A couple of weeks ago I came across a recipe for making yogurt…in the crockpot! Turns out there are yogurt making machines you can buy too, but well, I already have a crockpot so why spend more. I didn’t even know you COULD make yogurt at home. Go figure! The kids, especially Annabel, loves yogurt but it’s so expensive that we usually only get it if it goes on sale. Making it at home turned out to be SUPER cheap. I filled just over 3 store-bought yogurt containers with what I made for under $3. It’s cheaper after the first time, because you can use your own yogurt as the starter instead of having to buy a container.
This takes a long time to make, but most of it is waiting time. I think it’s best to start it early afternoon so that the timing works out for leaving it sit over night..if you let it sit TOO long, it’ll become more tart.
8 cups whole milk (you can use 2% or skim, but the yogurt will end up thinner)
1/2 cup plain yogurt with active cultures (check the label to make sure it has active cultures!)
a bath or beach towel
1/2 cup milk powder or 2 tsp plain gelatin(optional, to thicken the yogurt more..I haven’t tried thickening it with milk powder but the gelatin worked really well for me)
Yep, that’s it!
1) Put the milk in the crockpot on low for about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
2) Turn off the heat and let it sit for 3 hours.
3) Take out a couple of cups of the warm milk, stir in your starter yogurt, then return it to the crockpot and stir it all in. Stir in your milk powder or gelatin now too, if you’re using one of them.
4) Wrap the whole crockpot in your towel. We keep our house fairly cool in the winter, and the temperature of the room can affect how it turns out, so I put the whole crockpot bundle in the oven overnight with the light on. In summer, or if your house is warm, you should be able to leave it on the counter (I haven’t tried this though so I can’t vouch for how well it works, personally.) Let it sit wrapped up overnight 8-12 hours.
5) Put it into containers and stick it in the fridge. You can flavour it with fresh fruit, preserves, vanilla, honey or whatever you like for your yogurt. Make sure you keep 1/2 cup plain to use as your next starter!
If you used gelatin to thicken it, it won’t set until after it’s been chilled in the fridge.