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Homemade Yoghurt the Easy Way

White bench with a Davis and Waddell yoghurt maker with all the components displayed

My old yoghurt maker was priced at around $50 and built like a tank – I had it for 12 years! But alas, my supplier stopped carrying them. After doing tons of research and personally testing three different models, here’s what I believe you should look for in a reliable yoghurt maker.

  1. Stable temperature setting for consistently delicious yoghurt every time.
  2. Removable insert for easy cleaning.
  3. A constant temperature of about 42°C perfect for the yoghurt cultures we use here in Australia.
  4. Sturdy housing – no cheap plastic parts that might crack.
  5. An insert that can hold at least 1 litre of milk. Anything less won’t do. 🤣🤣🤣 And trust me, those models with tiny individual serving pots may look adorable, but they’re a pain when you break or lose one, empty several to make a new batch, or clean them constantly.
  6. It’s got to be cost-effective.

Speaking of cost, let’s talk about the price of homemade yoghurt. If you’re cool with using regular milk (meaning you don’t need any “special” milk due to intolerance), you can snag a 1-litre UHT carton from Woolworths for just $1, which will give you 1 litre of yoghurt.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

Comparing store-bought options, you can get Woolworths Greek Style yoghurt (1 kg) for around $3.90 or the Jalna brand “pot set” yoghurt (which is pretty much what you’ll be making) for about $7 per litre.

So, when you do the math, homemade yoghurt can be way cheaper, and you’ll have total control over the ingredients.

What yoghurt maker do we recommend?

I was late getting my TM6 (2021). I mean, I already had four Thermomix, so did I need another? Yes, apparently, I did. 😄 Because my TM6 is always on the bench at home, I tend to use that to make my yoghurt overnight, but I still love this product; I’ve had this one for years now, and although I’ve not been using it as much in the last year since I’ve got my TM6, It still gets a workout around once a month.

Want to see how it works? Here’s a link to the instruction manual.

A Davis and Waddel yoghurt maker.

It’s called the “Davis and Waddell Yogurt Maker/Fermenter.”

Here’s what I’ve learnt about this yoghurt maker after doing all my testing;

information, I can confidently recommend the “Davis and Waddell Yogurt Maker/Fermenter” as a fantastic option for your yoghurt-making needs. Though my trusty Thermomix takes care of most of my yoghurt-making these days, I still use this Davis and Waddell model about once a month, and it never disappoints.

Here’s a quick recap of why I love this particular yoghurt maker:

  1. Stable temperature setting for consistent quality yoghurt (I’ve verified this with my instant-read temp probe).
  2. Easy-to-clean removable insert (it even comes with two inserts and a strainer basket for making labneh).
  3. The constant temperature of around 42°C for optimal yoghurt culturing.
  4. Sturdy housing – no cheap plastic bits here!
  5. An insert that holds at least 1 litre of milk (and without those pesky individual serving pots).
  6. Cost-effective – it can make 1 litre of yoghurt from 1 litre of standard milk.

What sets this appliance apart is its versatility, thanks to its seven settings. While I mainly use it for yoghurt, it offers so much more. Here’s a list of other functions the Davis and Waddell Yogurt Maker/Fermenter can handle:

  • Plain or Greek yoghurt and fresh cheese
  • Caspian Sea yoghurt, Matsoni yoghurt
  • Rice wine
  • Pickling and fermenting vegetables for kimchi, sauerkraut
  • Fruit enzyme
  • Adjustable setting for custom temperature and time

The appliance comes with a handy instruction book filled with recipes for each function, making exploring all the culinary possibilities easy.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend the Davis and Waddell Yogurt Maker/Fermenter for anyone looking to make delicious, homemade yoghurt and more. It’s versatile, reliable, and cost-effective – a winning combination!

Recipe for making Yoghurt at home

For making yoghurt, I choose to use UHT Milk as it has gone through all the processes it needs to, so you can just go ahead and make yoghurt.

Ingredients for making yogurt

There are really only two ingredients for yogurt – 1 litre in this case

Making Yoghurt with the Davis and Waddell Yoghurt maker

  1. Add the Mad Millie yoghurt culture to one of the clean, dry inserts. Or you can use a couple of tablespoons of contamination-free previously made or purchased yoghurt. More on that later.  It’s crucial the container is very clean. You’ll be sitting it at a temperature that’s ideal for good and bad bacteria to grow.
  2. Add about ½ cup of the UHT milk and give it a good swish around (this will mix the culture into the milk without having to use a spoon)
  3. Add the remainder of the milk and set it in the unit. In the case of this unit, I press C1 and click start.
  4. Leave to make yogurt (it takes about 10 hours).

After the unit turns off, don’t panic about getting it into the fridge if you’re asleep or at work when it finishes.  Just pop it in the refrigerator as soon as possible.  It will then take 2 – 3 hours to set up as it chills in the fridge.

You can use one of two methods to achieve a thicker set of yoghurt.

a) Add a couple of tablespoons of skim milk powder to the milk before heating (ie. at the stage where you add the culture).

or

b) Drain the yoghurt after it has cooled in the fridge.  The longer you drain it, the thicker the yoghurt will be.  The usual amount to be drained off is between 250 and 500ml of whey from this amount of milk. This whey is slightly acidic and can be used in baking whenever a recipe asks for buttermilk etc. A ratio of 75/25 milk/whey will work nicely. You can also go 50/50 for a lower-fat version, but be careful here because your recipe may need the fat to make it yummy.

So there you have it.  Pretty easy, hey.  You basically can make 1 litre of yoghurt for around $1 every 10 hours or so.  Cool huh?

A bowl of yoghurt and blueberries.
Yogurt with blueberries (is this heaven?)

Yoghurt-making questions and answers

Q: Why do you use one of these machines rather than something you already have?

A: You know, if it’s a quality purpose-built product, it usually does a better job. Yes, you can use your Thermomix, but you won’t be able to use the bowl and blade while it’s doing its thing.  Yes, you can set it overnight, but in the morning, you’ll have to remove it from the bowl so you can use it for something else.  I suppose I like the ease of use of this unit, it doesn’t take up much room, and it’s on at least twice a week at our place.  I can take the container straight from the unit, pop it in the fridge, and leave it there until I’ve used it all up.

Q: Doesn’t UHT taste funny when making yoghurt?

A: I don’t particularly like it in my latte, but for yoghurt, it tastes fine. The UHT process prepares the milk for making yoghurt without you lifting a finger.  The process is so quick these days that you can barely tell the difference between UHT and regular milk (at least for making yoghurt).

Q: Do I have to use the Mad Millie culture every time?

A: No, you don’t.  You can use any previously made yoghurt plain or Greek yoghurt as long as it’s clean and fresh.  No contaminants.  The yoghurt will pretty much be set up every time you make a batch, although the taste and the probiotics will diminish.  I usually give it around 5 or so times and then start from scratch again.  The Mad Millie sachets are cheap; if you keep them in the freezer, they’ll last a year or so.

Q: My homemade yoghurt doesn’t taste like my favourite yoghurt from the supermarket how can I fix it?

A: Take a look at the ingredient list on your favourite yoghurt it might have sugar added.  If that’s the case, you’ll need to add some sweetness to bring the flavour to how you like it.  I suggest mixing in some honey or jam after it’s made; much nicer to use and eat.

Q: Someone in my family is lactose intolerant. Can I use other milk types?

A: Yes, try Lactose-Free UHT; they both work well for yoghurt.

Q: How can I make flavoured yoghurt, like vanilla, for example?

A: Add the flavouring when you serve it.  If you’re making a litre of yoghurt at a time, you can take out a serving and add whatever you like.  Even vanilla.  My husband likes to have ½ tsp of vanilla swirled into his.  My grandson loves ½ tsp of Nana’s strawberry jam.  I use plain yoghurt in all sorts of things.  Marinating meat, cakes, bread making etc. Brilliant.

Q: My yoghurt isn’t very thick. How can I get it like the shop-bought stuff?

A: If you look at the ingredient list on any yoghurt container from the supermarket, they all state, in one form or another, that they contain “milk solids”.  These are milk powders. Start by adding two tablespoons of skim milk powder to your 1 litre of milk and see how you go.  In my experience, you can go up to ¼ of a cup without changing your yoghurt’s taste, which gives you a lovely thick yoghurt.  If you want it any thicker than that, say for Labneh etc., just strain it in the basket provided because if you get the ratio of dried to milk to wet wrong, it tastes weird. Leave it in the fridge overnight; it will be nice and thick in the morning.

Q: When I make my first batch of yoghurt with my culture, it’s beautiful and smooth on the top when it’s done. However, when I use two tablespoons of the previous yoghurt to make a batch, it’s a bit lumpy on top.  Is this OK?

A: It’s perfectly fine.  I think if it’s not entirely mixed through, it does that.  I also get it, but it doesn’t change the quality of the product.

Q: If I want to make yoghurt from a supermarket brand yoghurt as a starter, what brand should I choose?

A: Choose one that doesn’t have many additives (unfortunately, you can’t seem to avoid them in supermarket yoghurt) or sugar added, and make sure it states POT SET on the container. I use 2 or 3 tablespoons of Jalna Pot set yoghurt to inoculate (or the same for a previous batch) 1 litre of UHT.

Q: What foods go well with yoghurt?

Apart from all my sweet suggestions, how about this savoury one?  Quick Tandoori Chicken

Want to know more?

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66 Comments

  1. How much fresh yoghurt would you use here per litre, instead of dried starter? (Eg Jalna organic pot set)

  2. Hi Bec, I purchased the yoghurt maker you recommended and have been using it now for approximately 6 months making yoghurt and also soft cheese. I have never had a failure. I have been reading through some of the comments and questions posted. The countdown – it does countdown – showing every hour not minutes. Also watched a video by green living Australia. She suggests in winter or cold climates to just pop the uht milk still in its carton into some hot water like the sink or a pot etc. to warm it up a little. Also people asking about lids. I slide a knife just around the yoghurt in the container to loosen it and then transfer it to a screw top one. Decor have 1 litre screw top ones and I also have some easiyo jars when I used to use that method. This way I can have some plain Greek yoghurt and also do a sweetened version for the grandchildren. I like using Jalna pot set as the starter. Hope this helps

    1. That’s brilliant Dawn. I agree you could warm the UHT by sitting it in some warm water first or just give it a bit longer. It will take longer in colder weather to get to the temperature it needs to to start working. Thank you for sharing your experience. 😉

  3. Have you discovered any techniques for cheese? I noticed that there is a Mad Millie Cheese culture available in the market. The manual has one with lemon juice and milk but it was okay….

    1. I’ve been making Cheese for around 30 years Ricardo, You’re quite right, take a look at the Mad Millie Site if you want to make proper cheese. I think it really need culture to taste of cheese.

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