This is one of my favorite things in the world. Making and eating yogurt.
I use yogurt for all kinds of stuff, lots of baking, as a replacement for sour cream (not always, but often) and of course for eating (especially with a really good granola).
I was perusing crock pot recipes one day, on one of my favorite sites, www.tastykitchen.com and I came across this one.
I have been making this yogurt for years now. I have made it with pasteurized/homogenized milk, raw jersey milk, raw goats milk, I have even tried it with coconut milk (which didn’t work – don’t do it!). It doesn’t come out as thick with goat milk as with the cow milk though so I have since purchased a culture which works better with the goat milk than using a store bought yogurt as a culture.
For cow milk yogurt I found the Fage brand works the best but I have also had success with StonyField and a few others.
This is a great yogurt and so easy to make. I love that you don’t need to have a yogurt maker, just a crockpot and a couple towels and you’re good to go!
- ½ gallon organic milk
- ½ cup live yogurt
- ½ cup honey (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract(optional)
- You need the milk to be 115˚ when you add the culture so you can either, carefully, heat it on the stove or in the crockpot: Put the milk in a 2-3 quart crock pot (I only have a 1.5q and a 6q so I used my 6q). Turn it to low for 2½ hours.
- Turn the crock pot off and let it sit, with the lid on for 3 hours.
- Yes, that’s it just let it sit. But set yourself a timer so you don’t forget about it.
- Next, add in the yogurt or the live powdered culture whisk it in so it is well combined. (If you are sweetening it - now is the time for that as well)
- Put the lid on and:
- ***********This is very important!!!***************
- you are trying to provide a warm environment for the bacteria to cultivate so you do NOT want the milk mixture to get cold. So you are going to wrap the crock pot in a couple towels. I used two beach towels and wrapped it up snug as a bug and then I place it inside my extra oven to keep it extra insulated.
- Then let it sit just like that for at least 8 hours. I typically (especially when using goat milk since it just seems to need to culture longer) leave it for about 12-16 hours.
- You CAN leave it alone at this point to chill and you will have a perfectly wonderful thick, creamy yogurt.
- But I am me. I am rather picky about my beloved dairy products. So I took it one step further.
- I wanted the extra thick texture of greek yogurt. So I got out my trusty cheesecloth and made a little hammock with 3 layers (don’t want to loose the yogurt - just the whey!) and put the yogurt (I had to do it in 3 batches) in it and closed it with a heavy rubber band. Then I hung it over a bowl in the fridge for about 3 hours.