I first learned about making yogurt in the crock pot from Stephanie O'Dea's blog A Year of Slow Cooking, she had tried the recipe and said it was great, so I decided to try my hand at it and was pleasantly surprised at how easy and inexpensive it was to make homemade yogurt without buying any special yogurt equipment. This is my third time around, so while I am not a pro, I am pretty comfortable with the routine and have had nothing but successes! Here is the link to the original recipe from Stephanie's website How to make Yogurt in the Slow Cooker
I have taken some pictures and documented the process. As you will see it's extremely easy to make, just takes a bit of time...
Crock pot Yogurt
1/2 Gallon of Organic Whole Milk (or at least hormone free milk like Alta Dena)
1/2 C. of plain or vanilla yogurt (the vanilla won't change the flavor much) must contain live/active cultures
Poor the cold milk into your crock pot and turn it on low, let it cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
After cooking it on low for 2 1/2 hours, turn off your crock pot and unplug it. Keep the cover on your crock pot, and let the milk sit for 3 hours. Let your store bought yogurt sit on the counter and come to room temp for the last hour.
After letting the milk sit for 3 hours, scoop out 2 cups of the warm milk into a medium bowl, add the 1/2 C. of store bought yogurt and whisk into the warm milk. Pour it all back into your crock pot and briefly whisk it all together. Put the lid back on your crock pot and cover it completely with two heavy bath towels for insulation. Let it sit undisturbed for 8 hours.
After 8 hours, take off the towels and the lid, and check your yogurt, it will be thickened but still a bit watery. Take a large, fine, mesh colander and line it with cheese cloth or even paper towels (mine were plain white) and place over a large bowl, pour the yogurt into the colander and let the excess liquid drain overnight in the fridge or a day and a half as I did in this case. Draining overnight or for 8 hours will result in thick and creamy yogurt, letting it sit longer makes yogurt cheese...yum!
A lot of liquid gets drained out and results in...
this thick and creamy deliciousness!
I love that it is essentially a blank slate that can be sweetened and topped with whatever tickles your fancy at the moment. I have found that liquid type sweeteners are best as granulated sugar does not dissolve well and will taste gritty. Honey, agave and liquid stevia are great! Stay tuned...tomorrow's post is all about toppings and my recipe for Baked Cinnamon Apples!