Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crock Pot Yogurt

If you want to make yogurt without a yogurt-maker here's how:
Ingredients:
1/2 gallon milk
1 cup plain yogurt
various flavorings (honey, maple syrup, jam, fruit-really anything sweet-endles possibilities)
Directions:
Pour 1/2 gallon milk into crock pot and put lid on . Heat crock pot to medium (or if yours has times only, do 2.5 hours).
After 2.5 hours, unplug crock pot and let the milk cool down (with lid on) for 3 hours. Then take out 1 cup of milk and put yogurt into the milk and whisk well. Dump that all back into crock and stir well. Take your removable part (the crock itself) out of frame and wrap in a bath towel. Put it into your oven and turn your
OVEN LIGHT on. This is just enough steady heat to culture the milk. In about 8-12 hours you will have plain yogurt. If you like it thicker (Greek-style) then strain it though a coffee filter placed into a sieve. Or some people add powdered milk to thicken theirs. If not, put into fridge to chill-it's best to chill 5-8 hours. Now you are ready to sweeten it. (note: If you want to try it again, just take a cup of the plain out to make more. After recycling it 2-3 times you'll need to buy some more as the "live and active cultures" are not so live and active). We've made 2 batches and sweetened them differently. In the first one I put agave nectar and pears. The next one I put raspberry jam. Both were very yummy. Just add things to taste. Even though this is a process and you have to start the day before, I find that if I'll be home it's no trouble. And it's still fun, very delicious, and more economical. I find most of the store brands to be too sweet for us so this allows us to control that, too.
*Just as a guide with what has worked for me:
8am heat milk
10:30am cool milk
1:30pm culture milk
10pm chill yogurt overnight
8am (the next day) flavor and eat
*and if you need your oven, just leave towel wrapped crock on your counter-it'll still work.

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