The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking with home made yogurt.

Grandpa Larry's picture
Grandpa Larry

Baking with home made yogurt.

My wife claims that the older I get, the more like my mother I become. One of her idiosyncrasies was her distrust of any food not prepared by her.

I guess I am a little like that. I bake almost all of our bread, and I recently started culturing my own yogurt. I've noticed that, unless I strain some of the water out the yogurt is thinner than the supermarket variety, but it makes a perfect substitute for buttermilk in muffin, scone, pancake, and biscuit recipes. It's the consistency of store bought buttermilk.

Here's a recipe for Blueberry Muffins using yogurt.  My family really likes these muffins. You have my permission to use any yogurt you please.

2 Cups    All Purpose Flour

1 tsp        Baking Powder

1/2 tsp     Baking Soda

1/2 tsp     Salt

3/4 Cup   Sugar

1 Cup      Yogurt or Buttermilk

1 Egg

3 Tbl.      Veg Oil

1 heaping cup fresh Blueberries.

Whisk all dry ingredients until they are well combined.  Add berries and stir until they are all coated with flour mixture.

Combine egg, oil, and yogurt

Add liquid to flour/berry mixture. Mix until combined.

Scoop into muffin tins.

Bake in 375F oven until golden brown. About 15 minutes. Makes 12-14 regular or 6-7 jumbo muffins.

Make your own buttermilk:  Add 1 Tbl lemon juice or 1 Tbl white vinegar to 1 cup room temperature milk. Allow to sit until clabbered. If using lemon juice, add the zest to the batter.



dabrownman's picture

the left over whey from making yogurt and draining it for the liquid in the bread.  Makes great bread.  I too try to make everything from jam, pickles, mustard, ketchup, cured and smoked meats, bread, deserts, noodles and grow my own greens for half the year.  I think your mom was spot on and way ahead of her time.

Happy baking

clazar123's picture

Oh,wow. The whole thing disappeared. I had written a response and apparently only the title came through. These sentences are written on edit.

I had purchased a fancy strainer to make Greek style yogurt at one point. It was a square strainer and container to catch the whey. Kind of hard to clean that oddly shaped, square strainer. Then I discovered that a great strainer could be made from a styro coffee cup with thin slits cut all over with a thin knife. The yogurt is put in the pierced cup and this is then placed in a bowl to catch the whey. Put everything in the refrigerator overnight and you have great, thick yogurt for breakfast.

Let's see if this post makes it.

Antilope's picture

Do you scald the milk before cooling it and using it to make more yogurt? There is an enzyme present in the milk that works against the yogurt thickening. Heating the milk to 180-F and then cooling to below 90-F before adding the yogurt starter will inactivate the enzyme and make thicker yogurt. My wife is half Armenian and when it comes to homemade yogurt it's a cultural thing. We always have some in the fridge. I use it to replace most dairy in baking.

I have found that baker's yeast doesn't like to be stirred into pure yogurt or buttermilk. It really makes for a slow rise (2 or 3 times longer than normal). If I stir the instant dry yeast into the dry flour first, then the yeast has no problem. Must be the acid environment of the yogurt and buttermilk causing the problem.


Making homemade cultured buttermilk is easier to make than yogurt. Scald 4 cups of milk, cool to room temperature. Add 1/4 cup of commercial cultured buttermilk. Mix well and cover. Keep at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Place in fridge when as sour as you want. Buttermilk will separate if incubated at yogurt temperatures in a yogurt maker. Incubation on the counter at room temperature is best for cultured buttermilk.

Grandpa Larry's picture
Grandpa Larry

I'm no expert on making yogurt, but this method works for me. I make about a quart at a time.

I heat the milk in the microwave to about 185F, then allow it to cool to about 100F. I mix 3 or 4 tablespoons of yogurt into the milk, which is in a freshly washed 32 oz. glass measuring cup..

After mixing the yogurt into the milk, I place the measuring cup into a new zip lock storage bag and seal it shut. Since I don't have a yogurt maker, I just place the bag in my gas oven with only the pilot on. If I need to use the oven for baking, I remove the bag and rest it on top of the range until I'm finished, then place it back in the oven after it's cooled.

After 8 or 9 hours I put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning it's nice and thick and tasty! It's normally thick enough for my taste, but I do occasionally strain it.