I found this recipe a year or so ago and love it for its simplicity. This is modified from the original which I found on the Faithful Provisions website, because she adds things such as dry milk and gelatin for thickener, which I found that you really don't need. I do think that using a live culture is very helpful in getting the consistency to be thicker, but using a live culture yogurt like Nancy's will work as well.
Ingredients / Supplies
1/2 gallon fresh milk
1 packet of live starter cultures for yogurt, or 1/2 cup live cultured yogurt such as Nancy's. (don't use a cheese culture by accident..... it doesn't come out quite right! )
1 cup measure
1 small bowl
Starting with fresh, non homogenized milk (even better: raw cow's or goat's milk) pour a 1/2 gallon of the milk into your slow cooker. Turn the cooker to low, set a timer for 2 1/2 hours and walk away.
At the end of the 2 1/2 hours turn the slow cooker off, unplug, and let it sit for 3 hours.
After 3 hours has passed, remove 1 cup of the warm milk and mix it with the starter culture or the live culture yogurt.
Put it back into the crock pot and stir.
Wrap the crock pot in heavy towels to insulate it (sides and top) and let it sit for 8 hours or overnight.
After 8 hours it will be thicker and slightly chunky/curd like (in a good way! Promise!)
Set a colander in a large bowl to collect the whey that you are about to drain out. Line the colander with large coffee filters or several layers of cheesecloth.
Pour the yogurt into the colander and let it drain for several hours in the refrigerator.
The longer you let it drain, the thicker it will become. The clear yellow fluid that drains into the large bowl under the colander is whey. It has many uses and is very good for us. Use it when soaking grains or beans, put a tablespoon in water to drink, etc. I will write a post later about how to use the whey that you end up with.
Store the yogurt in the refrigerator for 10 -12 days. Save 1/2 cup of this yogurt to be your starter for the next batch.
I love to learn about ways to make things that I often buy at the store, knowing that I could probably make it but think it would take too much time. This is one of them! Also, now you can add exactly how much fruit and honey you want to your yogurt and know that that is all that is going into your yogurt.