SCD Yogurt

I make this yogurt all the time!  It’s easy and delicious, though it does take some time.  By the time it’s done, it’s lactose free.  Or at least lactose free enough that I can eat it without trouble.  My recipe is basically the same as other SCD 24-hour yogurt recipes you’ll find on the internet, but additionally, I like to make it with cream-on-top milk, which gives you a little something extra.  Also, I’ve found that the recipe is extremely forgiving, so if you are worried you got a temperature or time slightly off, don’t sweat it – it’ll probably work out just fine!


  • Whole milk (1/2 gallon)
  • Plain store bought yogurt for starter culture (1/2 cup)

I prefer to use whole milk with the cream on top (from my CSA!), but you can use any milk.  Also, any amount will work.


  • Clean cooking equipment.  I don’t do anything fancy to sterilize it, just wash and dry like normal
  • Yogurt maker.  The simple kind with just and on and off switch (no timer)

Note:  Before I had the yogurt maker, I used to make this in the oven

Recipe and how to:

  1. Put the milk in a big pot and heat on the stove until it’s just barely simmering, stirring periodically. You want the temperature to be at least 180 degrees to kill whatever bacteria is in there.  I used to measure the temperature with a candy thermometer, but nowadays, I do it by sight.  You want to see the milk just barely simmering.  It will start to be frothy on the top. Avoid a rolling boil.
    1. Note: if the milk gets too hot, it can scorch (which affects the taste)
    2. Note:  Once the milk starts boiling in earnest, it’s likely to froth over the top of the pot and make a mess!  A big pot helps avoid overflow.
  2.  Now that your milk is sterile, remove it from the heat, set it on the counter, and let it cool.  It should be no warmer than 110 degrees.  You can also leave it for a couple hours and come back when it’s closer to room temperature.
  3. In a clean bowl, mix the yogurt starter with a few spoonfuls of the milk.  Add enough milk to get a smooth and runny consistency.
  4. Add this starter slurry into the big pot of milk, and mix well.  You want to get all that bacteria in the yogurt mixed into the milk.
  5. Pour the milk mixture into a container that fits on your yogurt maker base, cover, and flip it on.
  6. Wait 24 hours
  7. Put the yogurt in the fridge to cool
  8. Ta-da!  Delicious yogurt.

A few notes

  • If you’ve used cream on top milk, you’ll find a layer of cream-cheese-esque fatty yogurt on top.  I usually scrape this off, salt it, and use it like cream cheese or any soft cheese. Yum!
  • When the yogurt is done, it’ll have some whey (that clear yellowish liquid) that separates out.  If you want thinner yogurt, just mix it all in and eat it. If you want thicker yogurt, you can drain it off and just eat the thicker part.  I like thicker yogurt, but the whey is edible and nutritious, so I try to get creative and use it in other dishes.
  • Before I had a yogurt maker, I made the yogurt in the oven.  In step 5, instead of putting the milk mixture in the yogurt maker, keep it in the pot and put it in the oven.  The trick is to keep the yogurt at about 100-110 degrees for 24 hours.  To do this, I’d put the candy thermometer in the oven and heat it up to 110 or 110 (my oven couldn’t be set to that temperature with the buttons, but turning it on for about 1 minute was about right), turn the light on, close the door, and leave it sitting.  My oven was insulated enough that it took 10-12 hours to get below 100.  So if I put the yogurt in in the evening, I’d check it in the morning, bump the heat back up to 110, and leave it till the evening.  Leaving the oven light on helps a surprising amount in maintaining the temperature!

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