- 1 gallon of milk (I use whole because the more fat in the milk, the thicker it will be)
- 8 ounces of plain yogurt (you can also use Greek) with live cultures—just look on the ingredient list
- Pour all the milk into a slow cooker, cover, and place on high.
- Keep slow cooker on high for about four hours until milk reaches 180 degrees (use a candy thermometer to check temperature).
- Once milk reaches 180 degrees, turn the slow cooker off, uncover slightly to let the heat escape, and let it cool to 120 degrees (usually takes about 2 hours).
- While the dairy mixture cools, take out your yogurt (called a "starter") and let it get to room temperature.
- Once the temperature of the milk is 120 degrees, gently add your yogurt and swirl it around with a whisk until combined.
- Now, preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Once it’s preheated, turn the oven off (make sure you turn the oven off!), but leave the oven light on. This will keep the temperature optimal while the cultures are doing their thing and making yogurt magic.
- Place the covered pot in the oven and leave it alone, undisturbed, for 8-12 hours. The longer you leave it in the oven, the more tang the yogurt will have. I usually leave mine for 10-11 hours.
- After it’s done making magic in the oven, gently place the pot in the refrigerator to cool for a few hours.
- Enjoy your homemade goodness!
- Save 8 ounces of your homemade yogurt as your starter for your next batch.
- If you have a clear, yellowish liquid on the top of your yogurt, then you have whey! Whey is a by-product of yogurt—it’s healthy and packed with protein. You can use this in place of buttermilk when baking and cooking.
- If you use pasteurized milk, the yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for over a month.
- Freeze some of your yogurt using ice cube trays if you want to use them in smoothies, but I don't recommend freezing yogurt if you want to maintain its texture—freezing yogurt makes it watery when it’s defrosted.
This is a guest post by Kristy from Thibodaux, LA.