I have been planning on making homemade yogurt for awhile now. The book, "French Women Don't Get Fat", recommends yogurt as the key to feeling satisfied and still losing weight. Well, I'm all about feeling satisfied and losing weight. Not to mention all the research that shows the bacteria in yogurt to be a phenomenal boost to our GI tract and immune system. Aren't they cute:
Using directions from Stephanie of A Year of Slow Cooking I got started.
At 6:30 pm, I threw a gallon of whole milk into the crockpot, set it at low and set my timer for 2-1/2 hours later. This would have me wrapping up the crock pot at 9:00 pm and putting it to bed until morning. Except,.......I missed a step. A step that will now have me up to midnight babysitting a crockpot of milk. After cooking on low for 2-1/2 hours, I have to then unplug the crockpot and let it sit for 3 hours. THEN I can add 1/2 cup yogurt as a starter, bundle up the pot in a big towel, and let it sleep overnight.
I imagine that midnight doesn't sound that late to some people, but I will be soundly sleeping when the clock strikes twelve. So, I'm camping out on the couch and setting an alarm so as not to wake the rest of the house. Fingers crossed I don't sleep through the alarm. Here is Owen already hunkered in on the couch. He's a real yogurt-making helper.
Ah well. If it is really true that one day soon I might see my waist again if I start eating more yogurt and less,..uh, crap, then it is a small, small price to pay. Check back tomorrow to see if I woke up and how the yogurt turned out. See you then.
Well, I did wake up and add the yogurt starter at midnight and this morning there was indeed yogurt in the crock pot. It was tasty enough, sort of tangy but much thinner than I prefer. I lined a colander with cheesecloth and will report back later on how this works out.
Hmmmm,....I think I have to list this little experiment as a fail. The flavour of the yogurt is fine though not spectacular. Having the yogurt sit overnight in the cheesecloth did thicken it up a bit, but it still ended up thin and getting the yogurt off the cheesecloth was messy. Also, because the yogurt that stuck to the cheesecloth was thicker than the rest, when it was mixed it ended up being a strangely coagulated sort of mixture. Not particularly appealing.
I used a gallon or 4 litres of milk ($4.29 at Sobeys) and ended up with less than a large yogurt container which I can get for $1.99 on sale or less than $4 at regular price. So the cost savings just wasn't there. Had I been able to get the milk on sale then it would have helped the numbers considerably.
In the end, I won't be repeating this method.