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-- Robert Frost

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yogurt

This one is every bit as simple as the last and will forevermore be a regular at our house.


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.

Yogurt:

Needs:

Greek Yogurt as a starter
2% or Whole milk (not ultra pasteurized)
thermometer (I just used ye ol' meat thermometer as an indicator)
crock pot

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"

6 comments:

  1. After you add the yogurt do you turn the crock pot back on low or leave it off?

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  2. So--what is the consistency? I had a little yogurt making set many moons ago that made yogurt in 4 little glass cups. (Entirely impractical with the current version of our family!) But what I remember is that the yogurt was very soupy...along with being very sour...

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  3. Mellyn, if you stir in your 1/2 cup of yogurt quickly and cover it, your crock pot should retain the needed warmth. I was concerned that mine had cooled too much so I turned it back on low for about a minute. I don't think that made much difference. The insulation of the towels keeps it warm enough.

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  4. Cindy, Mine was as thick as the store bought kind. I've read that it can come out with a layer of whey on top, though mine did not. If that's the case, just strain it through a coffee filter or cheese cloth. And yes, it was sour but that means it can double as sour cream but I did read that you can add honey in when you add your 1/2 cup of yogurt. I did not try that as I thought it might effect the spread of my cultures.

    Mind did produce the same amount of milk that I put in. 4 cups -- enough to fill four pint size jars. I'm going to double the amount and see if I can produce more at a time. I'll let you know!

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  5. I remember my brother having a yogurt-making set when we were kids. Our experiences were similar to Cindy's...always very soupy and sour result. The amount of honey required to sweeten it was shocking. But I'm going to try this recipe this week--maybe stir in some of my low-sugar jam to sweeten it at the end. Have you tried using lower-fat milk? Can you think of any reason that it wouldn't work with this recipe?

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  6. I made this last night, used 1% milk, and it turned out great. I was surprised at how mild the flavor is (not TOO sour!). Definitely will be making this again...and maybe looking for some more recipes using yogurt/sour cream so I can make it more often :) It was so easy!

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