Yogurt Unplugged (almost)

Written by Lynn of Cookie Baker Lynn.

Iam a sucker for kitchen catalogs, those gorgeous, glossy advertisements that come in the mail. They do a wonderful job of tempting me, but when I’m done drooling, usually I just pitch the catalog without placing an order and without longing regret.

How am I able to turn my back so resolutely on those fabulous tools, gadgets, and machines that promise to pluck the last olive from the jar, take out strawberry hulls with ease, and make baby food at the press of a button?

I’ve learned a valuable secret. When you buy a single purpose gadget, you not only have to pay for it, you also have to store it. Most of us don’t have kitchens as big as a barn in which to store gadgets. It’s much tidier (and cheaper) to only invest in good quality tools that serve a multitude of purposes. A set of sharp knives will take the place of hundreds of kitchen gizmos and a solid set of pans will be in use years after you’ve put that hinged omelet pan in the garage sale.

One small appliance that falls in that category for me is a yogurt maker. If you have one and you love it, super, you need read no further. But if you have always wanted to try making yogurt, but didn’t want to buy a machine, read on.

Yogurt is simple to make. All you need is milk, a small amount of yogurt with live, active cultures, dry milk powder, a saucepan, a thermometer, a quart canning jar with screw on lid, a heating pad, a towel, and a large soup pot. Most likely you already have all of that on hand. And if you have to buy a heating pad, hey, that also works really well as a heating pad!

Photo by Lynn

Plain Yogurt

  • 1 quart milk (non-fat, 2% or whole – your choice)
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp plain yogurt with active cultures, at room temperature

1- In a medium saucepan stir together the milk and milk powder. Heat to 180 deg. F, stirring occasionally. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool to 115 deg. F.

2- Place the yogurt in a small mixing bowl. Pour a small amount of the cooled milk into the yogurt and whisk to blend.

3- Pour the yogurt mixture into the milk and whisk to blend thoroughly.

4- Pour the mixture into a clean, glass quart jar. Screw on the lid. Place the jar on a heating pad set to “low.” Wrap a towel around the jar and cover it with a large, inverted soup pot.

5- Incubate for at least 8 hours. I like to do this at bedtime and wake up to freshly made yogurt!


If your yogurt doesn’t firm up, most likely you either used a starter yogurt that wasn’t active, or you killed the cultures by mixing the milk into the yogurt before the milk was sufficiently cooled down. Don’t throw away that quart in disgust. Put it into smoothies or bake with it and try again!

Now that you know how to make basic yogurt, come to my blog, Cookie Baker Lynn, to see how to make yogurt cheese, and get a recipe, too!

What’s your favorite way to use yogurt?

About Lynn

Lynn Craig is a mother of four (two out of the nest, two to go) who homeschools, bakes obsessively, quilts sporadically, and occasionally finds time to clean the house. She and her husband live in Bellevue, Washington where she chronicles her kitchen triumphs and disasters on her blog Cookie Baker Lynn.

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    My recipe is same as yours but I pour mine into 8 0z. glasses. put in oven with light on.
    Leave approximately 8 hours or overnight. Then put lids on and store in refrigerator.

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