Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yogurt 101

This is an absolute MUST try.  

Ever since I saw someone making home-made yogurt on her blog... I've been intrigued.  

Mainly it was the idea of producing a gallon worth of yogurt from a small little container of starter.  I have to admit though, there's something about the pictures that just make it appear delicious. 

So... when Whitney tipped me off to this recipe from 365 crockpot cooking, I had to try it.  Easy doesn't even describe it.  If you can pour a glass of milk, leave it on the counter and forget about it overnight... you can make yogurt! 

That's right... you've probably been making it for years right?  
Well, there's just a few more steps, but really it's very simple. If you like your yogurt thick like in my picture, you'll have to strain it through cheese cloth as well.  Amazon sells something called a cheese maker for yogurt that I want to purchase.  It basically does the straining for you in a container... I think it would be a bit less messy than the cheese cloth.

We've enjoyed putting on big scoops of failed jams and mashed fruit syrups from this season's canning.  Also a bunch of granola adds a great bite to it.

Anyways... ENJOY, the result is YUUUUUUMMMMMMMo-lishious!  


--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)

--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring

--thick bath towel

The Directions.

This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!

Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.


Erin said...

That is so cool! We might have to try it. And we have an ALDI's (remember that great place) and a gallon of milk is only $1.79! That would be some really cheap yogurt. Have you tried making frozen yogurt? I lost your number and have been wanting to talk to you forever. So, facebook me or call me.

Julie said...

That sounds like way too much work!! But feel free to send some my way :)