier to state in writing.

    1. Thank you Patty…sometimes after writing a blog post I realize how many special moments there are in a childhood. I suppose every child (even in the same family) has a completely different experience and different story to tell.

  3. Your children are achingly beautiful. So many of your photos take my breath away.

    I envy your farm fresh milk, too, and I really want to make my own yoghurt. I don’t have a crockpot or a yoghurt maker, so I want to investigate which option is better. I guess I could use the crock pot of other things.

    Thanks for getting me thinking about this again.

    1. Thank you Juli. Isabella just happened to climb onto the bench and appeared into my photo shoot. I really couldn’t tell her to go away. 🙂 I believe that the other version above is made in a stainless steel kettle or maybe ceramic pot that can be put on the stove and oven. So to start, no fancy equipment is needed. For me the crock post was handy since then I do not need to stand by it when the milk is heating.

      1. I do like the idea of the crockpot, mainly because the temperature is controlled. I really wouldn’t trust myself to get it right using a pot on the stove. That’s why I had thought about a yoghurt maker. I do eat natural yoghurt almost every day – love it.

  4. I’m huge fun of yogurt. Since I eat it one every day, I try to buy good quality yogurt, but I’m sure if I would follow your recipe i can enjoy it 10 times more!
    Next purchase will be a crockpot! thanks for sharing!

    1. Our children have yoghurt about once a day as well and I will have it several times a week. So as you can imagine we go through quite a bit! 🙂 Hope you have the chance to try out the recipe!

    1. Here in Finland we have drying cupboards above the sink for drying dishes but not airing cupboards…looked it up on wikipedia. My yoghurt was on the thinner side but I will continue to experiment to see how I can affect the texture.

  5. Great post! Nice recipe to have. And milk straight from the farm? That is the way to go! Good on you for using such beautiful and fresh produce. The photos are beautiful too. Very well composed…

  6. Sounds is easier to control the temperature with the crock pot, I think I will try it out myself. I did make yoghurt before, but is not that easy to control during winter. Thanks for your sharing! 🙂

    1. I thought the crock pot version was easier as well since it did not require me to stand watch…as long as I remember to come to check the temp after about 2.5 hours. Hope you have a chance to try it out!

    1. My daughter did claim that it was “the world’s best yoghurt” and I was quite pleased with the compliment. I have a new batch of milk in the fridge…maybe tomorrow I’ll get to making some more yoghurt.

  7. Milk straight from the farm used to make your own yogurt…your family is living a very good life filled with lots of love and happiness. It shows even in the food you prepare.

    1. Oh, thank you Karen. I have been slowly learning about the pleasures of living in the countryside. My husband grew-up in the country and has enjoyed getting to know the local farmers…yes we are lucky indeed to get farm fresh milk.

  8. I’ve wanted to make my own yogurt for a while. I have a large-ish thermos, will see how it goes in that container! But it won’t be as good as yours, fresh from the farm and with that layer of fat/cream on top, swoon!

    1. I will often have a full fat yoghurt as well and just eat a small quantity…since it is so filling. It almost tastes like dessert with berries and a sprinkle of nuts on top. 🙂

  9. Love the photo of your little one hiding behind the flowers. Just a adorable. I have not heard of this method and it is perfect as we also go through maybe gallons of it with my boys a week. Okay maybe I am also exaggerating but maybe not far off. Did you get a new camera? Your photos are just gorgeous! Take care, BAM

    1. Yes, I can imagine that with two teenage boys you defintely would go through gallons! I didn’t get a new camera…but the lighting was just optimal…and maybe I’m learning a few new things with my camera! Thanks for the compliment. 🙂

  10. I’ve never attempted to make yoghurt. Considering how much cheese I make, I really should give it a try. You’ve certainly taken the time to show us how to do it. This is a very good tutorial for us to follow.Your daughter is so cute! Those eyes of hers could melt your heart. 🙂

  11. Just dropped by to let you know that I tried your crock pot method of yogurt making and it worked beautifully. A lovely consistency and flavour. I didn’t add sugar or vanilla and the yogurt is still sweet enough for me. I used to make yogurt a lot but got tired of the mess I made, so stopped making it. The crock pot makes yogurt making easy. One of your other commenters mentioned adding milk powder to her yogurt mix. I used to do this too. It does give a thicker yogurt.

    1. So glad you had a chance to try it out! I will have to try adding milk powder sometimes since my yoghurt was on the thinner side. Thanks for taking the time to come back and comment! 🙂

    1. I think you would enjoy it! I have been trying to follow your cleaning tip that you shared sometime back (maybe a year ago) about cleaning one area/shelf/drawer for 10 minutes that does not get cleaned very often each day. I have tried to do it every time we have cleaning day and do a few extra things each time. Always feels great to get something organized!

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