My family could live on yoghurt. It’s our breakfast alternative, afternoon tea, dinner accompaniment, dessert and late night snack. We go through 2 litres a week and would go through more if I bought it. Not only does all that yoghurt amount to a lot of packaging, but also potentially a lot of sugar and other unknowns. Time to try making homemade yoghurt.
There are a lot of recipes out there for homemade yoghurt but I eventually settled for this one using a slow cooker. This is definitely an overnight job!
What you need
- slow cooker
- small bowl
- blanket or large towel
- large Bowl
- colander or sieve
- muslin cloth
- 2 litres of full cream milk
- 1/2 cup of natural yoghurt
- Turn your slow cooker onto low and pour your milk in. Cover with a lid and leave it alone for 2 hours or until it reaches between 170⁰ – 180⁰ F (77 – 82 C).
- Turn your slow cooker off. Take you 1/2 cup of yoghurt out of the fridge and place in the small bowl. Leave the slow cooker alone and the yoghurt out of the fridge for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, remove 2 cups of milk and place in the small bowl with your yoghurt. Gently stir to combine. Return milky yoghurty mixture to the slow cooker and replace the lid. Cover your slow cooker with the blanket so it is fully insulated.
- Leave for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, place the muslin cloth in your sieve over the large bowl. Ladle your yoghurt into the cloth covered sieve cover and place in the fridge for as long as you are happy with the thickness.
- At this point you can add flavourings and sweeteners but your basic yoghurt is ready! Remember to save 1/2 cup of this yoghurt to use as your next starter culture.
Firstly you will have to play around with this depending on your slow cooker. My first couple of batches had 3 problems:
Quite watery – I realised that on the times I had forgotten to leave the yoghurt out to bring it to room temperature, my yoghurt had turned out more watery. Making sure you starter culture is a room temperature is crucial!
It tasted grainy – Eventually I’ve learnt that my slow cooker is bringing my milk up to the required temperature too quickly. This seems to make it grainy. What I now do is place something between the lid and the pot so that the lid is slightly edgar. It takes a little longer to get to the right temperature but the result is smooth yoghurt.
Yoghurt skin – the kids didn’t like the yoghurt skin through their yoghurt understandably. I now use a fork after the 3 hour cool down stage and carerfully skim the skin off the top of the milk before adding the milky/yoghurty mixture.
If you have other issues with your homemade yoghurt, I found this website really useful.
I now double this recipe using half to for our weekly yoghurt and half for homemade yoghurt icecream. In terms of waste, I do use cardboard cartons of milk because of expense, however I make all my milk cartons into boxes so thankfully I haven’t thrown one out yet. Here is a great website with other ways to use your cardboard cartons.