Yoghurt – How To Make

A simple guide to make your own dairy or soya yoghurt for Dairy Free, Fodmap, and Vegan Diets.

Like making your own bread, making yoghurt is easy. It requires minimal equipment, a thermometer being essential and a thermos being useful. (You can use any type of jar; or a yoghurt maker if you have one collecting dust in the back of the cupboard, for which there will be instructions). Ensure all your equipment is very clean.

The flavour of natural yoghurt is dependant on the culture used. You can select a commercial yoghurt whose flavour you enjoy for your initial batch; or buy a culture from a health food shop (probiotic tablets make a good starting culture and a pack will have a long use-by date). From your first batch of yoghurt retain 2 tbsp to make your next batch. You can do this repeatedly. However, after many batches the yoghurt will become astringent; so, for a more pleasant flavour, you will need to start with a fresh culture.

The yoghurt you make will not be thick like the commercial product. Below in “Notes” I set out various ways in which to produce the thickened texture and Greek-style yoghurts, if this is what you want.

Diets for which Yoghurt is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low fat, Vegan, Vegetarian.


Preparation: 15 mins + 5-10 hours incubation | Cooking: 10-15 mins | Serves: 1 litre (4 cups)

1 litre (4 cups) milk (Dairy Free, Fodmap and Vegan diets see notes)*
2 tbsp yoghurt, commercial or from your previous batch
1 tsp yoghurt culture or 2 probiotic capsules


CLEAN thoroughly the thermos or jar you will use to make the yoghurt.
WARM the milk to a moderate heat of 83 C (180 F). (For soya milk 78 C (170 F) because soya milk it boils at a lower temperature.)
HOLD the temperature of the milk at 75-80 C (160-175 F) for 20-30 minutes to make a thicker yoghurt.**
COOL the milk to 43 C (110 F). (Place the saucepan in a sink of cold or icy water to speed up this process.)
WHISK your culture (yoghurt or powder) with a 2 tbsp of the heated milk.
MIX this into the remaining milk.
WARM the inside of the thermo or jar by rinsing it with warm water.
POUR the milk mix into this warmed container.
INCUBATE the milk mix for 5-10 hours. (The longer period will produce a tarter yoghurt that is thicker.)***
REFRIGERATE the yoghurt after the incubation period has finished. (If made in a thermos, remove the yoghurt from the thermos and transfer it to a clean container to refrigerate.)
ADD flavourings. ****


– The yoghurt will become tarter in flavour after storing for about a week (it should remain edible for longer).


* For Fodmap diet use low lactose milk for making yoghurt and for Dairy Free and Vegan diets select soya milk.
** If you hold the temperature of the milk, or soya, at 75-83 C (160-180 F) for 20-30 minutes the protein will denature and break down, resulting in better coagulation, ie a thicker yoghurt.
*** A thermos will keep the milk at the correct temperature just as a yoghurt maker does. If you are making the yoghurt in a glass container wrap it in a few towels and store it in a warm place for the 5-10 hours if possible; an ‘esky’ or ‘coolbox’ is ideal or a very slightly warmed oven. (The yoghurt culture will not develop if the temperature is too high.)
**** Sweeten with sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave or stevia; or flavour with soft fruits, vanilla or chocolate.

1. ADD 2-4 tbsp milk powder before mixing the culture into the remaining milk.
2. STRAIN the whey (liquid) from the yoghurt solids. Line a sieve with cheese cloth or J cloth and place it over a bowl. Fill the cloth with the yoghurt and chill for 1-2 hours as the whey drains off. The longer you leave the yoghurt to drain the thicker it will become. The result is similar to the texture of Greek yoghurt. This is the most suitable method for people with lactose-intolerance and sometimes is acceptable for F diets in small quantities.
3. INCREASE the quantity of culture relative to the quantity of milk.
4. ADD 1/2 -1 tsp gelatin or agar (suitable for vegan) to the milk when you are adding the culture.
5. ADD 2 tbsp tapioca starch to the milk before you add the culture. Initially mix the tapioca with a small quantity of milk, then mix into the total quantity of milk.
6. ADD 1-2 tsp pectin to a small quantity of the cooled milk before blending into the total milk volume. Different pectins will thicken differently so the quantity required will vary.

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