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Mary's Nest Homemade Yogurt
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5 from 2 votes

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is so superior to anything you can buy at the grocery store.  It is fresher and teaming with probiotics to nourish your gut.  And with this recipe all you need is a bowl!  So give this a try today.  You can do this!
Prep Time15 mins
Culturing Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Eastern European
Keyword: Cultured Dairy, Homemade Yogurt, Nutrient Dense Foods, Probiotic Rich Foods, Yogurt
Servings: 4 Cups
Author: Mary's Nest


  • 4 cups Whole milk
  • 1/4 cup Plain whole milk yogurt


  • Pour the milk into a pot and place it on the stovetop. Bring it up to a boil over medium heat.  Stir continually to make sure that the milk does not burn on the bottom of the pan.  When it comes to a boil, the milk will be 180°F.  As soon as it boils, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Allow the milk to cool to approximately 110°F.  A candy thermometer is useful to determine this temperature, but if you do not have a thermometer, you can use your CLEAN finger to judge the correct temperature.  The milk will feel comfortably warm to the touch, like a warm bath.  It will not be uncomfortable for you to put your finger into the milk. 
  • While the milk is cooling, place a dish towel over a rimmed baking sheet to cover, and then place a large bowl onto the covered baking sheet.  This larger bowl can be tempered glass, ceramic, earthenware, or stoneware.  DO NOT use plastic.
  • Next, place a medium-sized bowl into the larger bowl. Make sure that the medium-sized bowl is larger enough to hold the 4 cups of milk. This medium-sized bowl can be tempered glass, ceramic, earthenware, or stoneware.  DO NOT use plastic.
  • When the milk has cooled to the correct temperature, transfer the milk to the medium-sized bowl and add the yogurt to the milk. Stir the milk and yogurt together until the yogurt is completely incorporated. 
  • Boil some water in a tea kettle. Once it comes to a boil, allow it to cool for a minute or so and then pour the hot water in between the two bowls.  The water should come to right below the lip of the medium-sized bowl. (See video.)
  • If the bowls have lids, put the lid on the medium-sized bowl and then put the lid on the large bowl.  If your bowls do not have lids, you can cover them with plastic wrap. 
  • Cover the bowls with two dish towels or one large towel and let them stand in a warm place, undisturbed.  An oven that has been turned OFF, but has the light on or a pilot light, is an ideal place.  Other acceptable places include the top of a refrigerator or a pantry. 
  • After 4 hours, check the yogurt.  It should be set firm.  If not, re-cover it and let it continue to culture for another hour.  The longer you allow it to culture, the firmer it will become, but it will also become more tangy or tart tasting.  Also, keep in mind, when you refrigerate the yogurt, it will also become slightly thicker without the addition of tanginess. This is important to note if you are planning on feeding the yogurt to children (or adults for that matter!) who do not like a particularly tart tasting yogurt.
  • When the yogurt has reached the consistency and taste that you like, refrigerate it.  It will stay fresh for up to 1 week, refrigerated.



Once you make your homemade yogurt, save a little from this first batch to make your next batch.
If you like a Greek style yogurt, place a mesh strainer lined with a flour sack towel, cheese cloth, or a coffee filter over a bowl.  Pour some of the yogurt into the lined strainer, place in the refrigerator, and allow the whey (a clear to yellowish tinged semi-clear liquid) to drain into the bowl.  Check the yogurt after about an hour to see if it has reached the consistency that you like.  If you wish, you can continue to drain the whey from the yogurt, and it will take on the consistency a soft cheese.
Do not discard the whey.  Whey is very nutritious and full of probiotics. You can drink it straight, or mix it with sparkling water and pour over ice for a refreshing beverage.  You can also use whey as a starter to add to the water in which grains are soaked or to add the the water used to ferment vegetables.
Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-homemade-yogurt-no-machine-required/
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