Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Making Greek yogurt in a crockpot!

My mother and I were chatting about making yogurt in a crockpot probably 6 months ago. She was telling me how simple and delicious it turns out. Well, being one that likes to try new things, it has been stuck in my mind since then. Finally the time has come and guess what? Mom was really was quite simple and delicious.

I wanted to avoid straining my yogurt really just because it sounds messy and I was feeling lazy. So, I followed directions for foolproof (no strain) Greek yogurt over at One good thing by Jillee with a bit of a modification (I did not put my yogurt into jars for the 8-12 hr incubation and just left it in the crockpot). 

I might also recommend halving the recipe unless your family eats a lot of yogurt each week. A full gallon of milk turned out to be WAY too much yogurt for Dylan and I.

1 gallon milk (I used 1%)
2-3 cups powdered milk (I used 3 cups of nonfat powdered milk)
1/2 cup yogurt with active bacterial strains (I used a Greek yogurt with 5 strains).

1. Pour the milk into your crockpot.

2. Whisk in the powdered milk to increase the proteins and produce a thicker yogurt.

Whisking in the powdered milk

3. Heat the milk in the crockpot on low until it reaches 180 degrees F
. This took about 2.5-3hrs for me.
4. Turn off the crockpot and cool the milk to between 95 to 115 degree F.
5. Stir in a half cup of live culture yogurt into the milk until completely blended.

Heat to 180 deg. F

6. Remove the crockpot ceramic insert, cover and wrap with towels or a blanket.

Wrap with towels to keep around 100 deg. F overnight.

7. Place the wrapped crockpot in an oven with the light on for 8 to 12 hours to complete the culturing process.

6. At the end of your culturing time, scoop the yogurt into containers and place in the fridge and chill before eating.

Look how thick it is!

It is supposed to last 10 days and if you plan to make this regularly remember to remove half a cup of the yogurt to use as your bacterial starter next time. The starter can be frozen so that it lasts longer. 

The yogurt tastes great with a bit of honey and granola. Yumm! While it did turn out quite thick, I still think I will strain it with a cheese cloth or coffee filter next time to get it extra thick. Then perhaps I can use the whey in some soap!

Mixed with a bit of honey and some cereal...yumm!