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Homemade Yogurt

Making your own yogurt may sound ambitious, but it's really not. All it takes is two ingredients and 20 minutes of hands-on time.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 8 hours
  • yield: Makes 1 quart
Photography: Kate Mathis




  • 1 quart 2 percent milk
  • 3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt

Cook's Note

Keep It Cozy
Wrapping the mixture in towels helps maintain a consistent temperature.

The longer incubation time in the range given in step 3 produces a slightly thicker, tangier result.


  1. Step 1

    Place milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until it reaches 180 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool to 115 degrees.

  2. Step 2

    Whisk together 1 cup milk and the yogurt. Stir into remaining milk.

  3. Step 3

    Transfer to a 1-quart mason jar. Wrap jar (without lid) in 2 clean kitchen towels, completely covering sides and top. Let stand undisturbed in a warm place until yogurt has the consistency of custard, 4 to 5 hours.

  4. Step 4

    Refrigerate uncovered jar; when it's cool to the touch, about 30 minutes, screw on a tight-fitting lid.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2012



Reviews (14)

  • Wendy Williams 8 Mar, 2013

    try putting the filled jar in a closed oven with the light on. I have had excellent results this way. (I also use whole milk)

  • Kathy_KiTKaT 8 Mar, 2013

    I haven't used this recipe, but I make yogurt all the time. I think the recipe should be more specific about how warm the warm place needs to be. ??? I cure my yogurt in a large insulated bag with 2 heating pads on the low temperature, for several hours (10 -24) I make 2 quarts at a time and it always turns out delicious and thick!

  • Zeba Ibrahim 8 Mar, 2013

    The recipe to make yogurt is good if any one of you have the problem of setting the yogurt, just add one green hot pepper to the milk mixture after adding the yogurt and leave it overnight in a warm place. It would definitely result in a set yogurt.

  • hokila 7 Mar, 2013

    I'd be sure to use a yogurt that has active bacteria/live culture in it for this recipe... and make sure the milk isn't so hot it kills anything I put in it.

  • Vicckkee 7 Mar, 2013

    I use 2% milk Heat to 185 degrees, stir to prevent scorching. I use 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of warm milk. When the milk reaches 185 remove from heat, allow to cool to between 105-110 degrees I add the yogurt/milk. Stir well,put a lid on the pot,wrap the pot in a towel,put it in my oven for 6 hours. If you want sour cream leave it longer. After 6 hours I spoon the yogurt into a colander lined with cheesecloth to further strain the whey. temp is important

  • Cynthia M 7 Mar, 2013

    I have made this same recipe many times, with a lot of success. Here is what I do different:

    While I am preparing the yogurt I put my oven on 200. degrees. After it is in mason jars, I wrap it in several dish towels, put them in a large stainless steel bowl I have, with more towels on top and then slide it into the oven. I turn the oven OFF. I leave it in more like 8-10hours or overnight. Perfect!

    Try diff. brands of yogurt as starters, some brands even if they say active culture don't work

  • Pari 7 Mar, 2013

    put in fridge for another 2 hrs.
    it is supper easy.
    I boil milk at night and yogurt is ready in morning I put it in fridge and when back from work horrayyyyy ;)
    it is very important how your starter taste is as it affects your result: tangy then you have tangy taste , if it is sweet then it would be sweet. time and temperature is matter as well: warm-hot , then milk sets faster and taste more tangy,
    warm-cold, milks sets longer and taste sweet and less thickness.

  • Pari 7 Mar, 2013

    we are doing this for many years as every Iranian does.
    My mom way: Boil the milk ,just watch it not to boil over the pot , stir and then turn it off. set a side . check the temperature with your small finger. HOW: it shouldn't be cold not hot , as long as you can tolerate it for seconds then is ready to add starter which is plain yugort. 2 tbs yougort for one litter milk. mix and transfer to nice container. wrapp it with blanket and leave it for 5-8 hours.chek it after 5 hrs if it sets put in

  • Jean Thooft 7 Mar, 2013

    I haven't made this particular recipe, but when I have had the problem of not being thick ,it was because the yogurt was too old, and I use a yogurt maker that holds the temp. for 10-12 hours, I think the longer culture time helps it to get thicker also!!

  • Phrancescah 7 Mar, 2013

    I make yogurt all the time. Whole milk is easier to work with than lower fat milks. I bring the milk (I use 1 half gallon) to a gentle boil (about 185-200F) and let sit for 5 minutes. Then I let sit till the temperature falls to about 120F. I Dilute 1/2 to 1 cup of plain yogurt with some of the boiled milk and then combine it with the rest of the boiled milk. Wrap it in a blanket or thick towel and place in a warm place for 6-12 hours. The longer the incubation the thicker the yogurt.

  • Tonya Hughes 7 Mar, 2013

    Alton Brown of good eats has pretty much the same recipe. I am wondering if the 180 degrees is a bit too high??

  • Sanja84 7 Mar, 2013

    My grandma puts about 3/4 cup yogurt and usually lets it sit overnight. Mix it with a spoon from time to time, and that's it.

  • Julie002 17 Feb, 2013

    I had the same thing - no thickening whatsoever. Has anyone done this successfully and can share some pointers?

  • courtneylotr 3 Feb, 2013

    I had a difficult time making this recipe. I tried it 3 times and each time I could not get the milk/yogurt starter to become the consistancy of custard - it would always stay a milky consistancy. On my last attempt I even put the mixture into the oven set on "warm" as it sat in a "warm" place. Any one else have any sucess?