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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Crockpot Yogurt!

Yes, it's true! I made yogurt in my crockpot! I'm so excited! So are the girls. Ted's a little grossed out. He wouldn't even look at it this morning. I think the thought of letting warm milk sit out on the counter overnight did him in. He's missing out!

On our vacation we spent time at my parents' house. My mom has been making yogurt in her yogurt maker and had to slow down her consumption because she was eating up to 3 a day. I guess that's not good for your waistline. I truly didn't understand why she would eat 3 yogurts a day. I mean, I like yogurt, but I don't feel like I need to eat it all the time. What was the big deal?

Then we got there and she shared some of her yogurt with us. Ted and G liked it okay, but prefer the store-bought stuff, but H, M and I just LOVED Grammie's yogurt. We found ourselves sheepishly wanting 2-3 yogurts a day. Yup, it was that good.

My mom saw how much we were enjoying her yogurt (she had to make several batches!), so, being the loving mother she is, she offered to send her yogurt maker home with me. I appreciated her generosity, but declined, saying that I didn't want another appliance around (plus it wouldn't make NEARLY enough for our family! I'd have to be running it constantly!). Besides, I told her, The Crockpot Lady had made yogurt in her crockpot, and since I'm trying to use mine more, I thought I'd try it when we got home. (now that I knew what the big deal was about the homemade yogurt!)

After we got home, it was a flurry of holidays, and I finally got around to trying the recipe over the weekend. It didn't work. I was SO disappointed because I had my face fixed for some homemade yogurt. And I was super bummed that I had to dump 1/2 a gallon of milk down the drain. But I told myself that the experiment only cost about $1.30, and gave myself permission to try one more time.

I went back to the blog and, after looking over all the comments, decided to change a few things and try again.

This time it worked! And it is SO yummy! It tastes just like my mom's. . . mmmm! Here's what I did:

  • Pour 1/2 gallon of 2% milk into a pot on the stove. Add 1/2 cup dry milk. Stir occasionally until temperature reaches 190 degrees (to kill the bad bacteria in the milk since it'll be sitting out overnight, warm). This took probably 10 minutes.
  • Put the pot in a sink of warm water, then cooler water to bring the milk temp down to 105 degrees (so you don't kill the good bacteria in the yogurt). This took about 10 minutes.
  • While that's cooling, plug in your crockpot on low. In a bowl, mix one packet of Knox unflavored gelatin into 1/2 cup plain yogurt (this is your starter, with the good bacteria).
  • When the milk is cooled enough, pour into your crockpot, then stir in yogurt starter. Stir well and then cover and UNPLUG your crockpot. Wrap it in a beach towel and cover with a small blanket. I even added a warm water bottle in the layers of blankets. Tuck it in nice and cozy.
  • Leave it alone for many hours. Some said 5, my mom's takes like 24. I REALLY wanted this to work and have time to thicken up, so I left it for 18 hours and we woke up to have YUMMY yogurt for breakfast! H, M and I like to stir in about a tablespoon of honey. G had some after I stirred in honey and some strawberry jelly. H, M and I had honey yogurt again at lunch, but G opted for store-bought strawberry. Fine--more for us! :-)
Here's what I think I did wrong the first time: I used 1% milk, I didn't boil it, didn't add dry milk, used vanilla yogurt, I only wrapped it in one towel, so it was probably too cold, and I only let it sit for 8 hours. I ended up with a crockpot full of warm milk with a thin gelatinous layer at the bottom. Next time I make it I will try to use 1% milk again (since that's the milk I usually buy).

If you try it, please let me know if it worked for you and how you did it!


Leys said...

That sounds really yummy! We LOVE our crockpot (or Mom does at least!)
Also, awesome link, never heard of the Crockpot Lady.. will be fun to browse through her year crockpotting. :o)

UnfinishedMom said...

I've started making homemade yogurt too. My first batch was a bust also - much too thin. The second batch was better; daughter & hubby liked it, but son didn't. I'm still working on trying to get it both thick and sweet. I think I'll try your method next time.

Jennifer said...

I love yogurt but hate the high price so I may try this. Not sure if the kids will eat it and hubby's not big on it so i may have to make a small batch first!

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