One pack of starter can be used to make a life time supply of Greek yogurt. You will need to reserve a small amount of yogurt from each fresh batch of yogurt and save it for your next batch.
If you want yogurt that is identical to Fage, Oikos or other Greek style yogurts, this is probably your best bet. Traditional Greek-style yogurt is made with two
particular strains of bacteria, L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus. These cultures are responsible for it’s tangy flavor. You’ll find it slightly more tart than “ordinary” plain yogurt.
A good online source for Greek yogurt starter is a website called Cultures for Health. They also have many other wonderful varieties of yogurt starters.
Their instructions for using this culture include using one part cream and three parts whole milk. You do not have to use cream to make Greek-style yogurt, if you do not it will be just a bit thinner (you can strain it to thicken it up a bit).
Using a Yogurt as a Starter
You can use a good quality store bought yogurt as a starter, like I did in the Greek yogurt recipe below.
Using Fage yogurt (or other Greek Style yogurt) as a starter doesn’t necessarily give you a Greek style homemade yogurt.
In fact it turns out about the same as any homemade yogurt. To get a thick rich Greek yogurt you will need to strain it and
use cream to make it thick and rich.
Also since Fage only has two strains of live cultures, L. Bulgaricus, it can take a long time to ferment.
I like to use Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk yogurt. It has six different kinds of beneficial bacteria.
This makes a Greek-style yogurt every bit as yummy as Fage, but with more probiotics.
This Greek yogurt recipe is actually the same way I make my homemade yogurt. So, basically all I am doing is straining my yogurt. There are a couple things I do differently.
I usually let the yogurt ferment longer, up to 12 hours and sometimes I use some cream mixed into whole milk.
I’ve had other people tell me that this recipe also works great using 2% milk and no cream at all.
So, play around with it a bit until you figure out what you like.
I don’t know what is a priority to you.
For me, I’m not so much concerned about a little extra fat, especially if it tastes extra yummy. My top priority is that my yogurt is high in probiotics.
The nice thing about making your own yogurt, is that you have a lot of control over how you want it to turn out.
Here is a basic recipe you can modify to suit your needs. You can make it with any type of milk or add less or more cream to suit your taste.
Greek Yogurt Recipe
A candy thermometer or one of those dandy little digital thermometers designed for making yogurt.
A glass or stainless steel pot (some people use a double boiler method)
A Long handled spoon for stirring
3 cups whole milk (sheep’s milk or cow’s milk)
1 cup cream
1/2 cup starter yogurt (I used Stonyfield)
Sterilize your pot and spoon by placing them in the pot with water and bringing it to a boil. Dump out hot water and pour in the milk.
Heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees F. This takes about 10-15 minutes and you’ll have to stick close by and stir it often.
Cool to 110 degrees F. Gently stir in the starter yogurt. Pour into a yogurt maker or use another method to keep the yogurt warm while it ferments.
I just stick the whole pot (covered) into my pre-warmed oven and leave just the pilot light on. It can take anywhere from 8-12 hours to finish so
I usually make this recipe in the evening and leave it overnight. In the morning, place it in the refrigerator and enjoy once it is cooled.
Actually, sometimes I eat it warm with maple syrup for breakfast. Yum!