Recently, my mom came through and in our course of conversation, she asked if I'd ever tried making yogurt. She expressed the simplicity, but the catch seemed to be the need for a dehydrator or a constantly watched oven at low temps.
A little research led me to find that yogurt is easily made in the crock pot or even sitting on a heating pad. It worked the first time to my satisfaction and now, I'll most likely do this weekly.
Greek Yogurt as a starter
2% or Whole milk (not ultra pasteurized)
thermometer (I just used ye ol' meat thermometer as an indicator)
Put 1 quart of milk (4 cups) in the crock pot and turn it on high. Heat milk to 180 degrees. This takes about 4 hours so just leave it and wait.
Turn off crock pot and cool milk to between 108 - 112 degrees. This takes about an hour so just leave it and wait.
Whisk in 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt. I used this kind to get the most actively natural cultures I could get. Other brands will work, just make sure there are not a whole lot of additives and that the cultures are live acting cultures.
Put the lid on and cover with a couple of towels to sit over night.
In the morning, I had a crock pot of yogurt. Apparently, the amount of milk you use will determine the amount of yogurt produced. I whisked it well right in the crock pot to smooth out any lumpiness and then poured it into jars to chill in the fridge.
You can mix in fruit, honey, or vanilla before chilling if you like. Unsweetened it tastes like sour cream and can be used as such. This morning, I put a pineapple in the blender to serve as a topping along with walnut granola.
I'm all for easy, and this one's easy!
Post editorial: I did find that taking the lid off to cool the milk, I was able to shorten the cooling process without my crock pot going entirely cold. Stir in the 1/2 cup of yogurt quickly and recover to keep in as much warmth as possible without having to reheat the crock pot. Also, make sure when the kids are snarffing it down that you keep the last 1/2 cup to make your next batch. That way, you never need to make yogurt again. Credit: "A year in slow cooking"