I have tried making yogurt for over a year. It wasn’t until last week that I was successful at it, and it was ridiculously easy. So easy, in fact, I’m not sure how I had messed it up in the first place.
I had stopped trying because I was sick of getting failed batches and wasting precious resources. But last week, my friend Mackenzie posted yogurt-making instructions on her fabulous blog, so I decided to give it another try. I’m so glad I did!
Here’s what you need:
Pre-made, plain (preferably organic, and if it’s greek, even better!) yogurt
Whole milk (I use raw, which provides superior results!)
Plastic or wooden spoon (not metal)
First, fill the crock pot with milk. I like to fill it completely to make a good-sized batch all at once, but you can start with a quart or half-gallon.
Turn your crock pot on low and leave for three hours.
After three hours, turn off the crock pot altogether, stir your milk, and let sit an additional two hours.
At the conclusion of two hours, add some of your yogurt. I say “some” because I’m not much of a measurer 🙂 For about half a gallon, I would do about 1/4 cup yogurt, so base your measurements off of that, give or take. Stir it in well.
Now, wrap the crock pot in towels and place in the ice chest. Leave it all to sit in a warm place (I leave mine in the garage because it holds all the heat from the day). It needs to sit for 8-12 hours. I leave mine over night. By morning, you will have a whole crock pot full of yogurt!
BUT- you aren’t done yet. Now, you will need to strain your yogurt because it tends to still be pretty runny.
Set your plastic colander up over a large bowl, then line it with cheesecloth.
If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use coffee filters, although it doesn’t work as well!
Pour your yogurt on top of the cheesecloth, then leave it to sit. I usually leave it for an hour or so, and sometimes I have to do it in a couple batches if I make a really large batch of yogurt. You will see the whey begin to drain off of the yogurt. The yogurt that stays behind in the cheesecloth is a nice, thick, tangy yogurt that you can eat straight, top with raw honey, put in smoothies…. the possibilities are endless!
BUT wait! Don’t toss the whey! It’s wonderful stuff! It can be used to lacto-ferment a number of things. Save it, and tomorrow I will give you an awesome recipe for a summer favorite, lacto-fermented!