homemade vanilla bean yogurt recipe

Homemade Vanilla Bean Yogurt Recipe

Written by Becky

Everyone has their favorite store bought yogurt. Mine is Australian Wallaby Vanilla Bean Yogurt. It’s smooth and creamy with tiny flecks of vanilla bean, not too sweet and with a hint of tangyiness.  Since its getting more common to make yogurt at home I wanted to try it out but I wanted to try a version that could compete with my favorite vanilla bean yogurt.

homemade vanilla bean yogurt recipe

Making your own yogurt is actually quite easy.  I learned this with my friend Julia, who let me come and watch her go through the process, which really meant we got to hang out and chat for a few hours while the yogurt did it’s ‘thing.’  After you heat up the milk to scalding or boiling, you must then let it cool to a warm bath-water temperature (about 1 hour). In the meanwhile, you can catch up on the last 3 month of a good friend’s life, get some work done, or walk the dog before the next step in the process.

how to make homemade vanilla bean yogurt

As our yogurt was cooling, Julia told me the methods behind yogurt making. You basically need a bacteria starter to add to milk, which can be 1/4 cup of yogurt or a packet of yogurt starter, which is a powder.  Their are brands of yogurt starters like Yogourmet that you can buy at Whole Foods or other natural food stores.  Julia’s recommendation is to start with a starter then save 1/4 cup of that yogurt batch for the 2nd batch and continue to alternate using yogurt and the powder for every other batch you make.  The yogurt will get less firm if you use the yogurt itself as a starter too many times.

vanilla bean homemade yogurt recipe

Our first batch we made plain yogurt which is quite tangy.  I like tangy yogurt but usually end up adding some preserves, fruit, or granola to sweeten it up a bit.  You have to be careful to mix in additives right before eating or the yogurt will lose it’s consistency and become runny if you stir it.  You also have to be careful of adding ingredients as the milk is cultivating so as not to mess up the good bacterias forming.

On my second batch I added in a small amount of sugar, vanilla bean, and extract, just as the milk was cooling down. This was an experiment because I didn’t know if the milk would still be able to cultivate into yogurt with the added sugar and vanilla.  Luckily, it did and it was still firm in the end.  So, after a few experiments I had found my equal to Wallaby’s Vanilla Bean yogurt, which is much less expensive and so satisfying knowing you can easily make high quality yogurt at home.

homemade vanilla bean yogurt recipe

Homemade Vanilla Bean Yogurt Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 quart (4 cups) organic whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla beans scrapped from 1 pod
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 yogurt starter packet (or 1/4 cup yogurt)

Instructions

  1. Bring the milk to a boil (180 degrees).
  2. Remove pot from the heat and add in the sugar, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract.
  3. Let the milk cool until luke warm (112 degrees). Stir in the yogurt starter, mixing well.
  4. Pour yogurt into 4 individual jars.
  5. Set the jars in a warm spot for about 7 hours, or overnight, to cultivate and set (time depends on desired firmness). Here are some ideas of how to keep the yogurt at the right temp: set in your oven with just the oven light on, set in a crockpot (turned off) covered with a towel by a sunny window, or use a heating pad on low.
  6. After the yogurt is set, place yogurt in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before eating.
  7. Serve with preserves, granola, or by itself... it's that good!
http://www.thevintagemixer.com/2012/08/homemade-vanilla-bean-yogurt-recipe/

Tips for making yogurt at home:

  • use organic whole milk (you could also try a high quality goat’s milk)
  • because the milk sticks to the side of the pot during the heating process, use an easy pot to clean or you can use a glass bowl or large pyrex measuring cup and heat the milk up in the microwave until it’s scalding (about 18 minutes)
  • you don’t need a yogurt maker (save the space in your kitchen for other appliances), all you need is milk, a yogurt starter, and a slightly warm place for the yogurt to cultivate
  • you can use your oven to cultivate your yogurt but just turning the oven light on (don’t actually turn the oven on but the light itself will give off enough heat
  • you can use a crock pot to cultivate  your yogurt by placing the filled yogurt jars into a crock pot, then cover the pot, wrap with towels or with a crock pot cover if  you have one and set it in a warm place in the house.
  • start with a yogurt starter then save 1/4 cup of that yogurt batch for the 2nd batch and continue to alternate using yogurt and the powder for every other batch you make.  The yogurt will get less firm if you use the yogurt itself as a starter too many times.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding making homemade yogurt.

Yogurt Starter by Yogourmet.

Comments (27)

  1. The thought of making my own yogurt sounded too complicated until I read this about Julia’s method. I think I might actually try it sometime. Chris LOVES tart frozen yogurt. Has anyone tried putting homemade yogurt into an ice cream maker?

    • Carrian, they are my very favorite jars to use… weck jars! The best place to buy them is online at weckjars.com or at Crate and Barrel.

  2. Hi- At any point do you stir/shake the yogurt? I noticed the vanilla beans have settled to the bottom of the jars. It would be nice if the yogurt was flecked with the beans. Just wondering if you did like 6 hrs. into the culture stage or once the it has set in fridge for 4 hrs or if you don’t have the settling problem on the jar bottoms. Thanks

    • Just stir in the vanilla bean when you add it to the mixture but after that no stirring or shaking or it will break up the bacteria that is molding together.

      • Thanks. Did your beans settle to the bottom? Mine didn’t stay flecked throughout the yogurt. I noticed in the second pic down flecks in yours, mine is white with lots of black seeds on the bottom of the jar. I must have done something wrong. It is seperating into weigh and thicker yogurt. So excited to try this tomorrow for breakfast.

        • I have noticed that the little specks tend to sink to the bottom. I make sure and add them in right before transferring the mixture to the jars or you could even put a little bit on the top of the jars before they have to “bake” and just stir gently. Hope that helps!!

  3. What about adding jams to add a fruit flavor? Would that work? I am taking a microbiology corse and our homework is to make yogurt I have basically done it the same way as you did but added a seedless jam for flavoring. The mixture tastes fine but it keeps curtailing! Any suggestions?

    • I always add my jams after the yogurt is done processing. You could try adding it at the bottom of the glass jars too! Let me know what you end up trying and how it worked!

  4. Hi! I did this without a thermometer. I’m a little worried how it will turn out. How is the consistency when pouring it into the jars? Can’t wait till they are finished =)

  5. Hey miss Becky! Ive been expirementing with yogurt making myself lately since getting ahold of my moms old yogurt maker. We use raw milk – so creamy and good! Also, Ive had to strain it to make it thick like I like it. Im going to have to try a starter like you suggest and see if that makes it thicker! And of course, Ive got those weck jars on my Christmas list:) irresistable!

    • So great to hear from you Alicia!! This way of making yogurt is SO easy! And you don’t even need a yogurt maker if you have a spot in the house that’s pretty war (on top of a heating vent or in the oven with just the light on). The first time you try it, you should try with-out sweetener then start experimenting, like with vanilla bean etc! Let me know if you have any questions along the way!! Also, have you ever made Labneh (a thicker Greek Yogurt – almost like cheese)? I think you would like that too! Basically, you double strain Greek Yogurt and season it with Za’atar. Here’s a good recipe for it – http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/05/labneh-labne-yogurt-cheese/

  6. Came across your recipe searching for a super fantastic vanilla yogurt and this certainly delivered. We gobbled up the first batch and the next batch is busy doing its’ thing. I got a yogurt maker for my birthday and it has been a real treat having homemade yogurt. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!!

Post A Reply

*