iStock_000015929976XSmall_yogurt with blackberries

Customer Louise Joseph wrote us about her success in making delicious yogurt from our Provident Pantry Instant Nonfat Dry Milk, and we decided it was something we needed to try! Here is her recipe:
  • Mix two quarts of powdered milk according to directions and blend in 1 carton plain, unflavored yogurt that has live, active cultures (be sure it says so on the carton!)
  • Pour into jars, cover, and do not disturb for 24-48 hours in a warm place--about 110° F. (Some people use a shorter time; five hours is the minimum.) The longer you incubate the yogurt, the thicker and more tart it will be.
  • Test for flavor and consistency.
  • When it’s the way you want it, refrigerate and use it within 2-3 weeks.
Louise says, “Flavor with brown sugar, honey, Emergency Essentials dried fruits, or granola—totally delicious, inexpensive, easy, and healthy!” We had a few questions: Does it matter whether you use plain or fortified instant nonfat dry milk? Both work, but the fortified seemed to take a little longer and had a little more separation of curd (semi-solid) and whey (liquid). The consistency was softer than we expected—rather like soft custard—great for smoothies! What size carton, or how much yogurt is needed to culture 2 quarts of dry milk powder? About ½ cup of commercial yogurt, or a small carton. Mix gently but thoroughly. What is the best place/method of incubating yogurt for a consistent temperature? (There are commercial yogurt-making kits, but most people Replace they’re not necessary.) Here are some suggestions: 1) Electric oven—may be warm enough with the oven light on. If not, use a “warm” setting, or set it a third of the way between “off” and 200° F. (Our first batch failed because the “warm” oven setting was too warm. Just using the light worked well. We let our yogurt work for 34 hours.) 2) A gas range oven with a pilot light. 3) A pot of warm water with jars of yogurt standing in it. Keep adding warm water as it cools. 4) On top of a warm radiator or over a heat vent in cool weather. 5) On top of a heating pad set on low, with a folded towel between pad and jars and an inverted deep bowl or pot to hold in the warmth 6) In a covered picnic cooler, with yogurt jars set between jugs of very warm water. Change and refill jugs with warm water every few hours. Can you use some of your homemade yogurt as a culture for another batch? Yes, for 3 or 4 batches, then begin again with a new start. How do you make thick Greek-style yogurt? Drain yogurt in the fridge until it reaches the thickness you like. Use a drainer/colander and several thicknesses of cheese cloth, a coffee filter, or a clean handkerchief. Another way to thicken yogurt is to use extra powdered milk to begin with. Instead of using 2/3 cup dry milk powder to make a quart of milk, use 1 cup. Some people also add gelatin, pectin, cornstarch, tapioca starch or agar. It can attain the consistency of pudding or even cream cheese! If you love the tangy taste of yogurt but aren’t ready to commit to making it, try our delicious Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Yogurt Bites. Small, melt-in-your-mouth wafers of strawberry, banana, blueberry, caramel or raspberry-flavored real yogurt are a nutritious anytime treat. They’re great in trail mix, and kids will think they’re candy! Sources:




In the past, I made yogurt with powdered milk many times, with success. The process I used was boiling the required amount of water at a rolling boil for at least 2-3 minutes to kill off any microbes that are potentially in the water. Turn off burner, and transfer pan to a cool burner. Then I add the required amount of milk powder (usually doubled to make Greek yogurt; saves all the trouble/time of straining the yogurt) to the hot water. The powder prefers hot water to avoid clumps, and if there is microbes in the milk powder, then they will be killed off by the heat. Cover the pan with a lid and let the water cool down to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Then add in the yogurt starter. I recommend using a premium brand like Stone Mountain, etc., that has full fat, NOT FAT FREE, If you want to “revive” the yogurt for future starters, then you will need to make a yogurt batch with full fat about the 4th or 5th time/batch. However, over the last 2 years I have gotten away from yogurt and switched to making dairy kefir, which is SO MUCH EASIER and has a greater number of probiotic strains. Please consider purchasing kefir grains online; there are many videos on YouTube about kefir. I also double the milk powder to make the kefir thicker, like Greek yogurt. Use the whey liquid to make fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, pickles, etc.



Hi, one question:

usually speaking for the 2 quarts of milk power be how much warm water? or normal temp. water? be adding to the milk powder to mixing it up,

( needing the blender to blend or not? ) with any type of whole fat milk power be ok ?
Steve N

Steve N

I haven’t made yogurt from powdered milk in a long time and totally forgot about it.

The key point for it to “culture” is it needs to be 90-120 degrees. Too hot or cold and it dies or stops the process. That’s the rule of thumb I’ve used for decades but don’t know where I got it from.

Straining it (putting it in a strainer w/cheese cloth for hours or days) separates the whey that can be used in smoothies and other recipes. Some strainers are tight enough so cheese cloth isn’t needed.

Keeping the yogurt exposed while straining will help pull out the moisture faster but may absorb aroma’s that might be in the fridge.

It’s a great substitute for sour cream and cream cheese depending on how many days it’s strained.

When using powdered milk I’d mix the powder with very hot water (120+ deg) and when it comes back down to 120, put in a tablespoon or 3 for a gallon (it doesn’t take much to get it started). Mix well but not beating it do death, then pour that mixture into quart jars with PLASTIC lids, or use Costco’s cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt type containers we saved or something similar. Then place the containers in an ice chest/cooler, pour in 120 deg water as close to the top of the containers as possible before they start to float and if it’s cooler in the house, cover the ice chest with towels or blankets and let sit UNDISTURBED overnight. Closets, water heater rooms or other small areas are great.

The most I ever made at one time was 2 gallons and from that, made sour cream, cream cheese & yogurt. It sounds like a lot but used in such a variety of ways it worked out great. I think it was for holidays with lots of visits. It was great adding it to smoothies on the low setting after pulverizing all the other ingredients.

Recently I used greek yogurt from Costco, I think it was organic and I used their organic whole milk pkg of 3 half gallons. I heated it up to 180 deg then followed the recipe & processed it over night (some 14hrs). I’ve never had such smooth and tasty yogurt before. It wasn’t very thick though. It came out to about $2.70/qt. Can’t beat that for organic greek yogurt and more.

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