last week, we featured the recipe for our friend amanda's kombucha...this week she shares her yogurt recipe with us, and a good use for the whey (a side-effect of making yogurt...).
amanda's crock pot yogurt
makes 1/2 gallon
- 1/2 gallon whole milk (local if you can). homogenized or non-homogenized
- 2 TBSP plain yogurt 'starter' (good quality recommended- make sure it says 'live active cultures'
- food grade thermometer
- pour the entire 1/2 gallon of milk into your crock pot and turn on high. heat milk until it reaches between 160*-180*. (i aim for 180*) it will begin to froth at this point.
- take the ceramic pot out of the heating container and prop the lid off to allow the milk to cool. take your starter yogurt and let it sit out to come to room temp. cool milk to 110*. left alone on a counter, this will take about 30min-1hr. you may choose to cool the milk in an ice bath to speed things up.
- when the heated milk reaches 110*, ladle 1 cup of milk into a measuring glass. add 2 TBSP of starter yogurt and give it a gentle stir. pour this mixture back into the crock pot and do not stir. place the lid back on the crock pot. 2TBSP is enough to culture your heated milk! the starter needs the room to culture and using too much starter will result in a runnier yogurt.
- this next step will depend on what you have on hand. you want to keep your yogurt at 110 for about 12 hours. the longer the yogurt can sit still at this temp, the better it will culture. my crock pot came with an insulating bag, so i put it in there and then put the whole thing in my oven with the light turned on. *do not turn your oven on!* you may also wrap your crock pot in a towel or two and do the same thing, or you may wrap your pot, and place in an insulated cooler. the goal is to leave the yogurt undisturbed in a warm environment.
- after 12 hours, take your crock pot and tilt it toward you. (the yogurt should come away from the edge of the pot) place the pot in the refrigerator to allow the yogurt to set and firm up a little.
- strain the yogurt: if you like a runnier yogurt, you are finished! if you like a thicker greek style yogurt, place a colander over a big bowl, and use a cloth (flour sack dishcloth is good) to line the colander. pour the yogurt into the colander and allow the whey to drain into the bowl below. use a rubber spatula to gently scrape the sides of the cloth to allow the whey to strain through. pour the reserved whey into a measuring cup (use this for many things!) and scrape the yogurt from the colander/cloth into the bowl. use a whisk to achieve a creamy consistency.
- reserve some starter! before adding flavor, save a few tablespoons of your yogurt to make more!
- at this point, you may add fresh vanilla bean for flavor or just leave it plain. ladle into a glass jar and store in refrigerator. yogurt lasts a LONG time and will just get tangier.
a helpful side note from amanda:
to help understand how to time everything, here is how i do it:
5-7pm: heat milk / cool down / add starter
7pm: when milk is at proper temp and starter has been added, place in oven with light on for the night
7am: take yogurt out of oven and place in refrigerator
3pm (when i come home for the day): strain / flavor / bottle
* you'll end up with about 2 cups of whey after straining...
ways to use whey:
delicious indian street drink:
- pour your whey into a glass bottle, add some honey, a pinch of cardamom, and the juice from one lime. shake well and enjoy!
- or, you may use it to make lacto fermented ketchup
words and photographs by rinne allen, recipe by amanda kapousouz