|Cheddar Cheese||No-Rennett Cottage Cheese|
|Marinated Feta Cheese||Quick Cottage Cheese|
|Mild Feta Cheese||Soft Cheese|
|Posted by Dragoona|
Once again from the Countryside back issues - a very good selection of cheese recipes...
Making Cheese At Home
By Mary Jane Toth, Author of Caprine Cooking
These are just some of the cheeses you can make in your own kitchen.
Making cheese is a great way to preserve your milk supply. Some types of cheese can be aged for two years or more without refrigeration, while others have a shelf life of two years or less. We freeze the soft cream cheese-style cheeses. We wax the cheddars, colbys and parmesans, since they will keep for a long time. We also make a marinated feta that is covered in herbs and oil. It keeps in a jar in a cupboard at room temperature for several months with no problems.
Cheese is basically milk, culture and rennet. All cheese will be white unless you color it. I never do this, as it is totally unnecessary. The different kinds of cheese are a result of the type of culture used, temperature control and cooking time. Some cheeses such as blue, Brie, Swiss or strong feta do require special enzymes to change the character of the cheese.
Forget about making American cheese. America seems to be in love with it, and yet it isn't really considered a true cheese at all. It is real, all right, but it is the result of several types of cheeses blended together with milk and stabilizers, then pressed into the neat squares you see at stores.
Because it is no longer a recognized type of cheese like cheddar, colby or Swiss, it is now considered a cheese food. Check the label the next time you go to the supermarket. You won't have the type of equipment at home that is needed to reproduce American cheese.
To get started, you'll need to consider what kind of culture or starter to use.
Rennet coagulates the milk. Cheese wax is a must for colby, cheddar and parmesan. Cheese wax is reusable. It can be washed in warm water, dried and melted again and again. It's an investment in your home cheesemaking. Get some good recipes, and you should be on your way to making your own dairy products.
Cultures, wax and rennet can be purchased from any good cheesemaking supply company.
Some basic information:
Thermophilic is a heat-loving culture. It is used for cheeses that must be heated to a higher temperature such as mozzarella, Parmesan or Swiss and Italian-type cheese. Yogurt is also made with a thermophilic culture.
Mesophilic is a non-heat loving culture which would be destroyed at higher temperatures. It is used for 90 percent of your cheesemaking. Buttermilk is made with a mesophilic culture.
I often used these items as culture substitutes in some of my recipes.
|SOFT CHEESE (CREAM CHEESE STYLE)|
|5 quarts whole milk||1/3 cup buttermilk|
|2 tablespoons diluted rennet (dilution is 3 drops of liquid rennet into 1/3 cup of cool water)|
Warm the milk to 80 °F. Stir in the buttermilk, mix well and add the dilute rennet solution. Stir well, cover and allow to set at room temperature for eight to 12 hours. The cheese is ready when it is thick.
Line a large bowl with a cloth and hang to drain for six to eight hours. Draining can be speeded up if you take the bag of curds down and scrape them from the outside of the bag to the center. The cheese is drained when it has stopped dripping and has the consistency of cream cheese. This cheese will freeze for several months. Makes 1-1/2 to 2 pounds.
Note: Cheesecloth won't drain this type of cheese. You must use a muslin-type cheesecloth or case cloth, as I like to call it. Case cloth is simply an old pillow case with the seams opened up to make a large square of cloth. It can be washed out in hot, soapy bleach water and reused until the cloth wears out. Shoelaces will work for hanging the cheese to drain. You can use this cheese as a substitute for cream cheese. We like to mix in herbs and spices and make cheeseballs. Because this cheese is so versatile and easy to make, I recommend it as one of the first cheeses for the beginner.
|NO-RENNET COTTAGE CHEESE|
|1 gallon milk||1 cup cultured buttermilk|
Warm the milk to about 95 degrees F. Stir in the buttermilk and allow to set at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. The milk will clabber, or become thick.
Cut the curds into 1/2-inch cubes and let rest for 10 minutes. Place the pot into a double boiler-type pot and heat at a very low setting until the curd reaches 115 degrees F. Stir often to keep the curds from matting together. This will take an hour or more.
The curd is ready when it is somewhat firm on the interior of the cheese. Cook longer if necessary. Some whey will rise to the top. Let the curds settle to the bottom of the pot, drain off the whey and place the curds in a cloth-lined colander to drain. Be gentle, as the curds are rather fragile.
Allow the cheese to drain until it stops dripping. Place in a bowl and add salt to taste. I usually use about one teaspoon of kosher or canning salt per pound. Stir in about four ounces of half-and-half or cream per pound if you like a creamed cottage cheese.
|QUICK COTTAGE CHEESE|
|1 gallon milk||1/2 cup cultured buttermilk|
|1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet||1/4 cup cool water|
Warm the milk to 86 °F. Stir in the buttermilk, mix the rennet into the cool water and add to the warmed milk. Set until it coagulates, usually about an hour. Cut the curds in 1/2 inch cubes. Heat slowly by the double boiler method until the temperature reaches about 110 degrees F. Hold at this temperature for 30 minutes and stir often to prevent matting.
When the curds are firm, place into a cheesecloth-lined colander and let drain for 20 minutes. Lift the curds in the cheesecloth and dip into a pot of cold water. Drain until the curd stops dripping. Place curds in a bowl and add salt and cream if desired.
|2 gallons milk||1/2 cup cultured buttermilk or substitute (see list below)|
|1 tsp. liquid rennet or 1/2 rennet tablet||1/2 cup cool water|
|4 teaspoons salt|
In a large stainless or enamel pot, warm the milk to 88 degrees F and stir in buttermilk or other culture (see below). Allow the milk to set to ripen for one hour. Keep the milk warm at 88 degrees F during this time. This can easily be done by placing the milk in a sink full of warm or hot water. Cool or hot water can be added as needed.
After one hour, mix the rennet in cool water and stir into the milk for 30 seconds. Maintain the temperature at 88 degrees F for 45 minutes to coagulate the milk. The curd is ready to cut when you dip your finger into the curds and they break cleanly over your finger as whey fills the depression.
Cut the curds into 1/2-inch cubes and let them rest for 20 minutes, then gently stir them while increasing temperature to 98 degrees F. Increase heat very slowly over a 30-minute period. This process is called cooking the curds. Stir often to prevent the curds from matting together. Keep at 98 degrees F until the curds have firmed up enough where they feel spongy when gently squeezed between your fingers and no longer have a custard-like interior. This will usually take 30 to 45 minutes.
Let the curds settle to the bottom of the pot and carefully pour off some of the whey. Pour remaining curds and whey into a colander and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Place the curds back into the pot and stir in four teaspoons of salt. Mix well, breaking up any curds that have matted together. Keep the curds warm in the pot in a sink full of hot water for one hour. Stir often to keep the curds from matting.
Line a cheese press with cheesecloth, scoop curds into the press and fold over any excess cheesecloth. Place a wood follower on top of that and press at 15 pounds pressure for 20 minutes. Remove the cheese from the press, turn over and redress onto another clean cheesecloth and press at 30 pounds pressure for two hours. Remove cheese from press, redress in a clean cheesecloth and press at 30 to 40 pounds overnight.
In the morning, remove the cheese from the press and allow to air dry several days until the cheese is dry to the touch. Turn several times a day while it is drying. Coat with cheese wax when the cheese is dry to the touch. Age at 55 degrees F for two to six months, depending on how strong you like the cheese. Really good cheddar is aged for 12 months or more. Culture substitutions: You can use 1/4 teaspoon mesophilic DVI (direct vat inoculant) or 1/2 regular mesophilic culture in place of buttermilk.
|MILD FETA CHEESE|
|1 gallon milk||1/4 cup cheese culture or buttermilk|
|1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet||1/4 cup cool water|
Warm milk to 86 degrees F and stir in cheese culture or buttermilk. Set one hour to ripen. Mix rennet into cool water and stir into milk. Cover and allow to set another hour to coagulate. Cut curds into 1/2-inch cubes and allow to rest five minutes. Stir gently for 15 minutes, keeping the curds at 86 degrees.
Pour curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander, tie the bag of curds and hang to drain for four to six hours. Slice the cheese ball in half and lay the slabs of cheese into a dish that can be covered. Sprinkle all the surfaces with coarse salt, cover and allow to set at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, salt all the surfaces with more coarse salt and let it rest for two hours.
Place the cheese in a covered dish and refrigerate for five to seven days. Use within two weeks or freeze for future use. The cheese will keep at room temperature for months if marinated in oil.
MARINATED FETA CHEESE
|Mild feta cheese (stronger cheese may be used)||Your choice of herbs (use aromatic herbs for best flavor)|
|Jars with lids||Olive, canola or soybean oil|
Cut or break the cheese into smaller pieces, about 1 to 1-1/2 inches. Use a clean jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Layer the herbs first, then the cheese. Repeat until the jar is full. Leave about 1/2 inch of space at the top. Pour oil over the cheese and herbs, filling the jar until the mixture is completely covered with oil.
Place the marinated feta on a cupboard or shelf. Refrigeration is not necessary.