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Make your own Greek yogurt

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dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Make your own Greek yogurt

Make your own Greek yogurt and then use the drippings to make great bread by substituting the yogurt whey water for the water in your bread.

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FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Love this, am about to make yogurt today!  does the whey water change rate of fermentation or alter the texture/flavor like milk does?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

it effects the sour the most giving the SD a deeper sour.  I haven't noticed a change in fermentaion since most of my breads are at least 3 hours on the bench for S&F until they double (that is the key I think - how ever long it takes to double) and then in the fridge for 20 hours or retardation anyway.  Never thought about the texture but I'm guessing not much changes or I would have noticed it.  It is the taste that changes.  I hate throwing anything away.  I hear you can make ricotta from it too, like you do from making mozzerella,  but I haven't done so from yogurt. 

PClark's picture
PClark

I have yogurt brewing right now. May have to do this tomorrow since I need to bake some bread. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I often freeze it if I don't need it right away for bread.  It is something that adds to the quality of your bread that folks who don't make yogurt can never achieve with theirs.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I have used whey in place of buttermilk with good results.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi guys..............would you mind sharing your yogurt method or recipe on this site please.............Pete

PClark's picture
PClark

I put 1/2 gallon milk ( 2% or whole milk work best) in a slow cooker on high until it reaches 170 F. I used my instant read thermometer to keep track. Don't let it go over 180. Turn off the slow cooker and let it cool down to 115 F. Stir in 6-8 ounces PLAIN  yogurt, making sure it says active cultures on the label. Wrap the entire slow cooker up in towels and place somewhere where it will not be chilled quickly. I slide mine in the microwave. Some people put it in the oven. Leave it over night. I usually start mine around 6pm and it is ready to wrap up around 10pm but we have a very cool house so the cooling process is fast. By 9am or so I have the most beautiful yogurt. I store it in Mason jars and add sweetener, fruit, crunchy things as needed. Or make smoothies. 

Some people start the next batch with a saved cup of their homemade yogurt but I have not had good luck with that. The yogurt is thin. My best results the last two batches has been using plain Greek yogurt as starter. I hope you try it. It's fun and really good tasting. Plus you know exactly what is in it. I think it will keep quite a while in the frig but we eat it so fast I haven't had a problem. 

My costs for the last batch was $2.49 for a half gallon of store brand milk and $1.00 for a 6 ounce cup of name brand plain Greek yogurt( it was on sale).  So I have a half gallon plus 6 ounces of yogurt for $3.49. I hope you try it and enjoy it. I found this method on the internet. I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but I had a slow cooker. 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

had very good luck using 3 T of my last batch of yogurt to start the new one.  After about 6 times I use new culture from any  store bought yogurt with active cultures on the labels because i notice that it thins out some using the old.

bobinthebul's picture
bobinthebul

Yes, it can be tricky to keep a really good starter going. Of course the pros make it every day so it doesn't sit around. When you make it and open and shut the container until you're almost out, other things can get into it. You can partially prevent it by fermenting part if your inoculated milk in a separate jar (like a baby food jar). But it can still corrupt over time. Strangely enough my mom's never used to (I think we were the only family in our Iowa City neighborhood who had homemade yogurt...most of my friends didn't even know what it was), but now it does sometimes. Anther thing she notices is that after many batches, she'll get a "settled out" layer at the bottom of the container that is not quite a smooth as the rest. So she just starts it again from store-bought.

One very interesting thing I'd love to try some time is what a seminomadic Turkmen group in Turkey does: Each year on a particular day the start their yogurt culture afresh by inoculating it with dew collected from the grass. There's a bit of folklore around it, what it means if the culture doesn't take, etc.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I take 1 qt of non fat milk, add 1/3 C of non fat dry milk powder and cook it on high, stirring constantly, until it reaches 185 F.  Then I take it off the heat and cool it in an ice water bath by sicking the pot in a larger bowl with ice in the bowl.  When the temperature drops to 118, I add in 3 T of yogurt that has an active culture on the lable.  Ahead of time I set up a wood cutting board with a heating pad set to medium and 2 kitchen towels on top of the heating pad.  I set my thermometer on the towels, set the pot of 110 F future yogurt (now with a lid on the thermometer and cover the whole shebang with a thick folded over bath towel.  I let it mature for 12 hours and then drain it off in colander that has a paper towel in the bottom and the pot use to cook the milk underneath to catch the whey.  I cover the colander with plastic and put the pot, colander, yogurt mix into the fridge to drip away overnight.  In the morning you have what is in my picture above.  A pot of whey and about 3/4th of a quart of Greek yogurt.   I will post some other pictures soon since I have them somewhere.

 

You can also buy a quart of regular yogurt from the store, drain it off in the fridge in a colander with a paper towel in the bottom and end up with Greek yogurt and the whey water for bread.  I usually dilute the whey water with spring water for bread too.

Happy yogurting and baking!!

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi guys,

Thankyou for sharing this information, much appreciated............Pete

bobinthebul's picture
bobinthebul

As a part Greek who lived in Greece for several years and was there when "Fage" yogurt first came out, I feel the need to add something here about what "Greek" yogurt is. Please don't think I'm some pedantic curmudgeon. (Oh hell, maybe I am, just a little.) :)

Greek yogurt is cultured milk, usually cow or sheep's milk. That's all. The Greek word is "yiaourti," from the Turkish "yoğurt."  Sometimes they drain the yogurt for use in certain dishes; that's called "strangisto yiaourti."

In the early 80s, a company called "Fage" came out with a new yogurt. It was a very thick, somewhat tart product, and to most people I knew at the time, it seemed flavorless. They were convinced it was thickened with powdered milk (which they saw as an adulterant). The Fage company said it was not, but a friend of mine actually found lumps of undissolved powdered milk in Fage now and again.

Eventually it gained acceptance, and it's available with all the different fruit and corn syrup sweetened flavors. Now this yogurt has been marketed in the west as "Greek Yogurt" and well...yes, being from Greece and being (marginally) yogurt, it can be called "Greek Yogurt." But it's nothing traditional.

Judging from what is generally marketed as yogurt in the US (though I can't speak for other places), with all sorts of unnecessary components like gelatin, carageenan, modified food starch etc etc etc., I can see why the "Greek Yogurt" marketed there is popular.

But if you want really genuine yogurt, all you need to do is get whole milk (and remember that real whole milk is not 4%, it's higher, so you can add some half and half) and a good culture. If you want it to be really "authentic," then try to get milk that isn't homogenized, though that's difficult unless you have a dairy nearby. Then you'll get a nice layer of kaimaki/kaymak on the top. Though the other part of that is culturing the yogurt open in a warm room, which isn't really practical for most people making it at home.

Make sure you don't disturb the yogurt at all during the culturing process.

If you want to strain the yogurt afterwards, for making tzatziki,  Turkish haydari, certain sweets, or just because you like it that way, go for it! But it won't make it any more Greek than plain old good yogurt made from whole milk.

jetfan27's picture
jetfan27

I am of Greek origin, also. My family came here in 1912 from Constantinople. I agree with you on everything but what you call whole milk. In this country, whole milk is standardized to 3.5% butterfat. There is none higher unless you go to local creameries, but most of them standardize, too. But a higher butterfat content would really make a better yogurt. You can add heavy cream to your milk and increase the butterfat content.  I do appreciate your insight, though.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Greek yogurt just means thicker yogurt made with whole milk and nothing more - sadly.  They just drain off some of the whey and call it Greek.  Alas, not correct or fair but true I think.

bobinthebul's picture
bobinthebul

Yes - that's what it's come to mean, but the reason is that the Fage company began exporting its tasteless product to the west where it became popular. Heck, it's popular in Greece now too, and you find kids who won't eat yogurt unless it's full of sugary fruit flavorings. And Greece now has the highest childhood obesity rates in all of Europe (not because of yogurt alone of course). In Turkey yogurt is mostly still yogurt but it's only a matter of time I suppose.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I make my own jam besides slathering it on home made bread - to put in my yogurt.  It is just so good that way.  Who can resist?

bobinthebul's picture
bobinthebul

Thanks for the correction, though when I Google it I find varying information. Not sure where my 4% figure originally came from! I think in Turkey for yogurt it's closer to 6% or so. For me the biggest difference is in texture - even lower fat yogurt here tastes like yogurt and has a nice texture; you can't get that by adding food starch, gelatin, carageenan or whatever else they adulterate it with in the US. I have tried the "creamtop" yogurt but what's on the top of that is basically a layer of fat, quite different from the kaymak on top of yogurt in Greece and Turkey. That's more of an "enriched skin." :) I forgot to add that sometimes here milk is reduced by simmering before culturing, which also makes for a thicker product. Of what's generally available in the city, my favorite is still the more locally produced ones, even if they aren't quite as thick. But all of them pale before the yogurts made of whole milk in the countryside, either of cow's milk or (the best) buffalo milk.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

You can also make yogurt using a bread proofer if you have one. I have the Brod and Taylor folding bread proofer which can also be used to make yogurt. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

in some newer bread machines too - ones that have the yogurt cycle or instructions on how to do it with their machine.

mayK's picture
mayK

Regarding making yogurt - I heat full fat milk up to boiling point and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, I've learned that it breaks down the milk protein and thats make yogurt creamier - then I let the milk cool down to 43 grC- then adding 3 tbsp of naturell yogurt. Instead of oven or crock- pot- I use a metallic thermos, heated up with just boiling water before I pour the yougurt-milk into it, place the cap ontop and let it stand on the counter undisturbed for culturing to next day.    Next day I drain the yogurt - that makes the fat content getting higher-  and I think that the yogurt is tasting the best when it have been standing in refrigirator for 2-3 days :-) this is how I do it...   

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

your method a try if I can find a thermos big enough for a normal batch.  I usually end up with a fill quart of yogurt after draining off all the liquid.  I think the largest Thermos we have only holds a quart total   But that boiling part  is very interesting indeed and that we will try for sure. 

Happy yogurting and making bread with it too! .