Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good day! My day started out really well! I made yogurt in my crock-pot last night and when I woke up and checked it out… It was PERFECT! Here’s how I did it:
Fruit on the bottom Homemade Crock-Pot Yogurt
PERFECT CROCK POT YOGURT…
First off… let me mention you should own a food thermometer. If you don’t… go buy one. I got mine at Wal-Mart, but they can be found everywhere. It takes all the guesswork out of making the yogurt
The only ingredients you need are 1 gallon of milk (whole milk preferred and makes a thicker finished product, but 2% works well too I have read), and ½ cup of store bought plain yogurt… make sure the label reads LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES.
*Some recipes call for only ½ gallon of milk. I didn’t read these until later so I used a whole gallon. Use whichever you prefer.
Step 1… Pour milk into crock-pot and turn on low. Cook for 3 hours. Check temperature… it should read around 180 degrees.
Step 2… Let sit for about 3 hours and cool to 120 degrees. I had to prop the lid open for cooling.
Step 3… If a skin formed on top… scoop out and toss. Take a cup or two of the warm milk out of the crock-pot and mix with the ½ cup yogurt. Use a whisk and stir until smooth. Stir all into crock-pot.
Step 4… Wrap entire crock-pot in a blanket or 2 beach towels to keep temperature constant and let sit for 8 hours or more. * I actually placed the entire crock-pot in my gas oven and left the light on overnight.
That’s it!!! In the morning you should have PERFECT yogurt!!! Ladle into clean jars and chill in refrigerator. Yogurt will firm up a bit. If you like a firmer texture, you can strain the yogurt using a colander lined with dampened cheesecloth. Place over a bowl to collect the Whey. You can drink the whey… or use it in the bread recipe I will also post.
*Save ½ cup of this yogurt to use in your next batch. Yogurt stays fresh for a week to 10 days.
Next up is to play around with flavorings.
Now for the easiest bread recipe you will ever see…
Place 1 ½ cups lukewarm water (use up the whey from above recipe if you have any) in a bowl you can store in the refrigerator. Add 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt. Sprinkle 1 packet Granulated Yeast on top.
Stir in 3 ½ cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose flour with a wooden spoon. Stir until a soft dough forms. *You can also use a stand mixer with dough hook.
Cover (NOT air tight) and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. If you have to run an errand (or forget) it can sit for 5 hours and it won’t matter.
You can use the dough at this point, however it is easier to work with if chilled… so for the first time refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours before shaping.
To bake: Sprinkle a pizza peel (in my case I flipped a jelly roll pan over and used the bottom) with corn meal. Sprinkle the dough with some flour and pull out about half of the dough. With both hands stretch it in the air just a little. Now… fold the sides under, now the top and bottom to make a ball. All of the ends will be squished on the underside, the top should be smooth. Place on prepared peel (jelly roll pan). This should take no more than 30 seconds.
Let sit uncovered at room temperature for 40 minutes.
20 minutes before dough is ready to bake… Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a pizza stone on middle rack; place an empty roasting pan on lowest rack.
When dough has rested 40 minutes sprinkle with flour and make 3 to 5 slashes on top about ¼ inch deep.
Here is when the magic happens! Slide the dough onto the pizza stone; pour 1 cup tap water into roasting pan and close the oven door FAST!
Bake 30 minutes. Cool on rack for as long as you can before slicing it up and eating! I only lasted 5 minutes!
Let me know how you made out.