making yogurt from powdered milk

The Damsel hopes you will forgive her if she confesses she has tried to make yogurt many times. It worked occasionally, but most of the time, it turned out pretty runny.

She tried to convince the husband it was “drinking yogurt” like he had when he lived in Denmark but he had a crush on Miss Yoplait. Besides, it was super complicated, involving thermometers and doing things at precise moments. Even when she hovered over the project like a vulture, sometimes it didn’t set. She was left to second-guess whether she was quite precise ENOUGH, and just got frustrated with the whole thing. Even when it did work, the sprog didn’t lap it up willingly, and the husband had his nose in the air.

She gave up years ago and completely forgot she ever used to cry over runny yogurt. Then last week she bumped into a different method on the internets, and she wondered if perhaps her wounds had healed enough to try again. It didn’t involve thermometers or turning three times under the light of the waning moon, so she said, well, okay.

Preheat your oven to 275 F. Mix 6 cups cold water and 4 cups non-instant powdered milk. It has been a long time, because the Damsel forgot that mixing it this way doesn’t work.  Ha ha! This way equals lumpy disaster. Use the blender, please.

Add three tablespoons of yogurt. It doesn’t have to be the mistress Yoplait. Any kind with active cultures. You can put it right into the blender. Pour into an ovenproof container/bowl/thingy.

Loosely cover the container in whatever way seemeth you best. Put in the oven and then turn the oven off. Walk away. Don’t come back for 8-12 hours.

The Damsel was exceedingly skeptical but felt she wasn’t risking much. Just some powdered milk, and she hates powdered milk, although she uses a ton of it in baking. Still, she hoped.

In the morning the blasted stuff was perfectly liquidy. Not even KIND OF set up. She noticed the instructions she was using said if the product was “a little soupy” to repeat the process by heating the oven to 275 F again and putting the container back in for a few more hours. The Damsel had no expectations.

But…there was a glimmer of hope. Because the Damsel has a convection oven, she routinely sets her temperatures 50 F less than the recipe calls for, according to the manufacturer’s direction. But she suspected perhaps that wasn’t hot enough for this purpose. So she set the oven, put the stuff back in and went about her business.

Four hours later the stuff was set. The Damsel was shocked, to say the least. It was set even more than she wanted it to be. Very, very firm. Success at last!

The Damsel feels her yogurt demons have now been vanquished. Thanks for coming along.

Oh, and don’t forget to save a little back for the next batch’s starter.

24 thoughts on “making yogurt from powdered milk

    • Yes, you just turn the oven off and let the thing sit in there overnight as the oven cools. Do you think I need to clarify in the post?

  1. When I’ve made yogurt in the past, the way I’ve kept it warm (and at a consistent temperature) was to put it in a crock pot on the lowest setting. That was back when I had a 10-setting crock pot. My current one only has Low or High to choose from, and I think “low” would be too hot. I’ll try the oven method.

    Another great post! Thanks!

  2. That’s freaking awesome. I have a yogurt maker with individual cups, but if you need a lot of yogurt, it’s a time consuming process. Cool beans.

  3. I used to have the dannon? yogurt maker…it made three whole containers at once…I like your method better. don’t laugh…I also had the peanut butter maker…

  4. peanut butter maker?? that’s a new one. I used to make yogurt in my electric skillet, and used drinking glasses to put the stuff in. It worked pretty well, but I like the all in one bowl idea.
    love your blog, and your conversational style! We have a group in our Lds ward that is getting together to ‘use our food storage’ and feel as you do , that it is good to know how to make things like yogurt, etc.

    Have you made wheat flake cereal? I can send you some info if you want it.

    • So glad you like it here.

      I’d love info on the wheat flake cereal. I remember reading about it long ago, but never tried it.

    • I’ll be honest, it isn’t the BEST yogurt I’ve ever tasted. But it isn’t bad, either. It’s not as tart as some. Could be the taste of powdered milk. I am going to try it again with fresh milk, but the powdered milk yogurt should work great for recipes calling for yogurt…salad dressings, etc. where other flavors come into play.

      • So, I tried your method of yogurt making today with fresh milk. This particular batch of yogurt just wouldn’t ferment using other methods I’ve used in the past. I’ve heard that saved starter weakens over time, maybe that was the case. Anyhoo, it worked like a dream and the yogurt is much firmer than when I previously made it in the crockpot. Genius! And sooo easy! I can’t thank you enough!!!

      • It tastes great! Still thinner than store bought yogurt but much preferred around our house! I blended it with strawberries. Yum. I’ll be posting all about it (with a shout out to you included) on my blog:

  5. I had a yogurt maker with several cups but it didn’t work for me either and it sits unused on a shelf. And now I find I’m allergic to milk products and so I don’t even eat ice cream except when my wife buys it and then I can’t resist which is all the time.
    I’m getting fatter and more allergic. Help.

    • You probably don’t have access to goat’s milk, do you? I’ve heard it causes less problems with lactose allergies.

  6. i tried making homemade yogurt three times last week! none of them turned out. it was before i read your blog. i think i wasted a gallon of milk. now i’m ticked and very determined to succeed. i really don’t want to use powdered milk though. i look forward to future info on using real milk. any further suggestions would be super!!! if the oven is that hot (before it gets a chance to cool a bit) won’t it kill the cultures? i thought that was my problem and i only turned mine up to 180 then turned it off. then how long before i should turn it back on to get warm again? HELP!

    • Hey Stacie,
      I haven’t tried any more tricks with the yogurt yet, but I did have someone post about using my oven method with fresh milk, and she said it worked like a dream. I’m trying it!

  7. I’ve made yogurt in a yogurt maker with real milk and freeze-dried yogurt starter with a lot of success. I would love to be able to use powdered milk. Have you ever used a yogurt starter instead of the store bought yogurt with live cultures with your recipe with powdered milk? If so, how much did you use for the amount of milk?

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