I have been playing with three yogurt recipes/methods for the last 10 days and have finally perfected it for our family. I needed the yogurt to be a bit thicker for my son who has "texture issues" and it had to be easy for me :O)
Well, the crock pot method is definitely the easiest way I found to accomplish yogurt making. Here is what worked best for us.
8 cups of milk (I used skim)
1/3 cup of dry milk
1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup of plain organic Greek style yogurt (I used Stoneyfield Farm)
Pour 8 cups of milk into your crock pot. Add the dry milk powder and the gelatin and mix with a whisk until combined. Put the lid on your crock pot and turn it on low for 2 1/2 hours. When 2 1/2 hours have passed, unplug your crock pot, leave the lid on, and let it cool slightly for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove 2 cups of the warmish milk mixture and place it in a bowl. Add the 1/2 cup of yogurt starter and whisk gently until combined. Put this mixture back into the crock pot, stir gently to combine, and replace the lid. Now, wrap your crock pot with a big bath towel and leave it alone for 8-10 hours. Voila! You now have yogurt that is ready to be put into containers in your fridge. It will keep about 10 days. Make sure you save 1/2 cup of yogurt to be your starter for next time.
I start my yogurt-making process at about 4:00 in the afternoon, because then it sits wrapped in the towel while I sleep.
Here is the finished product.
I get 5 pints (10 cups) of yogurt from this recipe. We simply flavor it individually with honey, fruit, and/or granola. It is very cost effective. I calculated that it cost $3.00 total to make the first batch, and subsequent batches will only be $2.12 because I will have my own yogurt starter.