The Simplest Natural Yoghurt

It took me years to perfect this recipe in terms of efficiency.

I've tried many recipes over time with extra ingredients, all nice but for special tastes and occasions. But the basic yoghurt was always a must for my family. There is no other simple recipe than one with only one ingredient: milk. Ok, maybe 2 if you count the yoghurt bacteria.

I've got the yoghurt culture from my best friend from Romania many years ago. Since then, I make yoghurt regularly every 3 to 4 weeks. A good culture is an essential start. I've tried also with a culture from a natural yoghurt from the supermarket. Still good but not like the one my friend had from a farm in the countryside.

The main ingredient is milk. Raw cow whole milk. This one I buy from a local farm and it is still warm when I bring it home. 

The first step is to boil the milk. For healthy reasons, this is safest. I boil it until it foams and I let it cool until gets to 45ºC. Without a thermometer, use your finger to test: if you can keep your finger in the milk for 5 seconds without getting burned, the milk is ready. At this moment, the yoghurt culture goes in. This culture is nothing else than a pot of yoghurt saved from the previous batch that I keep in my fridge. How much? No more than 10% of the total quantity of milk. For example, for 5l of boiled milk, I have 400g-500g of yoghurt as culture.

I pour this yoghurt into my lukewarm milk and stir it gently with a whisk, ensuring just that the yoghurt is well distributed. Then, I pour this composition into pots. This is a trick that I perfected over time. Initially, I started with small ceramic jars, perfect for this purpose, but they didn't have a lid. I used to put a foil to cover and secure it with a rubber band. Too much wasted time, too much waste in terms of garbage. But I learned that yoghurt goes well in glass jars too. I switched to bigger glass jars that had a lid. These were simple jam jars bought from the supermarket. This simplified the process a lot.

After filling the jars with all the milk-yoghurt mixture they need to stay in a warm place. I once used my oven set at 50ºC with the baking stone inside and let them inside overnight. In 80% of the cases, this worked perfectly, but sometimes my yoghurt was more liquidy. Since I became the owner of a bread proofer my yoghurt always go in it overnight, set at 35ºC on the bottom grill. I had a 100% rate of success in this way. I usually do this in the evening as the cows are milked at 5-6pm but if you do it during the day, let the jars in the proofer/oven for a few hours (min. 2 hours) to get a consistent yoghurt.

What happens with this composition in this warm environment is fermentation. The yoghurt bacteria eat the sugars from the milk and produces alcohol. That alcohol makes the yoghurt sour and flavours it. The sour the yoghurt, the less sugar it has, the healthier it is. I am intolerant to lactose and unfortunately, I cannot drink as such the amazing farm milk we buy. But this yoghurt gives me no digestion issues. What better proof that the bacteria does its job very well?

The next day, I stop the bread proofer and let the jars cool a bit before putting it in the fridge. They can stay there for 3-4 weeks without any issue until they are eaten and then I go and buy again fresh milk from the farm and make another batch.

I cannot advertise more this simple and natural yoghurt. It is super healthy, super tasty and it is superior to any yoghurt you can buy from the supermarket. I really believe that anybody should do homemade yoghurt... You do not know what you lose until you try it...


  • 5l of whole milk (not pasteurised)
  • 400-500g yoghurt culture (this is max. 10% of the milk quantity from the above line)
  1. Boils the milk until foamy.
  2. Let it cool until it arrives at 45ºC.
  3. Add the yoghurt and stir gently with a whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour this mixture into jars and cover them with lids. Do not forget to save one jar for the culture. I usually use a different jar for it to be sure we do not eat the culture too.
  5. Let it stay overnight in a bread proofer at 35ºC or in the oven at the lowest temperature available (mine is 50ºC). 
  6. Put the jars in the fridge and enjoy the yoghurt in the next 3-4 weeks. After, repeat the process to preserve your yoghurt culture.


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