Why would anyone bother to make their own yogurt? It’s for the flavour, and to support our local milk producers – the cows and their farmers – as no-one here on Orkney is making yogurt to sell. In normal times with friends and family staying with us our breakfasts of homemade granola and yogurt are relished. Sometimes the yogurt splits slightly and I occasionally drain the water off to make flatbreads. There are just two of us and we use a litre of yogurt in 5-6 days, whether we’re eating porridge or granola for breakfast. Of course you could make a half quantity of this with 2 tbsp of yogurt.

Print the recipe here


Makes approx 1 litre

• 1 litre milk (I use whole milk)

• 3 tbsp yogurt, from your previous batch or a commercial live yogurt

1. Warm the milk to between 87 and 94C* over a medium heat, then cool it to 47C by placing the pan in cold water. You need a digital thermometer for the accuracy required.

2. Set a 1 litre bowl on a large towel and spoon the yogurt into it. Stir in the cooled milk which needs to be at 47C to get the fermentation process going.

3. Cover with a suitably sized plate, wrap in the towel and place in the airing cupboard for 6 hours. Unwrap and chill for at least 4 hours before using.

Breakfast is ready.

Top Tips:

• I find the yogurt a little thicker if I heat the milk to 94C – but I have no science to back that up.

• When I had an Aga I left the wrapped bowl on the back for 5 hours – simmering or boiling side will depend on how hot the top of your Aga is.

• When the Aga was off in the summer – and as we had no airing cupboard – I successfully made yogurt in an enamel dish on a heated seed propagator but it needed up to 7 hours to thicken.

• One cousin enjoyed our yogurt so much that she started making her own in her home sauna…

• If, after 6 or so batches, the yogurt ceases to thicken properly, just use up the whole bowlful then get a new pot of commercial live yogurt to start the next batch.

• I am certain that in a commercial environment the heating and cooling of the milk would be done as slowly as possible which would probably stop the yogurt splitting.

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