Wow, I sure was happy to discover this recipe from a friend of mine. I do like yogurt but 1. it’s expensive and 2. I like having control over what I’m making for us to eat. So when I started making this Foolproof Yogurt I was to say the least… HAPPY!
The best thing about this IMHO, is I can make it with THE CROCK POT! Yes, you heard right… THE CROCK POT!
Let’s start by talking $$$.
1 Gallon of milk about $3.00 will make approximately 21 – 6 oz. servings. That’s .14 per serving. I know yogurt prices vary, but I see prices around $2.00. If you purchased 21 servings at the store you’ll end up paying approx $42.00. That my friend is a HUGE savings.
Now let’s talk about controlling what goes into THE CROCK POT YOGURT! Is there an echo in here?
The simple ingredients consist of milk and yogurt starter (saved from your last batch) That’s it folks, nothing else. I like that.
Ok? Good so far? Let’s do it.
Homemade yogurt is very simple and dependable to make at home.
If you like Greek yogurt which is the way we eat it, just let most of the whey drain from your batch The more whey you strain off the firmer the yogurt becomes.
Sometimes we drain most of the whey from yogurt, and we end up with yogurt like cheese and we use it as cream cheese.
Just a note that homemade yogurt does not have the same firm consistency you buy from the store . But store stuff is thickened pectin, milk solids and other stuff.
Just a final thought “improvise” and you may not get the results you’re looking for. Follow the directions closely if you want success. (Until you become an CROCK POT YOGURT expert) Enough with THE CROCK POT YOGURT in caps!
Here’s what you need:
- 1 Gallon of Milk any type
- 2 Tbs. yogurt starter the starter must have both of the active and live cultures of lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus. You can start for the first time with a store bought yogurt. Just make sure you read the label.
- Electric Crock Pot
- Some Type of Cooking or Dairy Thermometer
- A Whisk
- A Colander
- Muslin, cheesecloth or any clean woven cloth
- Bath Towel
- Oven or Other Draft Free Warm Location
Here’s How to Do It:
I usually start my yogurt around 3:00 pm so that I can tuck it into the oven around 9 or 10 pm at night. Place the gallon of milk into the crock pot and cover. Heat the milk slowly until the milk is between 180°F – 190°F. It is vital to heat the milk to at least 180°F. This can take as long as 3 hours when heating gently on low.
The only bacteria you want growing in the milk will be the lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophiles that you add when you inoculate the milk. This is an especially important step with raw milk. So make sure you heat it to the correct temp.
Allow the milk to cool naturally and undisturbed to a temperature of 110°F. It takes about 3 ½ to 4 hours to cool to that temperature. It is critical to the success of the yogurt that you catch the milk at 110°F. 110°F is the ideal temperature for inoculating yogurt.
A temperature any higher can kill the bacteria, too cool, the bacteria will not thrive.
Milk Skin can form on non- homogenized milk. The skin should be carefully and completely removed. If you don’t remove all of the milk skin you’ll get flakes in the final product.
Remove about 1 cup of warm milk into a separate cup. Add 2 tablespoons of starter to the milk. 2 tablespoons are all you need.
Gently using a whisk, thoroughly stir the starter in the cup of milk to inoculate it.
Next pour the inoculated milk into the crock pot and stir gently going from side to side. Some people say not to stir in a circle. I use a method like folding batter moving across the length of the crock.
Gently lift the covered crock out of the electric base and put it in a cool oven. Lay the bath towel snugly around the crock and DO NOT DISTURB overnight or for about 10 – 12 hours.
An oven with a pilot light or electric light turned on works great. No peeking! Keep the oven door closed. Even opening the door can cause your yogurt to fail.
After 10 or 12 hours your yogurt should be solid with a layer of whey on the top.
If you like a thicker yogurt now is the time to drain or pour off the whey.
Pour your yogurt into a cheesecloth lined colander that has been set on top of a large pot. BTW. if you use regular cheesecloth double or triple the layers.
We collect the whey in the pot and give it our Large Black Pigs. They love it.
Place the yogurt in the fridge and begin draining the whey. If you like your yogurt with more of a tang, then let it drain on your counter. We don’t like it that way so we refrigerate it.
It takes about 2 hours of draining to make a thick natural yogurt, and about 3 or 4 hours to make Greek style yogurt. Once the yogurt is the way you like it, carefully pour your yogurt into some kind of a covered dish.
I also store my yogurt in a refrigerator. It keeps it sweet tasting. If you like it tart, leave it out for 24 hours.
It’s time to enjoy your yogurt, Greek yogurt or yogurt cheese. Remember though…. save a little starter for your next go around.
Add some fruit, pure maple syrup or granola. You control what goes in…. you save money for you family. So go out and buy and make some of THE CROCK POT YOGURT. (sorry I couldn’t resist. It’s the kid in me)