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Articles by Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa is a writer, cookbook author, cook, and food consultant based in Oakland, CA. She is the author of DIY Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food from Scratch and the co-author of Heirloom Beans with Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo. Her writing also appears regularly on both and

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Making your own yogurt is easy and economical (but you do need a good thermometer. (Photo: Dvortygirl)

A good thermometer is key when making your own yogurt. (Photo by Dvortygirl.)

The following recipe comes from Vanessa Barrington’s book, D.I.Y. Delicious (Chronicle Books, 2010).

It’s very easy to make yogurt without a yogurt maker. For equipment, you’ll need a two-quart saucepan, a candy or dairy thermometer (optional but helpful), a one-quart mason jar, and a whisk that will fit into it. You also need a method for keeping your yogurt warm while it cultures. Read the FAQ below before getting started.

Makes one quart. Requires 20 minutes active time; 20 minutes passive, but watchful; and eight to 10 hours passive.


1 quart of the best milk available (I use non-homogenized full-fat organic milk from a local dairy) 2 tablespoons plain yogurt with active cultures or 1 teaspoon powdered yogurt starter

Pour the milk into a large saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Heat it slowly, stirring occasionally until it is just below the boiling point, about 20 minutes. Watch carefully and do not allow it to boil. If you have a thermometer, the milk should be about 185 degre... Read more

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