Saturday, February 23, 2008

Making Cheese from Scratch

Ideas from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Jo Hunter Adams

Remarkably, it's possible to make cheese at home. I haven't tried it yet but it's a really exciting possibility, because it is one thing I thought of as terribly complicated. In fact, I found that you don't need all that much to give it a try. Right here in the area is New England Cheesemaking Supply where you can get the cultures you need to make good cheese from scratch.

One challenge in New England is that most milk is ultra-pasteurized to last longer, which means it cannot form the bonds needed to make cheese. Look for whole milk that has not gone through this process. Below is a really simple cheese recipe. I'll try out the process soon.

Cottage Cheese Recipe

2% milk

Put a gallon of 2% milk in a pan and heat to 190 degrees F - this will be just before the boiling point.
Add one half cup of vinegar to the milk and let the mixture cool.

This will produce the curds that are so well-known in cottage cheese and these will be mixed in with the whey. What you want to do, is drain off the whey so that you just have the curds and you can do this by putting the whole mixture in a colander or strainer. once you have the Kurds separated you can add salt - usually about a teaspoon but you can add to taste.

(Printed with permission, courtesy of Lee )