I have been making this yogurt since we lived in Buffalo, NY. I think I started when G was one, so maybe four years now. It saves money and is so much fresher tasting then store bought yogurt! After many different ways of straining and flavoring I have finally perfected my yogurt recipe/process. It is really about timing and waiting.
I start off around 4 pm with 8 cups of whole milk in my 6 quart crockpot slow cooker. I turn it on low and set a timer for two and a half hours. When the timer goes off, I simply turn off (and unplug for good measure) the crockpot, take my starter of a 6 oz plain Fage Greek yogurt out of the refrigerator, and set the timer for three more hours.
At 9:30 pm, I put the starter yogurt in a two cup measure and ladle a few scoops of warm milk in with the yogurt. After I “introduce” those live and active cultures to the milk and pour them all into the crockpot and wrap the whole thing up in two super warm blankets and put it in a cozy warm corner of the kitchen counter.
In the morning (around 7:30-8:30 am), I unwrap the crockpot, lay about 5 paper towels on top of the nice brand new yogurt, and put the whole thing in the refrigerator for the next 24 hours.
The next morning, I remove all the excess liquid that has been soaked into the paper towels and voila: 2 quarts of think, creamy, Greek yogurt.
Thick Greek Yogurt:
8 cups whole milk
6 oz. plain store bought Greek yogurt
-Put milk in Crockpot on low for 2.5 hours. SET A TIMER!
-When 2.5 hours are over turn Crockpot off, take starter out of refrigerator, and set another timer for 3 hours.
-When three hours are over, mix starter and 1 cup of hot milk from Crockpot together and stir it all into Crockpot of milk. Wrap in lots of blankets and keep it away from drafts. Let it sit overnight.
-In morning place about 5 paper towels on top of yogurt covering the whole surface and put in refrigerator.
-In 24 hours, remove paper towels and put yogurt in storage containers.
I like to serve the yogurt with a teaspoon of homemade jam. We also serve it with falafel or fajitas as a substitute for sour cream. 🙂
Notes: Some Facebook commenters have suggested to ways of thickening the yogurt without “straining”.
1) Add two tablespoons of gelatin in with the starter.
2) Adding 1/3 c. dry milk powder at the beginning.