Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Greek Yogurt... attempt number one

This isn't very good for my track record.  The second cooking failure in 2 months!  And I post it on the internet anyway!  :-)

A few weeks ago, I tried making greek yogurt "from scratch".  I didn't think it would be very complicated because it only has two ingredients: whole milk and yogurt.  Look at that, it's not even "from scratch" because the recipe itself calls for yogurt, which, if you don't have a starter going, must be bought from... the store.  The recipe I had was pretty simple.  Steam the milk, pour into a bowl and cool down a bit, then add a few tablespoons of yogurt and let it do its thing.  Here's how it all went down(hill):

First, I prepped my equipment (bowl - check!, strainer - check! and cheesecloth - check!).  Next I brought the milk just to a steam, but not boiling.  I was feeling pretty comfortable with this step because I've made ice cream oodles of times, and this is an integral step to ice-cream-making.  Check.  I poured the hot milk into a bowl to wait for it to cool.  After a few hours (guesstimating...), I added the live yogurt and covered it with a damp tea towel.  The bowl sat out overnight to... cure?  To cultivate... cultures?  Not sure what that little process is called.  But you know... do its thing. 

The next morning, I poured the mixture into the strainer, although I was puzzled because it looked awfully thin and very non-yogurty.

Aaaannndd... I was right.  I got to this stage in about 2.6 seconds.  Not good.  I was left with a few dabs of yogurt in the cheesecloth and a whole bowlful of.... cultured milk!

This is my attempt at showing you how thin the milk was, by swirling the bowl with one hand and trying to operate my camera with the other.  Kinda psychedelic.  What do you do with yogurtish, tangy, creamy, perfectly good milk... hmm... what to do...  

Well what did you think I would do?  Make ice cream of course!

This concoction turned into some pretty tasty vanilla frozen yogurt with strawberry sauce swirl and walnuts on top.  All's well that ends well, right?

Eat well!


  1. I've made yogurt a few times using this tutorial:


    It isn't officially greek, but it is really thick, if that counts for anything. : )

  2. Thanks Suzanne! Your recipe is slightly different than the one I used. It calls for more starter (a full cup instead of my 3 Tbs, and the warm water in the cooler step is different. My recipe said to cover it with a towel and simply let it set out overnight. I'm excited to try this again soon!
    I like Greek yogurt because it is thick, and I don't think there's any difference between what you make and "regular" Greek yogurt - it's thick and has high milkfat. The good stuff. :-)

  3. I made yogurt in the slow cooker and it was never as thick as the frugal girl says... and other sites on the internet agree that it is not as thick as store bought. As soon as you put any sort of sugar in, it totally thins out too. I tried adding skim milk powder and gelatin to thicken it without a great deal of success. The only thing I haven't tried but i think is the best bet if you truly want Greek style yogurt, is to let it sit in cheesecloth so the whey (I guess) drips out and the yogurt thickens. Actually, if you do this and let it sit over night you end up with cream cheese. Just some thoughts :)