Raw Milk Yogurt

May 16th, 2009 / Comments 1

At the Norwich Farmers’ Market this morning I stopped to chat with Kathy Barrett from On The River Farm, my source for local, organic, raw, Guernsey milk. With half a gallon, I can make yogurt for the week and have enough milk to last til next Saturday’s market.
milk+01+ Raw Milk Yogurt

Yogurt is extraordinarily simple to make.  Here’s how I made it.The only special equipment needed is an instant read thermometer. Milk is transformed into yogurt by bacteria fermentation.  A tablespoon of plain yogurt, either homemade or store bought, is the source of Lactobacillus, called the ‘starter’.


Begin with a quart of milk – raw, pasteurized, full fat, skim, or 2% fat will all work. Heat the milk to 180 degrees to get rid of any uninvited bacteria. In my microwave it takes about four minutes. Boiled milk makes a mess so I keep a close eye and check the temperature every minute.  Cool to 105 degrees.

Stir in one tablespoon room temperature yogurt. Mix well and pour mixture into individual jars or into one large container. Cover containers and place in the ‘warm environment’. I use a small cooler with a tea towel in the bottom, two large tin cans filled with hot tap provide the necessary warmth.  An oven can also be heated with hot water.

Fermentation takes a between four and seven hours in a warm, between 100 and 106 degrees, environment. Check the consistency of the yogurt and the temperature of the ‘environment’ every hour. If it cools to below 100 degrees reheat hot water in the tins. Yogurt is ready when it has reached the consistency of custard.

This recipe makes a quart of yogurt that will fill four eight ounce canning jars. Refrigerated, the yogurt will last til the Farmer’s Market next Saturday. Remember to save a tablespoon of yogurt to use as the starter for next weeks batch.

More ‘starter’ will neither speed the process nor make better yogurt. Too much ‘starter’ results in sour and watery yogurt.

Plain yogurt is great on its own, or can be dressed up with the addition of fresh fruit or berries. Vermont maple syrup on top is heavenly.

Yogurt cheese is a post for another day.

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• One Response to “Raw Milk Yogurt”

  • Michael says:

    This post brings back fond memories of when i was a graduate student and used to make yogurt for myself. I went to school in Bowling Green, KY, which, at the time, wasn’t the easiest place to find many kinds of foods, not to mention real yogurt. There were a number of times when i got distracted, or just plain forgot, that I had yogurt warming in the overn and it overcooked. A couple of times, I had to drive to Nashville for yogurt so I could make another batch. Of course, not too long after that I learned that I was lactose-intolerant, so though I like yogurt (esp. Greek-style yogurt) a lot, I don’t eat much of it any more.

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