Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

August 29, 2011

Learn to make Cheese

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a cheese making class given by The San Francisco Milk Maid, Louella. One of our local 4H clubs put the event together so there was a combination of 4H kids and adults taking the class…a group of around 30.

We would be learning to make Mozzarella and Cheddar Jack cheeses. Apparently most all cheeses are started using the same process. So here’s how it all went down.

This is a four gallon recipe.

1.  Warm the milk to 86-92 degrees.
2.  Culture the milk.  Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 tsp. of culture all over the surface of the milk and let it soak in for 2 minutes.  Do not stir in.  You can also substitute 1/4 cup of fresh plain yogurt instead of the culture.
3.  Dilute 3/4 tsp. Rennet with 1/4 cup of bottled water and then add to the milk vat.  Rennet is what solidifies the milk into a gel-like form.















4.  Cut then Heal.  Cut the cheese into smaller chunks for dryer/aged cheeses such as Cheddar Jack or into large sections for softer/moister cheese such as mozzarella.  Heal for 2-3 minutes.















5.  Heat milk to 95 degrees over the course of 30 minutes, then 102 degrees over 15 minutes.
6.  Churn for 45 minutes at 102 degrees.
7.  Rest for 15 minutes and then pack into a block OR lift out of the whey to drain.
8.  Start to crumble after draining for Cheddar Jack.
9.  Salt 3 Tablespoons per gallon of milk.




















10.  Place into hoop mold and....



















press for at least 30 minutes to get liquid out.  Remove cheese from mold, turn over and press again.  Age in the fridge.


















For Mozzarella, slice blocks into one inch strips.




Place the strips into 170 degree water and press it together with your gloved hands {kind of like playdough}.  Salt the cheese while in your hands and mush together.  Stretch the cheese and braid it or form it into balls and place into cold water to store in fridge.


If you're thinking about making your own cheese for the first time, Mozzarella is the easiest.  It doesn't need to age, it's ready to eat two days after you stretch it. 

And if you're thinking about putting on a cheese making class for a party, your classroom, work meeting or special event, I highly recommend Louella, The San Francisco Milk Maid.  She teaches at all age levels and makes the class fun and educational for all.

Have you ever made cheese?  If so, what kind?

I love to hear from you! Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. Have a fantastic day!


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