Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Attack of the Yogurt Monster

So, I've gotten in the habit of making deeeelicious smoothies in the morning. And I plan on keeping it up! But, a half a cup per day, this means that I go through a significant amount of plain yogurt (seriously. If someone were keeping an eye on our recycling, I don't know what they'd think). So when I saw a blog post about this recipe, I decided to give it a try. Worst case, I waste a bunch of milk. Best case, I become self-yogurt-sufficient!

So last night, I gave it a try. The milk took FOREVER to heat up (I ended up having to turn the crock pot up to high, because it was just not getting hot enough), but then took much less time to cool than mentioned in the recipe (which was nice, because I really didn't want to be up at midnight, turning hot milk into yogurt).

Milk, Crock Pot, Digital Thermometer, Recipe... ready to go!
After it was innoculated, I stuck the Crock Pot in the oven with the light on, and went to bed for a good night's sleep. I was a little nervous when I went to check on it this morning. Did it set?

Shroedinger's yogurt

When I took the yogurt out of the oven, it was still warm, but definitely yogurt-y! It's a bit thin tasting, so I think next time I'd use whole milk (we had 2% at home, so I used that), but I'll definitely be doing this again. It's way cheaper (about 2$ worth of milk for 2 quarts of yogurt, instead of about 3.50$ for 750ml!), and pretty low effort. Hurray!

Mmm, yogurt!


  1. This is not too thin, Emily, this is what my looks like too. You must be used to the boughten, artificially thickened factory stuff, that's all. They add pectin so it won't separate and the American consumers, trained to be paranoid about spoilage, don't freak out. Welcome to the real stuff.

  2. Thanks so much for the reassurance, Sofya! I'm really excited about getting on board with the real stuff - but yeah, I guess I'm going to have to get used to it!

  3. I would like to share that one of the ways to make it thicker is to add dry milk but I haven't tried that since I wanted the softer yogurt I grew up with in the former USSR. Plus, once you make it into a smoothie (or any dish really), it's not a big deal. Another way to thicken it is to drain it in a colander lined with something like flour-sack kitchen towel or thin fabric (cheesecloth normally found in stores has holes that are too big, even doubled or trippled). But of course monitoring the temp closely (too hot = thin yogurt) and not adding to much culture (yogurt) to the milk is another important thing. I would say about 1 T per half gallon or even less, because these yogurt bacteria don't like to be crowded.

  4. My dear,
    Did you know you come by the yogurt making gene honestly? Your Mimi was making yogurt in the 70's!..and I think she used low-fat, maybe even powdered milk. Hers was made in a machine that had 6 glass containers, each a 1 cup size and my brothers especially, loved to mix her homemade jam in...healthy and yummy! BTW, Williams Food Equipment sells a yogurt making machine now that looks very much like hers...XO, Mom

  5. Awesome, thanks for the additional info, Sofya!!

  6. The best yogurt I ever ate came from a little hotel in Aguas Calientes, Peru. Flavour, texture, consistency.... all marvelous. It took us until the 4th or 5th day there to realize that it came from a room-temperature wooden bucket on the floor behind the bar, open to the elements.
    This fact did not dissuade us from enjoying the delicious floor yogurt.