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At the moment, I make yoghurt cheese and panir at home. We also make a type of "cottage" cheese if we don't useup all the fresh milk and it sours. The soured milk is boiled until the curds firm up, then we strain them out, press the water out, and scramble the curds to make a bhorji (scrambled curd dish with ghee, onion, tumeric, chopped green chili, tomato, roasted cumin and cilantro)
At various times in my life, I assisted grandparents and aunts in other cheese making efforts but haven't done anything more adventurous than quark recently.
I'll bet DG has a lot of "cheesy" talent! :) It would be interesting to hear about your experiences.
Thanks for the thread, G_M. I plan to join the ranks soon! I'll start with yogurt and cottage cheese, and then move on to soft cheeses like brie. Before going farther than that, I need to see if I have a suitable place with the right temps and humidity for hard cheese to age.
Darius, i am not saying there is right or wrong way in cheese making. personally, i have not ventured into the practice of cheese making. i just wish i remember why in Europe, some cheese producers prefer to make their cheese in cold caves. i wonder why, and what the rationality would be?
MaVieRose, thank you for the link to leeners!
Silly me, I wanted to add some links here and forgot.
Have you made any of the cheeses on the Leeners site? What was your experience with the directions and recipes?
MaVieRose, the articles about the affineurs were very interesting. I especially liked the way one of them would share credit with the farm that actully made the cheese, rather than only brand it for the afficeur who finished it.
NetFlix has the documentary on Sister Noella, the Cheese Nun, so I've added that to the top of my queue.
I'm glad I found this thread! I've been reading the boo Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which has some info about making your own cheese. I've been thinking about trying to make my own, but haven't had time yet.
Well, I am just now making my first batch of yogurt, 2 quarts. I used plain Greek yogurt for the starter. I found it hard to keep tabs on the temp. when heating the milk AND keep the pot covered to avoid natural yeasts in the air.
Jas, I read Kingsolver's book with great interest! She lives just a few miles from me.
Darius, I read that somewhere about the time I started reading it. It really is a great book and anyone who wants to read from the library should probably get their name on the list now. It's booked pretty far in advance in our library system. I bought my copy through amazon.com.
This is so basic it is almost boring to read the steps!! I didn't use a double boiler...I put mine in quart mason jars covered with plastic wrap in my excalibur. All I used was organic skim milk and organic, plain yogurt. It wasn't as thick as storebought yogurt, so I put it in a muslin lined colander and let some of the whey drain out. That thickened it considerably without adding anything. My kids liked it sweeter, so I added honey and fruit later on.
darius, when you say Greek yoghurt, is that a particular brand or are you refering to Greek style yoghurt? The Greek style yoghurt is thicker because it has been drained (think yoghurt cheese).
"Bring 1 litre (2-1/4 pints) of whole full-fat milk to just under boiling point and then pour the milk into a glass or earthenware dish. Let the milk cool to about 42°C/104°F. Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of commercial plain yogurt or from a previous home-made yohurt (at room temperature) with a few tablespoons of milk, and pour into the milk carefully without disturbing the skin that may have formed on the surface of the milk. Cover with a cloth, place in a warm, draft-free place for 8 to 12 hours or overnight, and do not disturb it until the yogurt thickens. Drain any excess liquid and store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
To make a "thick" yoghurt, remove the skin on the surface of the yoghurt just made and pour the yoghurt into a muslin bag. Hang the bag over a bowl and let drain for about 2 hours or until the desired thickness is obtained. " http://www.ochef.com/r171.htm
When I'm making my own yoghurt at home, I mix a Tablespoon of plain yoghurt from the last batch into a quart of milk, then let it sit overnight in a covered jar or bowl on the counter, or place it on a heating pad for 4 hours during the day.
I have one of those Salton yoghurt makers that makes 5 portions, but it's too much to clean up. It's easier for me to just make one big batch. If I want a thickened yoghurt,
I pour it into a donvier yoghurt cheese maker lined with cheesecloth. When I used the screen alone, too much yoghurt curd pushed through to the bottom container. Perhaps I put too much in. With the cheesecloth lining, only the whey in in the bottom container.
Greek style yogurt... I forget the brand. The instructions said to get a thicker batch, add 2 Tbls. dry powdered milk to the milk before heating. Mine is finally starting to coagulate so I won't toss it just yet. Draining off excess whey in a cheesecloth is a good idea.
Something else to consider when making yoghurt - how tart do you want the flavour to be? Some cultures traditionally make a very tart yoghurt, others a very mild yoghurt. The longer and warmer the incubation period, the more tart the taste will be.
If you prefer a milder flavour, but a thicker texture, you can do a shorter, cooler incubation and then use the cheesecloth to drain it.
I made mozzarella cheese yearssssssssssssss ago. Came out like a rubber ball, didn't have the strenth to strecth it out. lol. But I used the whole milk from the store which probably didn't have enough fat content like buffalo milk. Ever since, just didn't have time and the cose of milk/dairy isn't worth my time/cost to make it myself. BUT, I do enjoy cheese and encourage those who haven't done so at least try it once. :O)
When I raised dairy goats, I made feta cheese, and that cottage cheese that your talking about. WE put a little vinegar into boiling milk and it curtles and we strained it, and mix in some ranch seasoning and use it as a dip for crackers.
It's been a couple years since I've made any though. I made the marinade feta also.
I have made Yogurt for years...using powdered milk. The reason you boil the milk is to kill the antibiotics given to the cows...which comes out in the milk...which stops the cultures from forming. Powdered milk is made at a high temp which already takes care of it. I grow the yogurt in a widemouth thermus which I have prewarmed with boiling water. Overnight and it is made!!!! Then I drain the yogurt in cheesecloth and make yogurt cheese... GREAT! Adele Davis was ahead of her time!!!!! On the sailboat in Chile in a snowstorm, we wrapped the Thermos in a Polar Fleece blanket... Always had great yoggies.
You boil the milk to kill bacteria, not antibiotics--thus you must do it even if the cow is not given antibiotics. Bread recipes, for example, that call for milk ask you to bring the milk to a boil, though I'm told it's not necessary for store bought milk.
I get milk from a neighbor up the road and have been making cottage cheese for several years. I use commercial buttermilk--about 1/4 cup per a/2 gallon of (lightly skimmed) milk. After it clabbers, I heat it until it reaches a little warmer than lukewarm and you can see the whey separating. Then I drain it through cheesecloth. After draining it, I add a little fresh cream and salt. Occasionally, a stray culture gets in and the whey gets "stringy". When this happens, it takes a very long time to drain, and the cheese is slightly different in texture, though still delicious. I often use my homemade cheese in recipes that would call for Queso fresco. Mostly, I have it for breakfast in a single egg omelet. MMMMM.
With the extra left over whey, i thought the pennslyvian dutch make a loosly formed cheese from the extra whey, or at least a type of cheese spread. Not sure. It's been years since I had the stuff. A local specialty.
I've made ricotta, it's (IMO) hardly worth the effort, you get such a small amount, for such a hot job of boiling the whey.
(A quarter cup from a gallon of whey) Perhaps if I was a big cheese maker and had barrels of whey...
Darius, I've started using my whey in the garden. I don't feel it's going to waste if it's improving the soil that grows my vegetables or beautiful roses. What I read is that not only does it encourage micro-organisms in the soil, the worms love it, so you also increase your worm population.
I make soft cheese (like cream cheese with a kick) and feta from my homemade kefir.
3 cups cucumbers, quartered if large, or use fork to poke a few holes in small ones
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. sea salt or pickling salt
½ small onion, sliced in rings
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbs. fresh horseradish root, chopped or shredded
1 tsp. mustard seeds
lots of fresh dill
1 stem fresh tarragon
3-4 whole coriander seeds
boiling salt water to fill container (1-1/4 Tbs. salt to 1 Qt water)
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar, optional
Horseradish keeps pickled cucumbers crisp for a long time.
Pack the cucumbers, onions, garlic, horseradish and herbs firmly in layers into the preserving jar until jar is 80% full. Fill up the jar with salted water (and whey if you have any), making sure there is ½ inch layer of liquid covering the cucumbers and seal tight. Leave the container at room temperature for 10 days, until they stop fermenting, then place in a cool/cold spot. Cucumbers will be ready to eat after 2-3 weeks of cold storage.
Note: I make mine in a large batch my a 7.5 liter Harsch Fermenting Crock which has an air-lock to keep unwanted yeast out. I can store them in the crock in the cool root cellar for months, unless we eat them first. Smaller quantities can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Edited to add whey amount: Use 2 TBS. WHEY for every 3 Tbs. salt
Darius, Some day I hope I will learn to make cheese. Wednesday I made my first crock of sauerkraut. Where did you get your Harsch Crock? I worry about wriggly things getting in whatever I'm trying to ferment. Do you ever store your crocks down in your spring house? Linda
Linda, I bought my crocks online but I don't remember where. (It's been 2 years.) I'm leery of storing filled crocks in the spring house since I don't use it. Someday I'll get the spring dug out again and the door fixed...
Instead, I store my crocks in the root cellar, which is a small block building near the house. It's partially buried (back wall and half the sides) and has a poured floor.
Darius, I'm always amazed at all the things you do. I know you were putting in fruit trees and berry vines. Do you have milk goats so you can make cheese? Also when you make cheese, do you need unpasturized milk or can you use store bought milk? Linda
I have made ricotta cheese one time and a batch of homemade mozzarella cheese and it was good. Used the whey as my liquid in homemade bread. It gives the bread a distinctive taste that is very good. Certainly no expert on the subject though. All the best !
When we had goats I used to make cheese with the extra milk, and of course we had lots of extra milk. I bought some small plastic baskets from a local cheesemaker - who's probably not there anymore - and we made a small press out of a can and some wood with weights which fitted into the apparatus. My goat cheese didn't taste very cheesy until one day I somehow managed to attract the proper yeasts or molds, and after that, as long as I used the same board to ripen my cheeses, they were all wonderful.
I also used to make yoghurt, using very low-tech equipment. Here's my old recipe:
1 - 1 tsp gelatin in 1/4 cup warm water; add boiling water to 1 cup level, and 2 or 3 tbsps. honey. Set aside.
2 - Mix 3 cups of milk powder + 3 cups warm water (or 5 cups warm whole milk: cow, goat, etc.) + 1 14-oz. can evaporated milk.
Mix 1 + 2 together, adding 1 cup (or 2, for thinner yoghurt) warm water and 3 tbsps. yoghurt as starter (Dannon)
Put yoghurt in covered pan (stoneware or pottery works well) in preheated 300 degree oven, turning oven off immediately, and let stand 6 - 12 hours.
If still not set, heat oven so yoghurt gets warm again, add 3 more tbsps. yoghurt starter, and stir. Turn off oven and wait again.