With its luxurious, thick & creamy texture and mild flavor, Greek-style yogurt is easy to love. Our recipe delivers the ultimate DIY dream yogurt.
Greek-style yogurt is so delicious, we’re thrilled to develop a specialized recipe that produces the best result with the most convenient process. Like our custard-style yogurt, this recipe holds the milk at a high temperature to denature plenty of whey proteins, producing a thicker texture and a yogurt that loses less protein during straining. A key difference from our other yogurt recipes is that all the milk is left in one large container for culturing, which is more convenient than a collection of mason jars if the yogurt will be strained. Leaving the milk in one large container also makes it easier to hold it at a hot temperature – just cover the pot and let it sit, no additional fussing required.
We love the High-Low method for its stable, smooth texture and for the longer window of opportunity to catch the yogurt before culturing progresses too far and forms lumps. For this version of High-Low yogurt, the Proofer temperatures have been tweaked to accommodate a metal pan and the large size of the container, both of which cause the yogurt to cool much more slowly than a collection of mason jars.
Got Grass-fed Milk?
Straining is a wonderful technique for summertime (pastured) milk or grass-fed milk. Numerous studies show (and cheesemakers know) that summer milk has lower protein, lower fat and lower overall solids than winter milk- in short, it has more water and less of the stuff that gives yogurt a thick, stable texture. We’ve noticed how yogurt is more prone to leak whey or form lumps when our local dairy puts their cows out to pasture. The solution we love most is to strain and whisk the yogurt to transform it into thick and smooth Greek yogurt.
Greek-Style Yogurt Recipe
Printable Multi-language Recipes
Yield: U.S. recipe makes approximately 9 cups after straining. The metric recipe makes about 2¼ liters. The yield can vary with the quantity of protein in the milk and the amount of time devoted to straining. This recipe can be halved; the yogurt will take a bit longer to set since the smaller container will cool down faster than a larger one.
Equipment: Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer, thermometer, large stock pot with a lid, a large colander with coffee filters or cheesecloth to strain the yogurt, and a whisk. A one-cup mason jar is convenient for separating out the yogurt that will be used to start the next batch.
Note: When using the Folding Proofer to make yogurt, be certain there is no water in the water tray. The water tray is not needed for making yogurt. You can remove it from the Proofer, if you like, or leave it empty. But do not add water because it will affect temperature settings.
|Milk (Whole, Low Fat or Skim)||1 gallon||4 liters|
|Plain Yogurt with Live Cultures*||1 cup||250 ml|
*Either store-bought or reserved from a previous batch of homemade yogurt.
Step One: Heat Milk to 205F / 96C and Hold for 10 Minutes. Pour the milk into a large stock pot and heat to at least 205F / 96C. Stir constantly and watch the milk as it approaches 200F to avoid the mess of boiling over. (Boiling will not harm the milk or the yogurt, it’s just messy). Remove the pot of milk from the stovetop and cover, allowing it to stay hot for ten minutes.
Tip: Whisking the milk to cover the surface with bubbles will prevent it from forming a skin during heating and cooling.
Step Two: Cool Milk to 110F / 43C. After the milk has remained hot for ten minutes, remove the lid and allow it to cool to 110F / 43C. For faster and more food-safe cooling, place the container of milk in a pan or sink of cold tap water. While the milk is cooling, set up the Proofer with the wire rack in place and the temperature at 110F / 43C. If your stock pot is too tall to fit into the Proofer, transfer the milk to a large bowl when it cools to about 115F / 46C.
Step Three: Add Yogurt to the Milk. Put the yogurt with live cultures into a small bowl. Gradually stir in enough of the warm milk to liquefy the mixture and mix until smooth. Then pour the liquefied culture back into the large container of milk and stir gently to distribute. Place the lid on the pot and put it into the Proofer to culture.
Culturing yogurt in one large container
Step Four: Culture at 110F / 43C for an Hour, then Lower the Heat to 80F / 26C. Set a kitchen timer for one hour, then after that hour turn the Proofer down to 80F / 26C. Continue to culture the yogurt until it is set.
Step Five: Check the Yogurt after Three Hours. After an hour at 110F plus two more hours at 80F, check the yogurt by gently tilting the container to the side to see if the milk has set. Most yogurts will take about 3-4 hours to set, or the yogurt can be cultured longer for more flavor and acidity. Tip: If it is not convenient to strain the yogurt when it is finished culturing, it’s fine to refrigerate it until later.
Step Six: Strain the Yogurt. When the yogurt is finished culturing, remove it from the Proofer and spoon enough yogurt into a small jar to be the starter culture for your next batch, then refrigerate it (it is better not to strain the seed culture). Line a large colander with cheesecloth, a clean towel or a restaurant-sized coffee filter and place it over a large bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the colander, cover it and place in the refrigerator to drain. Empty the whey from the bowl as needed during straining. We like Greek-style yogurt best when strained for about 3-4 hours, but you can strain for more or less time to suit your needs.
Straining Greek Yogurt
Step Seven: Whisk the Yogurt. When the yogurt is finished straining, spoon it into a large bowl and whisk vigorously to smooth out the texture and give it a uniform thickness. If desired, flavorings can be added and/or the yogurt can be spooned into single-serve containers. Refrigerate.
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I have a two part video that shows how to make Greek yogurt using the Brod and Taylor proofer. I love my B&T proofer! I use the whey left after straining the yogurt to make sourdough bread. The formula for the bread is on my Youtube Channel at NorthwestSourdough. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDqMWhgSTguH9d0_ht2KnaYEhyR2Lu8M4
Hi Teresa, Nice videos, looks like you’ve had fun making Greek yogurt!
Will there be a considerable difference between whole milk and 1% or skim milk?
Judy, Thank you for your interest and a good question. Yes, there will be a difference in both texture and flavor depending on whether you are using whole or skim milk. Fat content affects both. Whole milk is generally sweeter in taste than skim milk even though both have about the same lactose (milk sugar) content. This taste difference may be due in part to the fact that skim milk has about 30% more sodium than whole milk. Fat in dairy products produces a creamier and smoother texture. Commercially sold non-fat Greek yogurts often have additives, stabilizers or fillers to enhance the palatability of yogurt they sell. On November 11, 2015 we have a Facebook post linking to an article about fillers often used in Greek yogurts: There are a lot of reasons to make your own yogurt in the Folding Proofer: saves money, eliminates disposables, reduces energy consumption, and eliminates unwanted submicroscopic particles in your diet. FDA-approved titanium dioxide is used in plastics, paint and cosmetics, but it is also used in many foods to brighten the color or whiten the food. Greek yogurt, cheese, and cereals are foods in which titanium dioxide has been found. A recent article in Science News “Nanoparticles in Foods Raise Safety Questions” addresses what these additives do in the body. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/nanoparticles-foods-raise-safety-questions Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further questions.
I am having great success with this Greek yogurt recipe and everyone loves it. We add fruit and honey or a little bit of homemade jam to our servings when we dish it up. YUM! I am on my third batch already! I have been putting it in the refrigerator when I strain it and am wondering if that is correct or should I leave it on the counter. Will the flavor change if it is left out? Thanks for your help. Judy W
Judy, We are pleased to hear you are having stellar results. We always keep yogurt in the refrigerator while straining. The flavor would likely change depending on your “room temperature” and keeping yogurt in the refrigerator is the most food safe. Enjoy!
If, while heating the milk, some of it sticks to the bottom of the pot, do you think the milk should be transferred to a new pot for the culturing and incubating process? Thanks in advance.
Brian, If there is residue stuck on the bottom of the pot and you are planning to incubate the entire batch in a pot we do recommend pouring the milk into a clean and sterilized pot before incubation. When using an electric burner stove, a thinner-bottom pot, and/or forgetting to stir as often all the way to the bottom of the pot, you may have some of the milk stuck to the bottom. If the residue is not dark or burned your yogurt should be fine. Some of the people in our office have electric stoves and leave the heating burner on while covering the pot with a tight fitting lid and shifting the pot to an adjacent cold burner during the ten minutes at 195F. About 3-5 minutes after moving the covered pot, check the temperature. If it is dropping below 195F, set it back on the warm burner for up to 1 minute and check that it has risen back up to 195F. Once again slide it over to the cool burner for the remainder of the ten minutes. This will help prevent the residue from forming during the ten minutes at the higher temperature. We hope this answers your question and good luck with your yogurt.
Does the large bowl have to be covered? From Step Two: If your stock pot is too tall to fit into the Proofer, transfer the milk to a large bowl when it cools to about 115F / 46C.
Robert, Yes, the bowl should be covered and placed in the Proofer at the end of Stage 3. We have used a plate occasionally depending on whether the pot lid will fit in the Proofer or not. A plate will work as long as the rim of the pot is not dinged or dented in anyway and allows a good snug seal with a smooth clean large plate. Condensation in the pot while it is in the Proofer will “seal” the plate and pot where they meet. Of course you can always transfer to a pot shorter in height too. The easiest thing to do is figure out which pot and lid will fit in the Proofer prior to starting making the Yogurt. Just set the pot on a flat surface and measure the total height including the lids highest point. As long as it is under 8″/20cm you will have no problem. All the best to you and please let us know if we can assist you in the future.
I left the pot in the Proofer at 110 for about 2 1/2 hours and then remembered to drop the temp to 80. I had used a low fat milk for the first time and there was a lot more whey. After straining over night, the yogurt looks and tastes more like cottage cheese. Will it be okay to eat, and is there anything I can add to improve the flavor? No more low fat milk for me!
Jeanne, Sounds like you created something new! It is likely that the yogurt needed about another hour to really “set”. If you strained it overnight in the refrigerator, it should be fine to eat. How to improve taste will be according to your preference through trial and error. We agree about not using low-fat milk. Everyone at our office uses whole milk for the thickest and most creamy texture.
I’ve tried 3 batches of yoghurt so far, each using a different recipe (regular, custard and Greek), with varying degrees of success. It seems that precise temperature control is pretty crucial. My conundrum is that I live at 3000 feet and I’m wondering what adjustments I should make to your recipes to take altitude into account. I know boiling point here is about 6 degrees below what it would be at sea level and it’s a struggle e.g. to maintain the milk at the temp specified in the recipe. Should I also adjust the proofing temps? I’d really appreciate some guidance, perhaps a link to a conversion table or a formula to calculate adjustments.
Lynn, These are great questions. Yoghurt can set faster at high altitudes. Simply check the yoghurt more often to see when it has set. There will be a difference in both texture and flavor depending on whether you are using whole or skim milk. Yoghurt starter, a blend of bacteria which are added to milk to consume the lactose (milk sugar). Lactose in the milk is converted into lactic acid which gives yoghurt a tangy taste. Increased lactic acid allows yoghurt to be stored longer than dairy milks and also changes the milk’s protein structure resulting in a smooth thick yogurt texture. Thickness and flavor of yoghurt are determined by the starter’s blend of bacteria which has been introduced into the milk. We suspect that there may be a problem with the yoghurt starter you are introducing when you inoculate the batch you are making. Be certain the starter you use is labeled that it contains “live culture”. For proofing, yes, altitude can affect yeast doughs. They may rise too quickly, and then collapse because there isn’t enough structure to support the dough. To add more structure to the dough, decrease the yeast and allow more time for the initial rise. You can also use bread flour, which has more gluten for structure. You may need to add a bit more water if substituting all-purpose to bread flour. For more info, view https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html We hope these hints are helpful and have answered your concerns. All the best in making your yoghurt and breads.
Why would my homemade yogurt be “stretchy”? Perhaps I did not heat it to a high enough temp or keep it there ling enough?
Betsy, Please go to the following page on our website for detailed information about questions bakers and cooks have asked regarding making yogurt. We think the information may lead you to the answer. It is very difficult for us to answer without knowing which instructions you were following to make the yogurt, what culture you are using and whether it is/was a healthy starter culture, what milk you are using, etc. “Stretchy” does not sound like a healthy yogurt to us. Good luck discovering what you can modify or change to improve success. All the best to you in your efforts.
I recently discovered that even as someone who is lactose-sensitive, due to the straining process of making Greek yogurt, most of the lactose is strained out with the whey and I have been eating it with no problems, hooray!! However it is pricey and I’ve been looking into a DIY method to make it. My concern is that most of the resources I found regarding the lactose content of Greek yogurt referenced the “three strainings” that apparently are part of the Greek yogurt making process as the reason why so much of the lactose is taken out. With this method (which seems like a simple one to follow so I want it to work!! Haha) since it is only strained once, do you thing that removes the same amount of lactose as multiple strainings? If not, would it be possible to strain the yogurt a few more times? Thanks!
Karlyn: In our understanding, it is not possible to remove lactose sugar from yogurt by straining in a paper filter. The best way to remove lactose in yogurt is with a long culturing time in which the yogurt cultures consume the lactose. Lactose-free yogurt is very sour/tart. If your yogurt is sweet, it has lactose. Filtering will not make a sweet yogurt sour.
I am enjoying making Greek Style yogurt with the Proofer. I wanted to ask if there would be any issue in using the traditional dried Yogurt Culture to mix into the Milk rather than the prepared Yogurt. Thanks so much
Thomas: We do not think there will be any issue with you mixing a dried yogurt culture into the milk as a substitute for a prepared yogurt. The key is that you are introducing live active cultures with either method. After your first batch is done, you could then reserve some of your homemade yogurt as a starter for future batches.