Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yogurt - At Last!

I knew that I needed to do something when our yogurt consumption passed the gallon-a-week mark. I discovered plain yogurt when our baby started solid foods, and I LOVED it (the other stuff is too sweet!!!) and have been addicted ever since. With three of us eating it, it goes quickly, and we were spending more than $10/week on yogurt.

I'd tried to make it myself before, but the method was just too time-consuming (read: hours a week). So I did a bit of research and came up with my own method, and it works beautifully! And it's FAST. Feel free to make your own alterations to the method!

World-Famous Crockpot Yogurt
You will need:

1 4- or 5- crock-pot liner with lid
1 tablespoon
1 whisk
1 large pot
1 bath towel

- Milk, whole or 2% 
- 1 gallon
- Yogurt - one really heaping tablespoon (probably same as 2 level tablespoons) per quart of milk you use

Making yogurt takes about half a day. Start either in the morning (to have it ready at night) or in the evening (to have it ready in the morning.

Utensils should be clean but do not need to be sterilized.

1. Put milk in pot. Bring to 180F over medium-low heat. Use your whisk to stir often and heat only on medium at most to avoid scorching. (Since you're heating the whisk along with the milk, you don't need to sterilize it.)

2. Remove from heat. Move to back of stove and let sit until cooled to about 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take 20-90 minutes depending on your kitchen temperature. If it gets too cool, just give it a quick blast on the stove to warm it back up.

3. Fill crockpot liner with hot water to warm. Let it sit while you prepare the milk.

4. Add yogurt to milk (one heaping tablespoon yogurt per quart of milk). Pour water out of crockpot and pour milk mixture in. Replace lid. Place crock pot in your oven and cover with doubled bath towel. Give your oven a quick blast of heat (20-30 seconds) and then turn off. If you remember, you can give it another quick blast before bedtime. Leave overnight.

4. In the morning, voila! Yogurt! Refrigerate at least 4 hours before using.


- In the beginning, you will notice a lot of whey (liquid) forming whenever you let it sit or take a spoonful. Just drain it off with a spoon each time you get yogurt. Whey can be saved and used in recipes in place of buttermilk.

- Yogurt will become more tart the longer you let it sit. This also lowers the carb count. Additionally, as the carbs in yogurt are in mostly the whey, the yogurt becomes more low-carb the more you drain off the whey.

- New yogurt is not very fond of being moved into a new container (it can disintegrate somewhat). If you can spare the fridge space, let it stay in there a few days, draining the whey each time you get yogurt. In a few days it will thicken enough so that it can be moved into another container without trauma.


1 comment:

  1. Diana,

    I've not heard of this particular method of making yogurt. Here's the way I do it (with some more tips you can use, even if you don't change your method -- like, did you know you can freeze the commercial yogurt to use for starter? and "chain-yogurt", using your home-made yogurt as starter for other batches?)

    Here it is from my other blog:


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