Introduction: Cheesemaking for Absolute Beginners

Picture of Cheesemaking for Absolute Beginners

In this instructable i'll try to teach you a really basic recipe for homemade cheese using easy to get items. Enjoy :)

Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment You'll Need

Picture of Ingredients and Equipment You'll Need

For this recipe you'll need:

-Milk (duh). Use fresh, whole milk (preferably from grass-fed cows from a local farm). You can use low fat milk, but it'll yield less cheese in the end. Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk because it will not coagulate.

-Cheese culture. These contain bacteria, acids and molds that encourage coagulation. You can find them in specialty or natural food stores.

-Rennet. It comes in various forms (tablets, powder, liquid) and contains various enzymes that separate milk solids from wheny and form curds. You can buy animal or vegetable based rennet.

-Salt. As everywhere, salt will enhance flavor, draw out moisture and help preserve your cheese. Don't use iodized salt though, because it can kill the starter bacteria.

-Water. You should use filtered water because water from a municipal supply can contain things that would compromise milk's ability to turn into cheese

Step 2: Basic Mozzarella Recipe

With this recipe you could be enjoying your own mozzarella in as little as 30 minutes.

Ingredients for about a pound of cheese:

-1 gallon of milk

-1.5 tsp citric acid (dissolved in 0.25 cup water)

-1-2 tsp cheese salt

-0.25 tsp rennet diluted in 0.25 cup water (follow the instructions on the package)

Process:

-Slowly heat milk to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While stirring, add the citric acid and mix gently.

-Heat milk to 88 degrees on medium heat. It should start thickening (kinda like yogurt).

-Stir in the diluted rennet and down disturb it while you heat it to 100-105 degrees.

-Curds should start forming in about 6-7 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl. Press them with your hands, squeezing out as much liquid as you can.

-Heat the leftover whey to 175 degrees. Shape the curds in small balls, put them (one at a time) on a ladle and dip them for a few seconds. Then fold the cheese over (like dough) with a spoon or your hands.

-Repeat above process until the curds are smooth. Mix in salt after the second time. If your curds break, they need to be reheated.

When the curds are smooth and shiny, roll them into balls with your palms and eat them while warm (or don't and store them in the refrigerator). Enjoy :)

Comments

Cheese Queen (author)2016-11-03

2 points; the starter cultures are lactic acid-forming bacteria of various kinds which develop the acid and breaks down proteins to give cheese its flavor. They are not used for their coagulative properties unless you are making an acid-set product, like cottage cheese or yogurt, which use no rennet.

Salt is needed for two things; first for flavor, and second to appropriately retard growth of the starter culture. (unsalted cheeses will quickly develop off flavors) Salt used in commercial cheese making is free from any additives and flaked so that it dissolves quickly; at home, you can use pickling salt. Iodized salt can lead to off flavors and colors but its effect on the starter bacteria is exactly the same as any other salt.

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