Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to make yogurt

Hey there--I'm here to preach the gospel of homemade yogurt!  It's super easy, and it is SO much better than most of the stuff you can buy in Brazil (no weird ingredients, and no sugar).  Here's how we do it:


One 70 g container of Activia Natural (you have to use a starter that has live cultures, the container says BIFIDOBACTERIUM).

One liter of fresh milk (not boxed, but I have heard it will work).  We can find fresh milk at the padaria in bags for R$2.50 , or at the fancy schmancy grocery store for about R$4.

Take your yogurt container out of the fridge and leave it on the counter while you heat the milk.  Pour the milk in your cheap, aluminum rice pot.  I suggest using this one because I know the amount of time needed to cool the milk so you don't have to use a thermometer.  Cook the milk at medium heat until it just begins to boil.  You probably want to stir it every so often so it doesn't get the skin at the top, but if it does, it's still ok.

Once you start to see bubbles at the top of the milk because it is just at boiling, take the pot off the heat, and leave the milk uncovered for 45 minutes.  This allows the milk to cool to the right temperature.

Turn on your oven light (this might be the most challenging part of the process, because some ovens don't have lights.  At one point we were using a plug in light in the oven....)  Pour the milk into a tupperware and stir in the yogurt.  DON'T seal the container, but set the lid on top so the milk doesn't spill out.  Wrap the tupperware in a towel or small table cloth.  Put it in the oven with the light on, and leave it there for 8 hours.

Then you have yogurt!  Of course, I like to refrigerate mine before eating.


  1. Oh, this is so good! We have this all the time in Brazil... so much better than the weird stuff they call yogurt in the stores!

  2. That's the method that Luiz uses to make his. I have an easier method.... pour milk into a used yogurt container (don't wash it out) and leave it in a dark warm place for almost a week. (Here in the US, I'd recommend leaving it on top of your boiler or water heater). Wait 4 - 5 days and you now have plain yogurt made!
    But, yeah, nothing beats home made foods!

  3. I use (Canadian) powdered milk and bought some recently in the US as it is cheaper. Well the taste was so different. In fact there was NO taste. Mine has a nice bite or tartness to it and the US milk was just flat. I used it up in smoothies. How different can powdered milk be you wonder?

  4. Wonderful -- and if you like it a bit thicker in consistency, pour the fully developed yogurt into a cotton cloth bag and hang it over the sink for another 8 hours or so. The excess liquid will drain and you will have more of a Lebanese - or Greek - style thick yogurt. Yum!

    Great post!

  5. Excellent, Shelley! I have always prefer homemade but don't do it any more, BUT who knows this may inspire me again!! Love, Mom

  6. Fantastic! I've been trying to make yogurt from the milk we have on our farm, but it seems that the local yogurts are all pasturized and lack the right cultures. I never thought of Activia! (although I think that we only have the flavored version in our small town) I'm going to have to stop by the supermarket and pick some up!