Introduction: Cheese Made Easy - Chevre
Today I am making chevre, a soft cheese made from goats milk.
Goat cheese is a widely loved cheese, but did not become mainstream in America until recently. It is a simple cheese, sort of a leave it and forget it cheese.
Start in the early afternoon, tie up over a pot right before bed, and in the morning you will have super creamy cheese.
What are you waiting for? Let's dive right in!
Step 1: Ingredients
You will need..
1/2 gallon of goat milk
1/64 tsp ma011 or
1/64 tsp c3 or
1/64 tsp Flora Danica
(I use a mix of 1 part of each flora Danica and ma011)
4 drops rennet mixed with 1/4c cool water
That little container is how much culture I use. If your milk is raw, follow the recipe. If not, double the amounts.
Step 2: Heat Milk
Place your pot on the stove and heat to 86 degrees F.
If you keep it on low, you do not need a double boiler (I have never used a double boiler for cheese making and have had no scorches or burns on my milk or cheese.)
Step 3: Add
Add the culture and let rehydrate for 2 minutes.
Stir in and add rennet. Stir well. Cover and let sit for 8-14 hours in a warm place.
Step 4: Finale
Once you see a disk of curd under a thick layer of whey, spoon the curd into a butter muslin lined colander. Tie off the muslin and allow the cheese to drain over a large pot. If you have bugs (it's summer, who doesn't) hoist the curd bag into a large pot and use a spoon across the top to hang the cheese on. Cover with a towel. This cheese can take anywhere from 4-12 hours to drain, depending on the consistency you are trying to achieve.
(Sorry about the lack of pictures towards the end. It was late and I just wanted to get it done so I could go to bed.)
After drainage, Add 2 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix well, using clean hands works better than a spoon.
If you like, you can add herbs and such (dried). If the dried herbs dry out the cheese, add a bit of the whey back into the cheese and stir.
Garlic and herb, rosemary and Thyme, apricot and thyme, and cinnamon cranberry are all flavor combinations you may try.
Once you are done mixing, for them into logs (or any shape you like) and wrap in saran wrap. Use a double ply if you plan to freeze them (and wrap that in butcher paper to keep moisture out. Moisture will make ice crystals and ruin the texture when you thaw.)
This cheese should last 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
I hope this tutorial was helpful. Enjoy your cheese!