Yogurt – Copyright Coquere

Making your own yoghurt offers a taste experience and creamy texture, that shop-bought varieties simply cannot match



Making your own yoghurt offers a taste experience and creamy texture, that shop-bought varieties simply cannot match. Many mistakenly believe that yoghurt production is a complicated process, but the reality is that it is surprisingly simple. With just two basic ingredients – milk and a yoghurt culture – you can make your own yoghurt. The procedure is straightforward: heat the milk, add the culture, let it sit in a warm place to ferment, and then cool in the fridge for storage. Yoghurt has a rich history dating back to Mesopotamia, about 7000 years ago. It is considered a natural probiotic, that contributes to a healthy gut flora. Recent research emphasises the importance of good gut flora for the immune system and suggests a link with reduced disease risk and potentially longer life. Stories from Bulgaria, where yoghurt has been part of the daily diet, indicate a longer and healthier lifestyle among farmers.


When making yoghurt, you can also produce Kaymak – a by-product that is a layer of fat forming on the top after fermentation. To achieve Kaymak, however, you need raw milk or unpasteurized milk, which offers an even richer flavour. Although the commercial sale and marketing of raw milk or unpasteurized milk are prohibited in Scandinavia and in most countries including the USA and UK, you can still acquire it directly from some dairy producers, provided you ask specifically. Regular shop-bought milk also works excellently, and the amount of yoghurt you end up with will roughly equal the amount of milk used. Making your own yoghurt allows you to adjust the quantity to your needs, but since the process takes some time, it may be wise to produce enough for about two weeks consumption at a time.


Yoghurt with 3.5% Fat

13 dl of full-fat milk.


Yoghurt with Approximately 6% Fat – This closely resembles traditional Greek/Turkish yoghurt

12 dl of full-fat milk
1 dl of cream (18 – 22% fat content).


Yoghurt with Approximately 12% Fat:

10 dl of full-fat milk
3 dl of double cream. (Approx. 36 % fat content)


Incorporate 3-4 tablespoons of yoghurt that hasn’t been ultra-pasteurised – essentially live and active yoghurt. A high-quality store-bought as e.g Greek yoghurt is suitable.


Optional Flavouring:

Enhance with 4-5 teaspoons of vanilla sugar and 4-5 tablespoons of icing sugar, or tailor with flavourings of your choice.


Heating Phase:
  1. Select a thick-bottomed pot with a lid large enough to hold all the milk and cream you plan to use.
  2. Heat the mixture on medium to at least 82 degrees, adjusting the heat carefully to prevent scorching at the bottom.
  3. For thicker yoghurt, allow the mixture to simmer on the lowest heat for 10-12 minutes to concentrate the yoghurt by reducing its water content.


Placing the pot in the oven provides a consistent temperature, which is advantageous. It’s better to use 35 °C than to have it too hot, as too high a temperature can stop the fermentation process and make the yoghurt grainy.

Fermentation Phase:
  1. Once the milk mixture has cooked and cooled to 44-45 °C, add the yoghurt starter and stir well until completely dissolved.
  2. Cover with the lid.
  3. To ferment the yoghurt, you can place the pot in an oven preheated to 40 °C, adjusting the temperature to 35 °C if necessary, or wrap the pot in a thick blanket and place it in a warm spot, such as a bathroom floor with underfloor heating. Allow the yoghurt to ferment for at least 6-7 hours. Although longer periods may produce a tangier yoghurt, my experiments showed little difference in tanginess between 6-9 hours, but the yoghurt did thicken more after 7-8 hours.


Cooling and Flavouring:
  1. After fermentation, if you desire even thicker yoghurt, you can strain it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove extra liquid.
  2. For those who wish to add flavour, reserve about 1 ½ dl of the yoghurt as a starter for the next batch before flavouring the rest.
  3. Flavouring is flexible; for example, I used about 4 tablespoons of icing sugar for sweetness and some vanilla sugar. Adjust this to your own taste.
  4. Transfer the yoghurt to airtight containers and cool in the fridge for at least 12 hours. This helps the yoghurt to thicken further and it will stay fresh in the fridge for 10-14 days.


Serving Suggestions:

The yoghurt you’ve crafted, whether plain or flavoured, offers a vast array of uses. It can be enjoyed as is, or as a refreshing complement to fruits and berries. For enthusiasts of Mediterranean cuisine, homemade yoghurt is ideal for creating tzatziki, a classic dip or sauce beloved in both Greece and Turkey. The yoghurt can also be used similarly to sour cream in various dishes. The possibilities are virtually limitless, only bounded by your creativity and taste preferences. Dive into experimentation with your yoghurt to uncover new and thrilling ways to integrate it into your meals.



The yoghurt is naturally gluten-free and can be made lactose-free by using lactose-free milk and cream. Many people with lactose intolerance find that yoghurt made with regular milk is well tolerated, as the lactose is largely broken down during the fermentation process. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to use lactose-free milk if you want to completely avoid lactose. This makes homemade yoghurt an accessible option for most people, regardless of gluten or lactose intolerance. The FODMAP level depends on the individual’s tolerance for fermented lactose. A guaranteed low FODMAP option is achieved by using lactose-free milk and cream.

Read a more comprehensive article about yoghurt:: Yogurt

If you really want to delve into the health benefits of fermented dairy products and probiotics, you can read the very extensive meta-research article from the National Library of Medicine: Yogurt science

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