Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 19: yogurt.

I made yogurt!

This is really so exciting to me. I have been meaning to try making yogurt for a while and hadn't gotten around to it. It was much easier than I thought, once I figured out how to read my thermometer. I can't tell you how exciting it was to unwrap the towels off the crock pot, open it up and see the whole thing full of thick, creamy yogurt! It totally felt like magic.

If you're curious about making your own, I just did a search and read a bunch of tutorials. Basically all of them have you heat milk (I did a half gallon) to 180 degrees to kill the bacteria you don't want. This took mine an hour or so on low in the crock pot. Then you cool it down to 110 and stir in your starter. I took my crock pot out of the warmer and let it sit for a while to cool. For your first time you use store bought plain yogurt as the starter. I was supposed to add a half cup of the starter but accidentally added 6 oz. Maybe this helped it turn out so nice and thick? (Actually, I had to have my friend Erin add the starter since she was babysitting at the time. Hey Erin, you made yogurt!) Then you want to keep it at 110 degrees for several hours to grow all the good bacteria. You can do this by wrapping the crock pot in towels and putting it in the oven. (With the oven off.) You can leave it for 6 to 12 hours. The tutorials I read say that the longer you leave it the more tart it gets.

The funny thing about mine is that it turned out that my 6 hour mark was going to be at 2 a.m.! I went to bed and thought, "oh well, I'll get it in the morning and it'll be tart this time." Well, I woke up randomly last night and looked at the clock: exactly 2 a.m.! I do think I have a talent of telling myself exactly what time to wake up. So I got up and stuck the crock pot in the fridge. I woke up to this! We all enjoyed delicious fruit and yogurt and granola this morning. We'll keep making yogurt for sure!

*A few more notes: I used whole milk, mostly because Faye will be eating it. You can use low fat milk for sure, but it might not be as thick. You can also stir in some nonfat dry milk to help it thicken. You can also blend in fruit and even make it vanilla. We'll probably try that next time.


mackenzie said...

i've done this a couple times, too! and i never planned it right so i would be fully awake during the whole process. i totally did the alarm at 3am thing.

Paul and Madeline said...

Just wanted to let you know that I'm loving reading about all of your projects. I'll bet you feel so accomplished these days!


Melissa S. said...

I've wanted too for a while (I saw a friend do it once but she did her's w/ canning stuff and I didn't have it, so I never thought more of it)!!! I've had a freezer full of free yogurt from Harris Teeter all year long until now and NOW I don't have those to throw in my kids' lunch. I think I may have to try it....and find my thermometer, because I have a crock pot! YAY! My kids had those Yo-crunch yogurts one time (w/ the Crunch candy bar balls on top) and maybe I'll have to crush a candy bar and throw on top for a special treat in their lunches.....or fruit.....or granola! The sky is the limit. Thanks for posting that it's relatively easy!