Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fresh Yogurt anyone?

Happy Sunday Ya'll.  Been on a cooking kick today and haven't gotten around to posting the method I use for making crock pot yogurt.  Sitting here watching the Titans play so I thought I'd start on it....

Ingredients are very simple. A half gallon of whole milk and NOT ultra pasturized, although I've never seen it in the stores.  I add about a cup of cream too.  I think it adds some bulk to it.

And don't be hatin' on my crock pot.  I love that thing, but it is impossible to clean the painted stuff on the outside.  I got after it one time with Barkeepers Friend, and it rubbed the finish off, so I just said to heck with it.  It's ugly and looks filthy, but it works real well!!

Ok, now mix this up in the crock pot. Plug it in on high.  I use my fancy thermometer my son bought me for christmas that I love, and use the probe to guage the temp.  If you have one, stick it in there, trying not to lay it on the sides or on the bottom, but suspended in the milk.  set the temp to 185 and walk away.  In about 2 hours it should be slightly bubbly around the edges.

  Kinda like this::::

Now turn the crock pot off and walk away AGAIN! LOL  You want it to cool to 115 degrees, so just let it set.  I usually take the crock out and set it aside and it seems to cool within about an hour. Just check on it occasionally.  Kinda like this.......

When it gets close to being cooled, preheat your oven on the lowest temp.  My oven's lowest temp is 175, so I preheat it, and then just turn it off.

 Once it cools to 115, or cool enough to be able to stick your finger in it for 10 seconds, then you add a cup of GREEK FULL FAT YOGURT  which is hard as heck to find, OR if this is your 2nd batch, reserve a cup from a previous batch of yogurt.  They say you can use a reserved cup up to 3 times before the cultures get kinda weak.  You can also get yogurt cultures on line, and I've used it and couldn't tell a difference except for convenience   Whisk in the starter or cup of yogurt.

So how much actual cooking time have we spent so far, maybe 5 minutes?????

NEXT  Take a cookie sheet bigger than the bottom of the crock, and two big old thick cotton bath towels, the thicker the better.

I criss cross the towels and then set the covered crock in the middle of it and wrap that baby up tight, tucking in the towel onto the cookie sheet.  Put the whole thing into the oven that you have turned OFF, but it's warm, right????  and if you have an oven light, leave it on.  It seems to put off a tiny bit of heat.

Stick that puppy in the oven
on a low rack such as:::

Now, go to bed, you have worked incredibly hard on this and deserve to rest. LOL  Actually, I usually do this in the evening and leave it in the oven till I get home the next afternoon.  And believe it or not, I will unwrap it and it is still very warm!!! The longer you leave it in the oven, the tarter it will get. I like it tart, but this last batch hurt my glands it was so tart! LOL  Oh well, it's still good.

Now the next step I didn't get pictures of cause I forgot, but if you want thick, greek like yogurt you need to tend to it a bit more.  I use a big bowl, with my 1000 year old tupperware strainer with a coffee filter in the bottom of it.  Strainer looks like this:

I pour the yogurt into  it and let it set on the counter for a while, and when I walk by, I'll pour off the whey that leaches out.  Then I'll cover it with a plate and stick it in the fridge, still straining it, overnight.

The next morning you are gonna have a glorious batch of yogurt and you will never buy it in the store again.  My favorite way to have it is with frozen blueberries, brown sugar and cinnamon.  And when they are in season, I like the fresh cherries with DaVinci's Wild Cherry syrup.  Peaches are good in it too, but not often for me, a bit to carby.

And don't forget to reserve a cup for the next batch!  I've researched and found that the expiration date of the ingredients you use is a rough guess as to the expiration date of the yogurt, if that makes any sense.  But frankly, I've had it last over 2 weeks.

Let me know what you think peeps.... hugzzzzzzzzzzzz


Anonymous said...

I'm going to try ur yogurt. I have trouble with commercial yogurt as it upsets my stomach, but I do enjoy Kefir, go figure. On my list to make. Thks, Dinah.


Anonymous said...

Wonder if I dried the whey if I could use if for whey powder called for in a lot of recipes.