I usually make yoghurt for breakfast, but the other day decided to make the traditional Icelandic skyr.  I used to have skyr for breakfast and lunch when I was a kid, long before I had heard about something called yoghurt.

Skyr is really good and it's good for you.  Skyr is really a cheese, although we are used to it as a sweet dish.  It's always made from skim milk which we call "undanrenna" and has a fat content of 0,1%.  Which is practically no fat.  Not that I avoid fat.  We eat skyr with a mixture of cream and full fat milk, sugar and blueberries.  Which of course are only available in the autumn, but it seems that we always had them when I was young.  Now they are imported all year round, so I can have my skyr with blueberries, even if the imported berries taste a bit more watery than the small local variety of wild blueberries.

I haven't made skyr before, but it is surprisingly easy, although a bit more involved than making yoghurt.

I started with 2 liters (2 quarts) of skim milk and heated that up to 90°C / 195°F and held it for more than 3 minutes.  Then I cooled it down to 42°C / 108°F.

Next add fresh skyr (or skyr culture at 1% of the milk volume, if that is available).  I used fresh skyr with live cultures, about 1/2 cup for my 2 liters.  Yoghurt can be used instead of skyr.

Then add Rennet, only 1 drop per liter and stir it gently for a minute.

This needs to sit still for about 4-5 hours.  I put it in the oven and turned the heat to as close to 42°C / 108°F as I could.

By now the milk looks like a jelly (pretty much like cheese does at this stage) and now it needs to be sieved at room temperature.

I did that using cheesecloth and let it sit for a few hours.  My instructions said 10 hours, but that wasn't necessary.  The whey drained very quickly.

I spooned the skyr into a jar and put it in the fridge to cool to below 10°C / 50°F at least.

At this stage the skyr is realy to eat and now one can add all sorts of flavors, sweet or savory.

My preference is to stir the skyr with some half and half and a little bit of honey.  I then store it and spoon it out for breakfast, pour some milk (or half and half) over it and add fruit.  Eat it with a tablespoon, a bit of skyr, some milk and a few berries.  Yumm.

Out of the 2 liters of skim milk I got 1/2 liter of skyr and a lot of whey.  The whey (called Mysa) used to be drunk as a refreshing drink in the olden days, tasting a bit sour.  My whey wasn't very sour since I only let it sit for 4-5 hours in the oven, but I have mixed it with Rhubarb syrup and some lemon juice as drink.  There is a bit of taste, that I need to get used to, but it's very healthy, full og nice gut loving bacteria.


  1. We have our own raw milk dairy and yet so busy selling it to others we never make anything for ourselves! But you've motivated me to change that.

  2. I often make yoghurt. And on hot summer days I take the pot with the mixture of Milk (1 l) and yoghurt (150 ml) and put it at a sunny spot in the morning. In the evening we can eat the new yoghurt with fruit and honey.


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