Prep 1 hr
Cook 8 hrs
The first time I made this recipe it was 105 F in Texas... and apparently, this has been the hottest spring on record since 1990 or something. My mom said in the recipe that while your yo is gurting for 8 hours that it needs to be kept at over 100 degrees. For me, this means outside or in the car on a hot day. For you, this may mean that you need to keep it in the slow cooker or somewhere else. Either way, this recipe is almost impossible to screw up.
- Heat the milk to 185-190 degrees F in a non-aluminum cooking pot. (I use a slow cooker on the high setting and just track the temp on a candy thermometer It takes about an hour and a half to do it this way, but it doesn't scald. If you do this, you will need to pour the milk off into another vessel for the next step.).
- When the milk hits 185-190 degrees F, put the whole pot into a cold water bath where the water comes up on the outside of the pot to the same level the milk is at on the inside. Watch it closely because the temp will drop like a stone.
- When your milk hits 120 -125 degrees F on the thermometer, remove it from the waterbath.
- Whisk in the yogurt with active cultures.
- Put the cover on the pot (sometimes I pour it off into jars) and set it somewhere guaranteed to be over 100 degrees for 8 hours. (Some folks use a slow cooker with a warming setting, some use an evaporator, others wrap the pot or jars in a heating pad -- there's a lot of ways you can do this. In Texas, I just put it outside.).
- After 8-9 hours, your yo should have gurted (It'll look thick, you'll be able to see a separation of the whey from the milk -- etc.) If your yo hasn't gurted, this means your culture either didn't take or died in the process. To be sure you can leave it a bit longer but after 10 hours that yo is as gurted as it's going to get (if it doesn't work, the milk that isn't yogurt can be used in cooking.).
- If the yo has gurted, pour it into cheesecloth, potato sack cloth or muslin and strain the whey off with a collander. Then tie the ends of the cloth together and hang it over the sink to allow the whey to drip off even more.
- For store bought style yogurt, draining the whey takes about 15-30 minutes. For Greek style yogurt, let it sit for about an hour to an hour and a half. For, my favorite, which is roughly the consistency of smooth ricotta, let it go for two hours.
- Stored in an airtight container, this stuff will hold up in the fridge for several days.
I like the title of this yogurt recipe. Texas can be HOT! I use the same temperatures for when I heat my milk. The exceptions to this recipe I make are: I do not cool my milk with a cold water bath. I just let my milk sit on the stove until it is down to 120 degrees F. When I let my yogurt set my Albanian and Afghan friends told me to put it into a container that is not metal. I put mine into a ceramic bowl, covered with a towel (any sort of cover will do) in my gas oven to set overnight. I do not preheat and then turn off the oven. The pilot light puts out enough heat. Danon Plain Yogurt always works for me. I've tried Fage twice because I thought I did something wrong but it turned out there weren't any live cultures in the yogurt despite what is advertised on the package. I eat the yogurt straight without straining. You can make many things from yogurt like cheese and kefir. Internet research will show you how. Tip: If your yogurt has sat too long in the fridge, it doesn't look right or whatever, skim the funny looking white stuff off. The yogurt underneath should still be good.