To create a satiny yogurt, Fletcher uses whole milk, adds dry milk to boost the protein, and heats it before culturing.

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Credit: Thomas J. Story

Recipe Summary

7 hrs 5 mins
Makes 1 qt. (serving size: 1 cup)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Pour hot tap water into a clean wide-mouth 1-qt. canning jar and set aside.

  • Whisk together whole milk and dry milk in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking often, until milk reaches 195° on an instant-read thermometer. Adjust heat to keep milk at 195° and cook, whisking often, 10 minutes. After heating, "you're going to have a thicker, more stable curd," Fletcher explains. Remove from heat.

  • Set pan in a sink of ice and water and cool to 115°. "The milk cools fast, so keep checking it. If it goes too low, just reheat it." (But don't let it go above 118°, or it will kill the yogurt.)

  • Put yogurt in a small bowl and whisk in about 1 cup hot milk to temper it and thin it out, then whisk this back into milk in pan. Transfer milk to a container with a spout. Drain hot water from jar and add hot milk mixture. Put lid on jar.

  • Incubate yogurt. "I wrap it in a kitchen towel so it doesn't get my blankets dirty, then set the jar in a blanket nest." Fold a small blanket or beach towel in quarters, set on a counter, and fold sides up over yogurt. Snugly tuck 2 more folded blankets around the outside. Let yogurt sit undisturbed in a draft-free place 5 hours.

  • Unwrap and tilt jar gently to check if yogurt is set. "It should be like a baked custard." If not, rewrap and check in another 1 to 2 hours (it may take up to 12 hours total). The longer it cultures, the tarter it will taste. You may also get liquid--the whey--forming around the curd. "I like it mellow, so I try to stop it as soon as it's set."

  • Chill completely (1 1/2 hours) before serving for yogurt to firm up; otherwise, it will be too fragile.

  • What You Need

  • The culturing process takes 5 to 12 hours--and the following ingredients and tools.

  • MILK Any fat level works, but Fletcher prefers whole milk for the way its creaminess balances yogurt's tang. Open just before using.

  • NONFAT DRY MILK Adding a little creates thicker, more stable yogurt.

  • "STARTER YOGURT" This will convert milk sugar (lactose) to lactic acid. Use plain yogurt (ideally whole-milk) with "live cultures" on the ingredient list; open just before using. You can save some of your own yogurt to culture the next batch if you make it at least once a week.

  • THERMOMETER Fletcher likes the instant-read Super-Fast Thermapen ($96;; or use a clip-on candy thermometer.

  • JAR Use a clean wide-mouth quart or liter canning jar for culturing.

  • A WARMER Have blankets or an electric warmer, such as Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer ($148;, on hand to keep yogurt warm while it cultures.

  • Make ahead: Keeps 1 week, chilled.

Nutrition Facts

161 calories; calories from fat 46%; protein 8.7g; fat 8.2g; saturated fat 4.7g; carbohydrates 13g; sodium 120mg; cholesterol 26mg.