Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I've Been Yogued


Any excuse to say that word. Yogued... like Vogue, only slightly fermented... I also like onomonapea and peppadew... Any excuse to say those words.

But I digress. You see for over a year now, more like five or ten years, I have been serious about making my own yogurt. I actually owned a yogurt maker. It was a long plastic covered contraption with six ceramic containers in it. It sat in my pantry for a looong time. I got rid of it. I saved the containers because they are reusable and have nice little covers. But I gave up. It all sounded like too much of a hassle. Until now. I found this post at A Year of Slow Cooking. I was hooked. I even bought a crock pot (15 bucks on sale, whew heeew). Why? because it had a warm function and I wanted to make sure it would keep the heat below 140F which is optimal because the good bacteria can be killed in the yogurt. I also liked this particular crock pot because it fits on my counter and I don't have to drag it in and out of the pantry. Love that! It was worth it to me you see because my husband goes through copious amounts of yogurt.

Now, crockpot lady does hers solely in the crockpot. I wanted to speed up the process a little. I put 2 quarts of 2% milk into a stock pot. I heated it on medium until the temperature reached about 185F. I turned it off and let it cool. I added the starter that my husbands friend "V" generously gave us (from India) after it had cooled. I had left the starter out on the counter to bring it to room temperature before adding it in. I also stirred in a 1/2 cup powdered milk. From what I have read, 2 tablespoons to a 1/4 cup per quart of powdered milk will help to gel the yogurt a bit more. European yogurt I guess tends to be on the runny side. American yogurt is more firm. I actually will eat it either way but prefer it more on the thicker side.
I put the crock pot on the previous day and took the temperature of the water with an instant read thermometer to make sure it was under 140F. After four hours of being on it was at 120F. So I was pretty sure it would not get too hot. I poured warm water into the crockpot and turned the dial to warm. I put my pint jars into their cozy little hot tub. I covered it and left it on for about 7 1/2 hours. I pulled out one of the jars and looked at the liquid. It had gelled. I consider that a success. Wahoo!
Here are the "Cliff Notes" version of what I did:

1. Heated 2 quarts of 2% milk in stock pot until the temperature reached 185F.
2. Brought my starter to room temperature.
3. After milk cooled down I added the 1/2 cup of starter & 1/2 cup powdered milk.
4. Poured that liquid into 4 pint jars and put lids on top.
5. Turned on my crockpot to warm and added warm tap water.
6. Placed the pint jars into the warm water bath in the crockpot and covered it.
7. It sat in the warm water bath for about 7 to 8 hours.
8. Turned the crockpot off, removed the pints and transferred them to the fridge.
9. In the morning I opened one, spooned it out and added a tablespoon of my canned cherry jelly. I enjoyed some cherry flavored yogurt for a fraction of the cost.

Notes:

You can use a good quality yogurt with all the good bacteria in it for your starter. Or you can actually pick up a yogurt starter at a Health Food store.

I don't know if it was the starter or the milk powder but the yogurt is a bit of a different flavor than the store bought one. I imagine I will get used to it and then hate the store bought one- thinking it too bland. Of course slathered in jelly, I didnt notice anymore.*

*Update- I found out it was the dry milk- I tasted it on its own and it was disgusting. It's old. Goodness time flies.

21 comments:

vibi said...

I wish I would be able to make yogurt... but I failed miserably a couple of times, so I gave up.

I'm glad you enjoyed it though! It looks amazing!

HoneyB said...

How cool! My mom probably has the same yogurt maker you have! Its been a while since she has made homemade yogurt, but I remember her doing it when I was home. I should see if I can borrow hers and try making it myself!

Grace said...

this is a cost-saver, to be sure! good for you, lori, for endeavoring to do something and following through!

kat said...

I should really make my own yogurt, we also eat a lot of it. My mother-in-law makes it in a thermos.

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow this is awesome what a greta use for the crock pot and love the salmon en croute clever thing u lol

Mary said...

I love your "Cliff Notes". I also love having another use for my crock-pot.

Lori said...

Vibi- If you would like, email, maybe we can brainstorm what happened. I would love to help if you would like.

Katy ~ said...

I've wanted to try my hand a yogurt making for a long time, but I keep hearing the horror stories of its not working. Now I see your post and am inspired again. I'm going to think on this, but I really want to try it. Clever clever use for the crockpot!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

That is such a cool idea, making yoghurt in the crock pot! Just another use for those clever machines. Will have to give this a go!

Chocolate Shavings said...

That looks delicious!

Nico said...

Nice post, one question:
How much of your starter did you add? that is gonna make a big difference in the time you will incubate them.

thanks
nico

Kt said...

how much starter do you need?

Lori said...

Thank you for pointing out the starter amount. I will update it right now.

Peggy said...

sounds interesting! I don't know if I would be brave enough to try this! don't want to end up with a big pile of yuck!

Ingrid said...

LOL, there are certain words I love saying too. Nonchalant is one and plethora. :)

I'm always surprised to hear that you've dragged your feeting making or trying anything. I've always think of you as being fearless and daring in the kitchen.
~ingrid

Lori said...

Thanks Ingrid- some things do take me some time to come around to. For instance yeast, like everybody else I think, scared me for a long time because I had a brick incident one time. My first time making rye and it came out of the oven like a brick. I was a teenager then. And did not try again, really until I was about 29. So it took me ten years to work up the courage.

The Blonde Duck said...

Everything is better slathered in jelly.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Homemade yogurt? It's fab, isn't it? :) Am adding "yogued" to my vocab!

晚上 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lazy_Ducky said...

Great recipe! i love home made dairy! It is so great and so healthy. I made lately ricotta like russian farmer cheese and it so good to have it for healthy breakfast! Thanks for recipe!

suzybel56 said...

Had the same yogurt maker...mine came out like sour milk, so it went in the yard sale...I would really like to try this...also yeast still really scares me, except for in my breadmaker!!

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