Say Cheese –

say-cheeseWelcome to the first post in a series on cheese making, a topic much simpler than you might think. It’s the process of heating milk to the point that curds (the delicious fat solids) separate from the whey (the watery by-product). And I’m not talking about the curds couch-surfing at a mate’s place while the whey rips up all their old photos and changes the locks, I’m talking about bacteria, enzymes and acids. Using this process you can essentially make most other forms of cheese and I’ll cover this soon.

scooping the curds
What will I need to make cheese?
Some cheese requires specific equipment and we will cover this when the time comes, but for now let’s keep it simple, the basics you will need are:
  • Large pot (We use a 10 lt solid base pot)
  • Colander and/or cheese cloth (Cheese cloth is cheap and can be purchased in bulk from a sewing store)
  • Ladle or stirring spoon
Unless you have a cow, goat or other lactating animal that you’re prepared to harvest, it’s fine to use store bought milk. Yes, you can buy unpasteurized (Bath milk) but it’s whey too expensive. (That was my little joke). I have tried different brands of supermarket milk and there isn’t much of a difference, I personally use A2.
Whole Milk Ricotta is probably the easiest and it’s made from things you probably already have in your kitchen, here are the steps:
  • tempAdd 3 1/2 litres milk to a large pot on a medium heat.
  • Dissolve one teaspoon of citric acid in 50ml of water and add to milk with half a teaspoon of salt. Mix the milk thoroughly, you want to heat the milk but not boil it.
  • Stir often to prevent scorching.
  • Heat the milk to 85-90°C and as soon as the curds and whey separate turn off the heat and let it sit  undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  • Scoop the curds out and drain through a colander or cheese cloth.
  • The cheese is ready to eat immediately.
  • For a creamier consistency, add 1/2 cup of cream at the end and mix.

You can store in a covered container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. I really do love cheese, even if it doesn’t always love me back. Try it in ravioli using our pasta recipe for dinner, even on toast for breakfast with a little chilli and avocado. What a way to start the day!

10 thoughts on “Say Cheese –

  1. Ha! Wheeeeeey too expensive! That was an udderly wonderful joke!
    I have always wanted to make homemade cheese but I did imagine that it’d be messy and laborious. This is a great tutorial… looking forward to the rest of the series!
    P.S you make cheese. And jam. The list of accolades is growing.

  2. i saw a demo at a local farmer’s market on making fresh ricotta and have been wanting to try it but still haven’t for some reason lol. i do hope you will make other cheeses and let us know what you think about how they turn out and the recipes. thank you!

  3. enjoy the formaggio! 😋
    I know what you mean about unreciprocated cheese-love, it grants me such lonely nights in the bathroom. always worth the sacrifice, though.

  4. GOD, I miss cheese. We can get some okay facsimiles here, but I’m from the Hunter Valley in Australia; we’re dairy and wine country.

    I might give this a go if I can figure out the kanji for “citric acid”.

  5. Pingback: Meanwhile, I made cheese. | Speak & Spell

  6. Pingback: Sour Milk Trans-formations | Kitchen-Counter-Culture

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