Smoky Cheater Cheddar Cheese

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Cheesemaking.  It’s like mad scientist meets cook.  I have yet to delve into aged cheeses, though I am one mini fridge away from making a “cheese cave” in the garage.  This is a “cheater” cheese since it’s not aged, but will be the most similar to one that is.  It is a crumbly cheese, but just wait until you have it warm and crispy… drool.   If you think gooey and melty is the best thing about cheese, think again.  Just wait until you have this, seared until it’s crispy… sprinkled with a little sea salt.. I could tell you all the things you could do with it, but let’s face it, why bother.

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Before you start, read my tips for beginning cheesemaking to review supplies you’ll need
and my guide for choosing milk for cheesemaking.

SMOKY CHEATER CHEDDAR CHEESE
yield: 1 1/2 lbs

1 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra-pasteurized
3 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp smoked salt (or additional kosher salt)
1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
1/2 tablet vegetarian rennet
1/2 cup dechlorinated water

Prepare your strainer.  Line a large stainless or enamel colander with butter muslin or nut milk bag in a clean sink.
Dissolve the rennet in the dechlorinated water and set aside.
Pour milk and vinegar into a heavy bottomed pot. (Stainless steel or nonreactive)
Whisk to combine.  Add the spices (reserving salt for later) and whisk to combine.
Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk reaches 95 degrees F.
Add the rennet solution and mix it with 20 quick strokes to incorporate evenly.  Heat to 105 degrees F.
The milk should be coagulating now, the curds and whey separating.

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Use the spoon to cut through the whey to break into smaller pieces, using an up and down motion, NOT whisking motion.
Cook for about 2 more minutes, continue to 115 degrees F.
The curds will become firmer in texture, more like scrambled eggs.
Continue heating to 120 degrees F, moving the curds slowly as they are heating.
At 120 degrees F reduce the heat and use the back of the spoon to squeeze the curds against the sides of the pot to encourage them to release more whey.
Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for 5 minutes or until they hold together when you squeeze them. (If they don’t let the pot sit another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally)
Pour into the strainer and drain for 3 minutes

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Squeeze out more whey until curds are fairly dry.  Break apart curd and add salt.  Mix in very thoroughly.

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Place curd filled butter muslin into a mold (I like to use a cheese mold but whatever, even a bowl will do.)

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Place in the fridge to allow to rest and chill.  To get a denser texture, it helps to put a weight on top (I found a canning jar filled with something fits well on my container).
Unwrap and slice.   Melt a drizzle of olive oil or a pat of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Add cheese slices and sear on both sides.

Recipe slightly adapted from One Hour Cheese by Claudia Lucero

Smoky Cheater Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra-pasteurized
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked salt (or additional kosher salt)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tablet vegetarian rennet
  • 1/2 cup dechlorinated water

Instructions

  • Prepare your strainer. Line a large stainless or enamel colander with butter muslin or nut milk bag in a clean sink.
  • Dissolve the rennet in the dechlorinated water and set aside.
  • Pour milk and vinegar into a heavy bottomed pot. (Stainless steel or nonreactive)
  • Whisk to combine. Add the spices (reserving salt for later) and whisk to combine.
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk reaches 95 degrees F.
  • Add the rennet solution and mix it with 20 quick strokes to incorporate evenly. Heat to 105 degrees F.
  • The milk should be coagulating now, the curds and whey separating.
  • Use the spoon to cut through the whey to break into smaller pieces, using an up and down motion, NOT whisking motion.
  • Cook for about 2 more minutes, continue to 115 degrees F.
  • The curds will become firmer in texture, more like scrambled eggs.
  • Continue heating to 120 degrees F, moving the curds slowly as they are heating.
  • At 120 degrees F reduce the heat and use the back of the spoon to squeeze the curds against the sides of the pot to encourage them to release more whey.
  • Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for 5 minutes or until they hold together when you squeeze them. (If they don't let the pot sit another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally)
  • Pour into the strainer and drain for 3 minutes
  • Squeeze out more whey until curds are fairly dry. Break apart curd and add salt. Mix in very thoroughly.
  • Place curd filled cheesecloth into a mold (I like to use a cheese mold but whatever, even a bowl will do.)
  • Place in the fridge to allow to rest and chill. To get a denser texture, it helps to put a weight on top (I found a canning jar filled with something fits well on my container).
  • Unwrap and slice. Melt a drizzle of olive oil or a pat of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add cheese slices and sear on both sides.
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    Spiced Paneer Cheese

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    Paneer cheese is just as easy and quick as Fresh Farmer’s Cheese, but you can do something kind of amazing with it.  You can sear it to get golden crispy edges.. just think about that for a minute… Oh, and did I mention it’s amazing with smoky spices in it? Kind of like the bacon of cheese.  Smoky, deep, a little spicy even if you like.  You can even use it in curries.  I can’t decide which version I like better, the curry spiced one, or the smoky paprika spiced version.  So make both and you decide.  You can make it plain without spices of course as well (which might lend better for curries).  Either way, yum!
    Before you start, read this post about choosing milk for cheesemaking, and about equipment here.

    SPICED PANEER CHEESE
    yield: over 1 lb

    1 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra-pasteurized
    1/2 cup lime juice
    desired spiced, optional (omit for plain paneer)*
    2 T kosher salt (or to taste)

    Prepare your strainer.  Line a large stainless or enamel colander with butter muslin or nut milk bag in a clean sink.
    Pour milk  into a heavy bottomed pot. (Stainless steel or nonreactive)
    Whisk in spices (reserving salt for later)
    Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk reaches 200 degrees F.
    You’ll know you’re getting close when the milk gets foamy.  Don’t let it boil though, as the cheese won’t taste quite as good.

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    Turn off the heat and add whichever acid you have chosen.  Stir very gently just to combine.  If you don’t see the curds separate add more acid, 1 T at a time.  Stir gently for 2 minutes.  This helps the curds release more whey.

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    Use a slotted spoon to gently scoop the curds into the prepared lined strainer.  If you aren’t sure if you got all the curds, strain the whey to the side of the curds.
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    Drain for 2-3 minutes, then sprinkle salt and any other seasonings and quickly fold in.

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    Let drain for a few minutes, then lightly squeeze the muslin to release more whey.
    Gather the ends of the muslin and twist to release more whey.  Lay a plate and place a weight (filling your empty milk just with water or a pot works well) on top.

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    Press for 15-30 minutes, then cool to further firm cheese.

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    Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.

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    *SPICE IDEAS:
    Curried Paneer:
    Use 2-3 T curry powder
    Smoky Spiced Paneer:
    Use 2-3 T smoked paprika, 1 tsp ancho chili powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and use smoked salt instead of plain kosher.

    Paneer can by seared in a hot skillet.  Heat a drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
    Add sliced or cubed paneer and flip when browned.  Cook until browned on other side.
    Sprinkle with salt if desired while hot.

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    Spiced Paneer Cheese

    Ingredients

    • 1 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra-pasteurized
    • 1/2 cup lime juice
    • desired spiced, optional (omit for plain paneer)*
    • 2 T kosher salt (or to taste)

    Instructions

  • Prepare your strainer. Line a large stainless or enamel colander with butter muslin or nut milk bag in a clean sink.
  • Pour milk into a heavy bottomed pot. (Stainless steel or nonreactive)
  • Whisk in spices (reserving salt for later)
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk reaches 200 degrees F.
  • You’ll know you’re getting close when the milk gets foamy. Don’t let it boil though, as the cheese won’t taste quite as good.
  • Turn off the heat and add whichever acid you have chosen. Stir very gently just to combine. If you don’t see the curds separate add more acid, 1 T at a time. Stir gently for 2 minutes. This helps the curds release more whey.
  • Use a slotted spoon to gently scoop the curds into the prepared lined strainer. If you aren’t sure if you got all the curds, strain the whey to the side of the curds.
  • Drain for 2-3 minutes, then sprinkle salt and any other seasonings and quickly fold in.
  • Let drain for a few minutes, then lightly squeeze the muslin to release more whey.
  • Gather the ends of the muslin and twist to release more whey. Lay a plate and place a weight (filling your empty milk just with water or a pot works well) on top.
  • Press for 15-30 minutes, then cool to further firm cheese.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.
  • Paneer can by seared in a hot skillet. Heat a drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add sliced or cubed paneer and flip when browned. Cook until browned on other side.
  • Sprinkle with salt if desired while hot.
  • SPICE IDEAS:
    Curried Paneer:
  • Use 2-3 T curry powder
  • Smoky Spiced Paneer:
  • Use 2-3 T smoked paprika, 1 tsp ancho chili powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and use smoked salt instead of plain kosher.
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    Fresh Farmer Style Cheese

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    I know I said Ricotta is the “gateway cheese” but this follows close behind.  This is cheese at it’s simplest.  Milk, acid, and some salt for flavoring.   If you want an impressive appetizer, nothing beats lemon or citrus cheese with some crackers.  You could use it to make something more involved, but honestly if you make homemade cheese you should let it shine in it’s most pure and simple form.
    Queso Blanco is refreshing with spicy foods, and the perfect pairing to Mexican food.
    Now, enough chit chat, GO MAKE CHEESE!!!!
    Before you start, read this post about choosing milk for cheesemaking, and about equipment here.

    FRESH FARMER STYLE CHEESE
    makes approx. 1 lb

    1/2 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra-pasteurized
    1/4 cup acid* (see note at bottom of recipe)
    kosher salt to taste (start with about 1/2 tsp)

    Prepare your strainer.  Line a large stainless or enamel colander with butter muslin or nut milk bag in a clean sink. (or line a mold with butter muslin, pictures later on for those directions)

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    Pour milk and into a heavy bottomed pot. (Stainless steel or nonreactive)
    Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk reaches 200 degrees F.
    You’ll know you’re getting close when the milk gets foamy.  Don’t let it boil though, as the cheese won’t taste quite as good.

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    Turn off the heat and add whichever acid you have chosen.  Stir very gently just to combine.  If you don’t see the curds separate add more acid, 1 T at a time.  Stir gently for 2 minutes.  This helps the curds release more whey.

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    Use a slotted spoon to gently scoop the curds into the prepared lined strainer.  If you aren’t sure if you got all the curds, strain the whey to the side of the curds.  You just made cheese! Yay!
    Sprinkle salt and any other seasonings and fold in.
    For a creamier cheese you can mix in a tablespoon or 2 of heavy cream.
    Let drain for a few minutes, then lightly squeeze the muslin to release more whey.  Or for a dryer cheese, tie the corners of the muslin in a knot and hang from a cabinet knob or banana tree (with a bowl underneath to catch drips) and drain for 1 hour.

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    If you want to press the cheese into a mold, gather up the ends of the butter muslin and put the bundle of curds into a cheese mold.

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    Place a weight on top and leave for 1 hour.

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    CHEESE!!!

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    Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days

    NOTE ABOUT CHOOSING AN ACID:.
    To achieve coagulation (the separation of curds and whey) you need an acid.  The flavor of cheese you’ll have depends on the type of acid you’ll use.  Citrus juices will leave more of an citrus aftertaste, vinegar will have a cleaner more neutral flavor.

    Lemon Cheese:
    Use lemon juice (Can add zest for more flavor too)
    Citrus Cheese:
    Use a mixture of citrus juices, such as lemon and orange.  Just remember some citrus juices are less acidic than others, and may not be able to achieve coagulation.  For this reason I recommend using at least half lemon juice.  You can always add extra citrus juice for more flavor.  Adding zest will add the most flavor as well.
    Queso Blanco:
    Use apple cider or white distilled vinegar.  This is a nice mild cheese excellent for crumbling into Mexican dishes.

    Fresh Farmer Style Cheese

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra-pasteurized
    • 1/4 cup acid* (see note at bottom of recipe)
    • kosher salt to taste (start with about 1/2 tsp)

    Instructions

  • Prepare your strainer. Line a large stainless or enamel colander with butter muslin or nut milk bag in a clean sink. (or line a mold with butter muslin, pictures later on for those directions)
  • Pour milk and into a heavy bottomed pot. (Stainless steel or nonreactive)
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk reaches 200 degrees F.
  • You’ll know you’re getting close when the milk gets foamy. Don’t let it boil though, as the cheese won’t taste quite as good.
  • Turn off the heat and add whichever acid you have chosen. Stir very gently just to combine. If you don’t see the curds separate add more acid, 1 T at a time. Stir gently for 2 minutes. This helps the curds release more whey.
  • Use a slotted spoon to gently scoop the curds into the prepared lined strainer. If you aren't sure if you got all the curds, strain the whey to the side of the curds. You just made cheese! Yay!
  • Sprinkle salt and any other seasonings and fold in.
  • For a creamier cheese you can mix in a tablespoon or 2 of heavy cream.
  • Let drain for a few minutes, then lightly squeeze the muslin to release more whey. Or for a dryer cheese, tie the corners of the muslin in a knot and hang from a cabinet knob or banana tree (with a bowl underneath to catch drips) and drain for 1 hour.
  • If you want to press the cheese into a mold, gather up the ends of the butter muslin and put the bundle of curds into a cheese mold.
  • Place a weight on top and leave for 1 hour.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days
  • NOTE ABOUT CHOOSING AN ACID:.
  • To achieve coagulation (the separation of curds and whey) you need an acid. The flavor of cheese you'll have depends on the type of acid you'll use. Citrus juices will leave more of an citrus aftertaste, vinegar will have a cleaner more neutral flavor.
  • Lemon Cheese:
  • Use lemon juice (Can add zest for more flavor too)
  • Citrus Cheese:
  • Use a mixture of citrus juices, such as lemon and orange. Just remember some citrus juices are less acidic than others, and may not be able to achieve coagulation. For this reason I recommend using at least half lemon juice. You can always add extra citrus juice for more flavor. Adding zest will add the most flavor as well.
  • Queso Blanco:
  • Use apple cider or white distilled vinegar. This is a nice mild cheese excellent for crumbling into Mexican dishes.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/fresh-farmer-style-cheese/

    DIY Ricotta Cheese

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    Ricotta cheese is definitely the “gateway cheese”.  I’m pretty sure most, if not all, people I know have had ricotta cheese that came from a carton.  But they have also not had the chance to enjoy fresh, homemade ricotta.  It is such a vastly different product that it will instantly sell you on the notion of going to the trouble (all though, it really is incredibly quick and easy!) of making your own.  It is so scrumptious you may not even want to cook with it.  You may want to sprinkle it with salt and pepper, drizzle of olive oil, and spread it on slices of baguettes… or just eat it with a spoon.  Can you say that about a carton of mystery cheese from the supermarket?!
    Before you start, read this post about choosing milk for cheesemaking, and about equipment here.

    DIY RICOTTA CHEESE
    Makes approx 2 1/2 to 3 cups

    1/2 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra pasteurized (see milk buying guide here)
    1 to 4 cups cream (Ultra pasteurized is okay here)*
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    kosher salt, to taste (I usually add 1/2-1 tsp)

    Prepare your strainer.  Line a large stainless or enamel colander with butter muslin or nut milk bag in a clean sink.
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    Pour milk and cream into a heavy bottomed pot. (Stainless steel or nonreactive)
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    Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk reaches 190 degrees F.
    You’ll know you’re getting close when the milk gets foamy.  Don’t let it boil though, as the cheese won’t taste quite as good.
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    Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.  Stir very gently just to combine.  If you don’t see the curds separate add lemon juice, 1 T at a time.  Remove from the heat, cover, and leave undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.
    Pour the curds and whey into the prepared strainer.
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    Drain for about 10 minutes then gently twist the ends to squeeze out more whey.
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    Scrape out into a bowl and sprinkle with salt and any other seasonings.
    Very gently mix in.  Over mixing will make the ricotta drier and crumblier so be quick for the creamiest texture!
    If it isn’t as creamy as you want, try adding a few spoons of heavy cream.
    Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.

    Note: The more cream you use, the creamier your ricotta with be.  I typically use 2 cups per half gallon of milk.
    In this instance, ultra-pasteurized is okay for the heavy cream (also labeled as heavy whipping cream) because it is being used for added butterfat.  This will make for a super creamy ricotta, instead of a drier, crumbly farmer cheese.

    DIY Ricotta Cheese

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra pasteurized (see milk buying guide here)
    • 1 to 4 cups cream (Ultra pasteurized is okay here)*
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice
    • kosher salt, to taste (I usually add 1/2-1 tsp)

    Instructions

  • Prepare your strainer. Line a large stainless or enamel colander with butter muslin or nut milk bag in a clean sink.
  • Pour milk and cream into a heavy bottomed pot. (Stainless steel or nonreactive)
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk reaches 190 degrees F.
  • You'll know you're getting close when the milk gets foamy. Don't let it boil though, as the cheese won't taste quite as good.
  • Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir very gently just to combine. If you don't see the curds separate add lemon juice, 1 T at a time. Remove from the heat, cover, and leave undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.
  • Pour the curds and whey into the prepared strainer. Drain for about 10 minutes then gently twist the ends to squeeze out more whey.
  • Scrape out into a bowl and sprinkle with salt and any other seasonings.
  • Very gently mix in. Over mixing will make the ricotta drier and crumblier so be quick for the creamiest texture!
  • If it isn't as creamy as you want, try adding a few spoons of heavy cream.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.
  • Note: The more cream you use, the creamier your ricotta with be. I typically use 2 cups per half gallon of milk.
  • In this instance, ultra-pasteurized is okay for the heavy cream (also labeled as heavy whipping cream) because it is being used for added butterfat. This will make for a super creamy ricotta, instead of a drier, crumbly farmer cheese.
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    Beginning Cheesemaking

    Cheesemaking can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be.  I have yet to delve into making hard cheese.. but I am sure in time I will 🙂 I keep thinking about getting a mini fridge to put in the garage to make into a cheesecave. But until then I will enjoy making fresh cheeses.  They take minimal time, effort, and equipment.
    I’m going to break it down for you to make it simple.
    As far as the equipment goes, this is what you’ll need to start:

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    Thermometer
    Large, stainless steel pot with a heavy bottom.  My favorite is one from IKEA.
    Large colander (Stainless or enamel, nonreactive)
    Measuring cups and spoons
    Long handled spoon (I prefer a stainless steel one, dishwasher safe so easy to sanitize)
    Butter muslin or nut milk bag (You can also use multiple layers of cheesecloth)
    Nut milk bags are my favorite because they work well and they are very washable.  The butter muslin does the same pretty much but the nut milk bags can be reused longer and don’t fray.

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    Some other non-necessity items you may want later:
    My favorite thermometer is a long glass one, here is a similar one.
    Cheese molds
    Banana tree for hanging cheese to drain.  (You can totally hang it from a cabinet knob too)

    You might have most of this in your kitchen all ready.  A good resource if you need it though is cheesemaking.com or even Amazon has some cheesemaking supplies.

    As far as choosing the right milk, read this here.

    Choosing Milk for Cheesemaking

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    I’m going to be sharing some cheese-making recipes this week and wanted to start with this. When I teach a cheese-making class this is the first and most important thing to go over.  If you use the wrong milk, it’s all for nothing. While raw milk is recommended widely online and in some books for cheese-making, I would never suggest it due to safety risks.  My mother’s neighbor got undulant fever when she was a child and he basically spent the rest of his life slowly dying, in very poor health.  So yeah, not worth the risk.  Pasteurized, unhomogenized is my personal choice because you get the best of both worlds.  It is only processed enough to kill harmful bacteria, but not overly so.  This is typically available from small local farms and done with great care.  A very far cry from the plastic jugs of Ultra-pasteurized milk that can be left on the counter because it’s so overly processed.

    TYPES OF MILK:                 

    Pasteurized, unhomogenized (also called “cream line” milk): Pasteurized milk is heated and cooled to eliminate bacteria.  You should see a “plug” of cream at the top of the bottle.  This is usually sold in glass bottles.  This is my preferred milk for cheese-making.  It is safe and makes great cheese.

    Pasteurized and homogenized:  This milk goes through the pasteurization process, then homogenized.  This is a mechanical process that breaks up the fat molecules so small that they will stay suspended in the milk instead of the cream rising to the top.  The curds will be softer and you can use this to make ricotta or farmers cheese, maybe even paneer.

    Ultra-pasteurized:    Heated higher, this extends the milk’s shelf life from 18 to 60 days. (Not always well labeled, look for UP, UHP, or Ultra-Pasteurized on jug).  Though you might be able to make farmer’s or ricotta cheese, it is not suitable for most cheesemaking and I don’t recommend it.

    Raw: Completely unprocessed milk which has not been pasteurized or homogenized.  Due to safety risk, I do not recommend this.

    Dried: You can make cheese from dry milk powder, as long as it isn’t Ultra-pasteurized.  Will you want to eat it?  Well, that’s questionable!

    OTHER TERMS TO KNOW:
    FAT CONTENT:
      You can use any fat content, but keep in mind that the higher the fat content, the higher the yield.  So if you are going to the trouble to make homemade cheese, you may want to stick with whole milk.  The lower the fat content is, the drier and more crumbly your cheese will be as well.

    CALCIUM CHLORIDE: Can be added to homogenized milk to achieve separation of curds.  Not necessary for farmer’s cheese or ricotta.

    Choosing Milk for Cheesemaking

    Ingredients

      TYPES OF MILK

    Instructions

    Pasteurized, unhomogenized (also called “cream line” milk):
  • Pasteurized milk is heated and cooled to eliminate bacteria. You should see a “plug” of cream at the top of the bottle. This is usually sold in glass bottles. This is my preferred milk for cheese-making. It is safe and makes great cheese.
  • Pasteurized and homogenized:
  • This milk goes through the pasteurization process, then homogenized. This is a mechanical process that breaks up the fat molecules so small that they will stay suspended in the milk instead of the cream rising to the top. The curds will be softer and you can use this to make ricotta or farmers cheese, maybe even paneer.
  • Ultra-pasteurized:
  • Heated higher, this extends the milk’s shelf life from 18 to 60 days. (Not always well labeled, look for UP, UHP, or Ultra-Pasteurized on jug). Though you might be able to make farmer’s or ricotta cheese, it is not suitable for most cheesemaking and I don’t recommend it.
  • Raw:
  • Completely unprocessed milk which has not been pasteurized or homogenized. Due to safety risk, I do not recommend this.
  • Dried:
  • You can make cheese from dry milk powder, as long as it isn’t Ultra-pasteurized. Will you want to eat it? Well, that’s questionable!
  • OTHER TERMS TO KNOW:
    FAT CONTENT:
  • You can use any fat content, but keep in mind that the higher the fat content, the higher the yield. So if you are going to the trouble to make homemade cheese, you may want to stick with whole milk. The lower the fat content is, the drier and more crumbly your cheese will be as well.
  • CALCIUM CHLORIDE:
  • Can be added to homogenized milk to achieve separation of curds. Not necessary for farmer’s cheese or ricotta.
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    Citrus Cheese

    I am a citrus addict.  I admit it.  And while I love it in the summer, I almost enjoy it more in the fall and winter when we have so many rainy days here in the northwest.  It just brightens everything up.

    This cheese is a wonderful appetizer, served with some simple crackers.
    The zest can be left out, but I love the extra citrus punch it gives.  You can of course cut this in half and use just a half gallon of milk, but it makes a wonderful gift to give a little container with some crackers.  I even considered giving little jars of this with some homemade crackers instead of our usual confection boxes this Christmastime!
    I used to make just the lemon cheese (as per the variation instructions at bottom of recipe)  but once I tried it with orange and lemon there was no going back.  DEFINITELY my favorite.

    CITRUS CHEESE
    1 gallon whole milk
    1 orange
    2 lemons
    salt, to taste

    Use a fine grater to zest orange and lemons, set aside.  Juice citrus (you want about 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice, a little more is fine as well), set aside.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Heat milk to 200 degrees in a large pot.  Turn off heat.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Add the citrus juice and stir in to combine.
    Cover pot and let sit for 15 minutes.
    (If the curds and whey have not separated at this point, add more lemon juice and let sit a little longer until separated.)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Line a colander with butter muslin (a fine cheesecloth, or multiple layers of cheesecloth.)  Set colander over a bowl.
    Ladle the curds into muslin (I pour all the liquid over it to make sure I get it all, but I have to empty the bowl underneath a few times usually.)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tie the corners of the muslin into a knot and hang.  I use a banana hook, but you can even use a kitchen cabinet knob.  Just make sure to leave a bowl underneath to catch the drips.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Let drain for about an hour, or until dripping stops.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Place cheese in a bowl and add salt to taste and zest if using.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.

    VARIATION: For Lemon Cheese, Use the juice of 4 to 6 lemons, about 1/2 cup. Zest may be left out if desired as well.

    Citrus Cheese

    Ingredients

    • 1 gallon whole milk
    • 1 orange
    • 2 lemons
    • salt, to taste

    Instructions

  • Use a fine grater to zest orange and lemons, set aside. Juice citrus (you want about 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice, a little more is fine as well), set aside.
  • Heat milk to 200 degrees in a large pot. Turn off heat.
  • Add the citrus juice and stir in to combine.
  • Cover pot and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • (If the curds and whey have not separated at this point, add more lemon juice and let sit a little longer until separated.)
  • Line a colander with butter muslin (a fine cheesecloth, or multiple layers of cheesecloth.) Set colander over a bowl.
  • Ladle the curds into muslin (I pour all the liquid over it to make sure I get it all, but I have to empty the bowl underneath a few times usually.)
  • Tie the corners of the muslin into a knot and hang. I use a banana hook, but you can even use a kitchen cabinet knob. Just make sure to leave a bowl underneath to catch the drips.
  • Let drain for about an hour, or until dripping stops.
  • Place cheese in a bowl and add salt to taste and zest if using. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • VARIATION:
  • For Lemon Cheese, Use the juice of 4 to 6 lemons, about 1/2 cup. Zest may be left out if desired as well.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/citrus-cheese/

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