Homemade yoghurt

Frank Camorra's homemade yoghurt.
Frank Camorra's homemade yoghurt. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Making your own yoghurt is easy and complicated at the same time. It's easy because you only need whole milk and a small amount of yoghurt. The complication is that you have to be meticulous with your equipment sterilisation and temperature control. But once you taste the finished product the effort is worth it.


1 litre full-cream milk

2 tbsp natural yoghurt


Choosing the right jars

You will need jars with lids to hold the yoghurt, either one large jar that holds 1100 millilitres, or some smaller jars. Fill a large saucepan with water, place the jars, lids, a whisk and metal spoon in the pan, bring to the boil then boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave everything in the saucepan until you use it.

Tip: When choosing which jars to use for making yoghurt, make sure they will fit in your incubator (eskyor similar container) before sterilising.

Heat the milk

Pour the milk into a smaller saucepan. If you have a thermometer, clip it to the saucepan and heat the milk to 90C. Take the milk off the heat and let the saucepan sit in a sink half filled with cold water, to cool the milk quickly.

When the milk reaches about 35-40C but no higher, add the yoghurt and whisk in thoroughly. Adding the yoghurt to the milk when it's too hot will kill the beneficial bacteria but you need the milk to be warm enough to activate the bacteria, so make sure it's within that temperature range.

Taking your time to whisk the ingredients thoroughly gives you smooth yoghurt. When the yoghurt is ready, take the sterilised jar or jars out of the water and place on the kitchen bench to cool down slightly.

Pouring into jars

While the yoghurt is still hot and the jar is still warm, add the yoghurt to the jar and seal the lid.

Place the sealed jars in a small esky or similar container and fill it with warm water to a level three-quarters up the sides of the jars to keep them at 35C. Check every so often to make sure the water is still warm; replace with more warm water if it has cooled. Leave in the esky for nine hours. When you take it out, the milk will have set.

Chill the yoghurt and it will thicken further. It will keep for a week in the fridge.