Ryazhenka vs. Kefir. How to make Ryazhenka at Home?


Ryazhenka is one of the traditional fermented milk products, which is very popular in Russia. Many people prefer ryazhenka to kefir or yogurt. Another name of ryazhenka is “fermented baked milk”. And thanks to the baked milk the product has its unique taste.

Ryazhenka vs. Kefir

Kefir Ryazhenka
To make kefir you should use alcoholic fermentation and lactic fermentation. Only bacteria Lactobacillus is used for making ryazhenka.
Kefir is white because it is made with ordinary milk. Ryazhenka is beige because it is prepared with baked milk.
Kefir came to Eastern Europe from North Caucasus. Ryazhenka is a traditional Slavic fermented milk product.
Kefir has fewer fats than ryazhenka. You even can make kefir with reduced-fat milk. Ryazhenka is a pretty fat milk product (4-6%).
Kefir is sour. Some people like to add sugar or honey to it. Ryazhenka is not such sour. You don’t need to add any sweeteners.
Kefir is widely used in cooking. Ryazhenka is not used in cooking nearly at all.

What are Ryazhenka Health Benefits?

Ryazhenka is rich in probiotics. Therefore, it has all the health benefits that other foods with probiotics have. It helps to lose weight and cure anxiety, improve digestion and protect against common illnesses.

You can read about health benefits of foods with probiotics here.

How to Make Your Own Ryazhenka at Home?


  • 1.5 liters of fat milk;
  • 7 ounces of organic sour cream.

Use organic ryazhenka instead of sour cream if you have it already.

Never use kefir. It contains other bacterial strains.


Primarily, we have to make baked milk.

There are three ways to make baked milk.

  1. Use a slow cooker if you have it.

Pour milk into your slow cooker. Turn on low for 8 hours.
baked milk in a slow cooker
That’s all. Your baked milk is ready. It is the easiest way to make it.

  1. Use a crock-pot and an oven if you want to make the real traditional Russian baked milk.

Put milk into a crock-pot. Place it into your oven. Turn the oven on to 320-356ºF for 2 hours.
baked milk in an oven
Be careful! Your milk must not boil. Reduce the oven temperature if you see that the milk is going to be boiled.

  1. Use a stove if you don’t have an oven or a slow cooker.

This way isn’t the correct indeed. But you can try the method if you don’t have other opportunities.

Pour milk into an enameled saucepan. Simmer the milk very gently for 1 hour or until beginning to brown over small heat.
baked milk in an anameled sausepan
Be careful as well. You must not bring your milk to a boil.

Now, then we have just made our baked milk begin to cook ryazhenka.

Cool the baked milk to 98-104ºF.

Stir in sour cream. You may add only one tablespoon of sour cream to 1.5 liters of baked milk and obtain ryazhenka. But your ryazhenka will be more delicious if you add a quite big amount of a starter. The good proportion sour cream: baked milk is 7 ounces: 1.5 liters.

sour cream and baked milk

Cover and leave at room temperature for 8-9 hours.

Leave ryazhenka in a refrigerator for some hours to obtain thick yogurt-like texture.

Keeps your ryazhenka in a fridge for 3-4 days (maximum a week).

How Can I Use the Crust of My Baked Milk?

You can use it as you like.

Some people like to remove the crust immediately (while it is hot) and eat.

Other prefer to leave it in baked milk and make ryazhenka with it.

baked milk with the crust

Somebody doesn’t like the crust at all and throw it out. Someone removes it while the baked milk is hot and then add to cold ryazhenka.


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Recipe Name
Russian Fermented Baked Milk (Ryazhenka) Recipe
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