Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trying my hand at cheese making

My mom gave me some goat's milk the other day. Her friend has a small dairy and sells the milk to her for $5 a gallon. It took me longer to get home than I anticipated and the milk was left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. I didn't feel okay about drinking it, so I thought I'd try my hand at cheese making.

I heated the milk (1 1/2 quarts) up to 190 degrees, then removed from heat and stirred in 3 tablespoons of white vinegar. The milk immediately curdled. I let it sit until the temperature dropped to around 100 degrees.

I didn't have any cheesecloth, so I lined a colander with a thin dish towel and placed the colander into a bowl. I poured the curds into the colander and added a teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. I pulled the four corners up, tied it and hung it from the handle of one of my cabinets. I left it hanging over the bowl for about an hour and a half and collected the whey.

I squeezed the ball of cheese to get out as much whey as I could and then pressed the curds into a small tupperware container. It is now in my refrigerator cooling and will be ready for breakfast tomorrow.

The whey is in glass jars awaiting use in baking this week. I'm planning on making biscuits to go with soup within the next couple days. I've also heard of people using whey as the liquid in pizza crust to add a nice sour flavor to it.

I was initially disappointed when I lost my goats milk as it is a great treat in my house. Instead, I got to have some great cheese (store bought goat's cheese is around $18 a pound here). I also got to learn a new skill. Sounds like a win to me.

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