Homemade Yogurt in the Crock-Pot

What you will need:

  • A saucepan or Dutch Oven- large enough for 1/2 gallon of milk (where to buy)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (this is called your “starter”. Read the ingredients on your store-bought yogurt to be sure one of the ingredients is ACTIVE CULTURES. In order to make yogurt, you need these cultures or good bacteria.  In the future, you can save a 1/2 cup of homemade yogurt as your starter)
  •  1/2 gallon of the best milk you can find. I have a difficult time getting my raw milk to always set properly.  Please avoid using ultra-pasteurized milk.
  •  2 large towels

Step 1:

Turn your crockpot on high. Be sure to do this first, as your crock pot needs to warm up properly before you place the milk inside. Now is also the time to take out your yogurt starter and let it sit on the counter, to warm up a bit.

Step 2:

Pour all the milk into the pan (I use this) stirring occasionally until it begins to bubble and get frothy (around 185° if you would like to use a kitchen thermometer). Watch your milk to be sure it doesn’t bubble over or burn the bottom of the pan. While you are keeping a close eye on your milk, now is the time to get a cold ice bath ready for your pan. Fill your sink with some water and ice.

Step 3:

Now that your milk has started to bubble, turn off the burner and transfer your pan to the sink full of cold water. Place the pan in the cold water, but don’t allow any of the water to enter the pan and touch the milk. Keep the lid on the pan.  Allow, the milk to sit around 10 minutes. You want your milk cooler, but not cold. You need to have warm milk for the crock pot.

Step 4:

While the milk is cooling, scoop out a 1/2 cup of yogurt starter. Once the milk has cooled (but is still warm…10 minutes) turn off your crockpot (which is now nice and toasty warm).  Place your yogurt starter and 1 cup of warm milk in the crock pot and gently whisk together. Now, add the rest of the of the warm milk to the crockpot and stir. Note to self: The baby will try to eat all your yogurt starter. Next time, make yogurt after bedtime.

Step 5:

With the milk and yogurt starter in the crockpot (now turned off), place the lid on.  Now wrap up your crockpot with a couple large towels. Tuck your milk and yogurt into bed, all nestled in to keep nice and warm.  Let that bacteria get to work making fabulous, creamy yogurt! Leave your crockpot alone for 8-12 hours. The longer you let it sit, the tangier your yogurt will taste. I like the taste at 10 hours. I know you may be tempted to take a peak and spy on what’s happening under those towels, but don’t! Your milk and starter need time to culture. Relax!

Step 6:

After 8-12 hours, remove the towels from the crock pot and you will find–yogurt! Before you stir or shake the yogurt, place your crock pot in the fridge and allow the yogurt to set. I usually allow it to set a couple hours. I’ve even neglected it all day in the fridge.

Step 7:

After your yogurt has spent some time setting in the fridge you can now scoop into the containers of your choice. I use quart mason jars (like these). Store in the fridge and enjoy. We like to drizzle raw honey in our yogurt. We also berries or homemade jam to sweeten it up. I occasionally semi-defrost strawberries and blend with a little honey in the food processor and mix into the yogurt for a fruity twist. Pure vanilla extract (learn how to make your own) and raw honey can be combined for a french vanilla twist. Way to go superwoman! Source: Live Simply]]>