Post by peacenjoy on Jan 29, 2019 15:57:01 GMT -5
So easy, affordable and delicious!
1 gallon milk (any fat content. Skim makes it a fuel pull - I'm at goal weight so I LOVE the richness of using whole milk.)
1 cup plain yogurt with live cultures (make sure it has both l. bulgaricus and s. thermophilus).
You'll need store bought yogurt for your first batch, but from then on you can save out a cup of your homemade yogurt each time to use for the next batch. Chobani makes the BEST initial starter, hands down. Once strained, it will make your yogurt thicker, smoother, mild flavored vs tart, and higher in volume than other starters.
I begin by heating the milk to 180 degrees. It takes about 15 minutes over high heat if you do it like this: 5 minutes covered, no stirring, 5 minutes covered but stirring every minute or so, then 5 more minutes uncovered stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and allow to cool uncovered to 110-115 degrees. This takes about 60-80 minutes.
Place 1 cup of starter into a large crockpot that is NOT plugged in. Stir a small amount of the warm milk into your starter until smooth. Gradually add more milk; your goal is to avoid lumps. Once all the milk has been poured into the crock pot, cover and wrap the UNPLUGGED crock pot with a thick beach towel to hold the warmth in. Allow to sit 10-12 hours. Do NOT turn on your crock pot, or you will make a caramel colored soft cheese (which actually isn't bad if you add herbs, garlic and salt. I made some by accident once when my DH helped me by getting out the crock pot, lol. He plugged it in and it happened to be on the "Serve" setting.)
At this point you have made regular yogurt. Remove one cup's worth and store in refrigerator to use as starter next time.
Now, to achieve Greek yogurt, you simply strain out the excess whey. Line a colander with very fine cotton cheesecloth. Place a small glass bowl upside down inside a large glass bowl. Place colander on the small bowl, fill with your yogurt and allow to sit for 4+ hours. The time will vary depending upon the gauge of your cheesecloth and how thick you like your yogurt. By the way, the whey should be a yellowed clear, resembling egg whites. If it's cloudy then your cheesecloth isn't fine enough, and you'll need to use 2 layers.
A gallon of milk produces about a half gallon Greek yogurt.
I typically start this process in the evening after dinner, let it sit overnight and strain it when I get up the next morning. I let it sit on the counter to strain, and even a good 6 hours doesn't prevent it from remaining delicious covered and stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
You can discard the whey, or save it to use in smoothies or other things that call for water or broth, like soups. It's a good source of protein. Warning: do NOT expect that whey will cook and soften noodles, grains, split peas in the same way that water does. Boil these things in the usual water/broth etc. first before adding your whey.
This cheesecloth is less than $3 right now on Amazon (1/29/19) and big enough for you to cut into two equal pieces, fold one of those pieces in half and line the colander with a double thickness. Save the second piece for the future when the first piece has worn out. smile.amazon.com/Regency-Natural-Ultra-Cotton-Cheesecloth/dp/B001B14ODG/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1548794214&sr=1-6&keywords=cheesecloth
I learned how to do this from the Daring Gourmet website.