Cheese making

We already make bread, beer, jam, yogurt…cheese is just the next natural step!

Because of this, I was not too worried when the book said that the mistake most home cooks make is insufficient sanitation.  I was still took their warning seriously, but we do the sanitation thing lots with beer and canning.  I like to keep a separate pot of boiling water on hand just to dip things in.

I got everything at the co-op, including this book which was recommended to me:

DSC_0250The 30-minute Mozzarella is supposed to be a good place to start, although it ended up taking me about 90 minutes my first time around. Here is just after adding the citric acid to the milk:DSC_0249

After you add the rennet, the curds stick together, and for Mozzarella, you then stretch the curds while keeping them warm in the whey.

DSC_0254Although the book did not specifically caution against this, I think I should not have used the non-homogenized milk; I think I may have lost all of the fat and ended up with less cheese than I should have!  It was also pretty firm for “fresh ” mozzarella.  Here is my cheese, on the left, firm enough to hold a knife upright, and storebought on the right.  The taste was great, however.

DSC_0257I’ll probably try this several more times before graduating to aged cheeses, and I’ll also have to find a place to get the cultures needed to make specific cheeses.

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