I tried following Ms. Maggi's recipe for homemade yogurt. The first batch was wonderful. AFter that ... ehh.. it never came out right. Then I tried the crockpot version, thinking it would stay the same temperature evenly. Hmm.. it was runny and looked like clumpy, sour milk.
So, I combined the 2 recipes. This is how I made mine:
8 cups milk
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup yogurt with live cultures - room temp
Place 8 cups milk into the crockpot. Stir in the powdered milk with wisk. Put on low, checking temp. often. It must reach 180 degrees! It took MY crockpot 4 1/2 hours on low to reach 180 degrees. Turn off crockpot and allow to cool down to 110 degrees. This took my crockpot 2 1/4 hours - again, check the temp. Wisk in the yogurt. Cover with bath towel and let sit for 6 hours. Spoon into containers and place in fridge. It should last 7 - 10 days.
You will then have plain yogurt. It will be thick and creamy. You can add sugar, honey, etc., and fruits for flavoring. I add mine in as I go. Most of the time, I don't sweeten it and put it on top of 1 cup of cheerios. mix and eat. MMMM
Things to remember:
Temp is very important. Use a thermometer. The milk must reach 180 degrees to "prepare" the milk (that's the best way to put it).
I add the powdered milk to thicken up the final product. You can play with that amount until you get it how you like it.
The milk must cool down to 110-115 degrees before you add the yogurt, too hot and it will kill the good stuff in the yogurt you are adding to the mix.
It's really thick and much better than the store-bought stuff. I buy a large container of yogurt (Dannon with live cultures) and freeze 1/2 cup portions to use as starters later on.
You can also strain some yogurt to get the whey. I'm still looking up uses for whey. The thickened yogurt will now be like.. sour cream to me. Most sites say it is like cream cheese. I find it still very tart for cream cheese. It's very thick but creamy. I'm sure you could sweeten it with a little bit of jelly.. MMMM
If you make yogurt in the crockpot, tell me how it worked for you.