I was just finishing my snack of yogurt, and that reminded me that I had wanted to post the recipe that I use to make my own yogurt. Some of you have been asking how I do it, so here it is!
I have loved yogurt since I was little, and have always bought the little containers of it, but that gets expensive and also, even though I recycle the containers, and even if I use the big containers so there are less, I feel like it is so much waste in all that plastic! This yogurt is so good and creamy and doesn't have all the artificial sweeteners in it that the store bought kind can have.
Here's how I do it:
All you really need are a few simple tools and ingredients.
Half gallon (1.89L) of milk (I use organic skim for my yogurt and organic whole milk for the little guys. You can use pasteurized and homogenized, but not ultra pasteurized)
1/2 c plain yogurt live/active cultures (Once you have made this once, you can use the last of the previous batch to make the next...if you remember not to eat it! I keep forgetting and then I have to go to the store and get a little container of plain yogurt!
Unflavored Gelatin or powdered milk to use a thickener
Bath Towels (to wrap the cooker)
Muslin, coffee filters, or paper towels to use as a strainer
Total time for this is about 14-15 hours, so plan accordingly so you can have your yogurt ready when you want it and not have to do a step in the middle of the night!
First, you want to use as much milk as you want yogurt. I usually use half a gallon.
Pour the milk into the crock pot and set the temperature on low. Let the milk warm for 2.5 hours. Then, unplug the cooker, leave the top on and let it set for 3 hours.
Then, unplug the crock pot and wrap the whole cooker in a few towels to keep it warm. Our house gets really cold at night, so while I am whisking the milk, I turn the oven on to its lowest setting just to warm it slightly and then turn it off. I put the wrapped crock of milk in the oven to give it a little warmth boost and also to insulate it even more. If the milk doesn't stay warm enough long enough, the cultures won't do their thing and you will have very runny yogurt! Leave the wrapped crock for 8 hours, or overnight. (Jimmy did the wrap job pictured here...)
After 8 hours, the yogurt will still be a little runny, especially depending on what type of thickener you used and how much.