Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Yoghurt in a Slow Cooker

I like my yoghurt thick and creamy with no added “fruit” flavours. My favourite yoghurt is by Mundella- the natural ones. They are WA made (yay!) and pot set without gelatin or gum starches (double yay!). Also I find that they make my bowel movements regular if you know what I mean! ;-) While I was in London, I found that Total Greek yoghurt by Fage was a nice thick, creamy consistency. They also have 0% and 2% fat ones too which are also very thick.  

My Mundella yoghurt as my starter

My mum used to make yoghurt back in the days with the Easiyoyoghurt maker. She said it broke and the yoghurt wouldn't set.

In French Women Don’t Get Fat book by Mireille Guiliano, there is a recipe for home-made yoghurt without a yoghurt maker. The ingredients she listed were milk and yoghurt starter or good quality yoghurt. The only problem I had with that recipe was it required the mixture to be left out overnight in a warm place. During summer it was ok, lots of warm places available. However in winter, the house got too cold and I didn’t want to leave the oven on, even at its lowest temperature. She also has a recipe for yoghurt using a yoghurt maker similar to the one here.

I wanted to try to make my own yoghurt without buying any extra kitchen appliance!

More Googling and I stumbled on a thread that showed you how to make yoghurt in a slow cooker. I pooled the information from these two sites to make my own yoghurt.

 Slow cooker with heated milk waiting to cool down

My mum has a small slow cooker which I used. I halved the ingredients from the second website therefore using 4 cups (1 litre) of milk and 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of plain yoghurt as the starter. Then I plugged it in and waited for it to get to 180F. That took FOREVER so I heated up the milk on the stove top and poured it back into the slow cooker (switched off) and waited for it to cool to 120F. Next I switched on the slow cooker and added in the yoghurt starter. Don’t let it get too hot- until the outside is hot to the touch then turn it off again. Wrap the slow cooker in a couple of towels and let it sit for up to 12 hours. I used one towel and it was ok. Perhaps if you have a chillier home, use more towels.

Final result:

It's set! But a little runny.

Four cups of milk made enough yoghurt to fill up a 1kg yoghurt container.

Remember to leave 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of yoghurt for next time. I’m not sure how long this yoghurt keeps for, so far it’s been in the fridge for just over a week and seems to be doing ok. 

If you would like a creamier consistency, you can strain the chilled yoghurt as per the instructions from the second website.

Good unflavoured yoghurt in the supermarket retails at $6 or more for the 1kg tubs. So my 1kg of homemade yoghurt cost me $1 for the milk and $6 (although I got the yoghurt for $4- score!) for the initial starter. From now on, it will only cost me $1 for the milk with my batch of starter saved from each batch! 

I'm sorry for mentioning the temperature in Fahrenheit, a lot of the sites I visited were American so I ended up using it for convenience. I'm sure most thermometers have Fahrenheit markings as well. 

What is your favourite yoghurt?

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