1) Heat 1/2-gallon organic milk (4% fat or better) to a temperature of 180°F (82°C) or when small bubbles-froth appears on surface of the milk or just before it boils.
2) Let milk cool to a lukewarm temperature of 108-112°F (42-44°C), then mix in 1/2-3/4-cup of plain yogurt (e.g., my daughter calls this step “immortalizing” the yogurt) and/or 10 grams (2 tsp) of yogurt starter into the lukewarm milk.
3) Cover milk mixture and place in a 105°F oven for 6-to-14 hours.
4) Afterwards, the yogurt has “set”, but I prefer it thicker and creamier. So I pour the yogurt into a cheese-cloth-lined collander within a large bowl and strain out the whey (clear milk liquid). See image of set-up below.
4b) Optional – For Greek Yogurt (Γιαούρτι), I put the collander/bowl set-up in the oven at 105°F (41°C) for 60-to-120 minutes to strain out more whey. This optional step makes the yogurt extra thick and creamy or “Greek-style”.
5) Pour yogurt from collander into a container (with a tight lid); cover and refrigerate. I like to stir or mix the yogurt at this stage which makes it extra creamy in my opinion. Yogurt will thicken even more in the refrigerator. Use within two weeks after refrigerating.
NOTE: Greek Yogurt is traditionally flavored with honey and fruit, but this Greek-American prefers adding Mexican agave nectar and Canadian blueberries to flavor our yogurt.
pronounced “kali oreksi” is Greek for Bon Appetit.
Half gallon of yogurt in the pan on the left, after 14 hours in the 105°F oven. Cheese-cloth-lined collander in a drain bowl on the right. For Greek Yogurt I pour the yogurt into the collander set-up, and place in 105°F oven for one-to-two hours. I recently had my Greek yogurt assayed for Lactic Acid Bacteria by Warren Analytical Laboratory in Greeley, Colorado. They measured 60 million Colony Forming Units (CFU) per gram (times 28.35 grams/ounce = 1.7 Billion CFU/ounce!) A delicious source of probiotics for my family’s microbiome.
Here’s a ten-minute video of how to make my yogurt (just click the image triangle below):