For those who don't want to buy a dedicated machine for yogurt making, I thought I'd try the ol' Crockpot Yogurt technique. The yogurt came out nearly identical to the yogurt maker machine batch. Give this one a shot but be aware that homemade yogurt is thin. Store-bought yogurt is thick and rich because of all the gelatin they add to it. You can add gelatin to yours but if a thick yogurt is important to you, I'd recommend draining your homemade yogurt overnight and you'll end up with "Greek" style yogurt.
Homemade Yogurt with Crockpot
Turn your crock pot to high and pour in 1/2 gallon of milk. I use whole milk and a 2 quart size crockpot insert.
Heat on high for about 2 1/2 hours. Until the temperature of the milk reads 180 degrees. (I stick my digital thermometer in the vent hole in the lid and just check it when I walk by).
Once it heats to 180 degrees, turn your crock pot off and unplug it. Take the cover off and let it cool until the temperature of the milk comes down to 110-115 degrees. This takes about an hour.
After it's cooled, stir in 1/2 cup of plain store-bought yogurt with live active cultures and mix very well.
Place the cover back on the crock and wrap the entire crock pot in a thick bath towel or two.
Let it culture overnight, 8-12 hours.
In the morning stir yogurt and store in a container of your choice. Save 1/2 cup of this plain unflavored yogurt as a starter for your NEXT batch. Then add flavorings at this point. Honey, sugar, or fruit. Or you can drain it first for thicker yogurt and THEN add your flavorings.
Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.
This makes a half gallon of yogurt which seems like a lot. We go through most of this in a week between two kids and my husbands parfaits every morning. But next post will show you how to turn some of your homemade plain yogurt into Greek Yogurt and Cream Cheese!
I will leave you now with the most awesome picture ever of my 1 year old. Spaghetti night!!