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Baking with Greek Yogurt

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2010

Can Greek-style yogurt be used in place of regular yogurt in baking?

Greek-style yogurt is made by allowing the watery whey to drain from yogurt, giving it a smooth, thick texture. American-style yogurt still contains whey, so it has more moisture and a thinner, runnier consistency. We weren’t surprised, then, with our findings when we baked batches of bran muffins and peach cobbler (with a biscuit topping) using these two different types of yogurt. In both instances, the samples made with Greek yogurt tasted slightly drier than those made with American yogurt.

To come up with a formula to compensate for the difference in moisture content, we drained 1 cup each of plain whole-milk, low-fat, and fat-free yogurt in a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth; after two hours, 1/3 cup of liquid had been exuded from each sample. Armed with these results, we went back into the test kitchen, reducing the amount of Greek yogurt used in our recipes by one-third and making up the difference with water. The results? Tasters found the muffins and cobblers nearly identical.

So to substitute Greek-style yogurt for American-style yogurt in baked goods, remember this rule: Use only two-thirds of the amount of Greek yogurt called for in the recipe and make up the difference with water.