Saturday, August 1, 2009

the slow drip continues - farmhouse chedda' -n- whey ricotta

more cheese gromit!

hippychick
is making cheese
real cheese with real straight from the cow raw milk

here we have a gallon and a half of whole raw milk
yes indeed the golden hue is real - sure makes me smile
golden milk on the golden farmhouse cheddar trail

farmhouse chedda

*it is important to use stainless steel or enamel pots and utensils to avoid off tasting cheese
  • heat the milk to 90˚f - i am using a double boiler set up - a smaller stock pot inside a larger stock pot. the larger stock pot filled with water so as to keep the milk off direct heat and to better distribute the heat to the milk evenly
  • once the milk has reached the 90˚f turn off the heat - it should hold it's temperature aided by the hot water bath it is sitting in
  • add a packet of mesophillic direct set starter culture and stir into milk evenly - you may wish to stir slowly for a good 3 to 4 minutes {note - i get my starter from new england cheesemaking supply company }
  • cover and allow your milk to sit for 45 minutes to culture
  • in a separate container, add 1/2 rennet tablet or 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet to 3 tablespoons cold water - if using the tablet rennet, crush and stir until the tablet is dissolved. *do not use hot water, you will kill the effectiveness of the rennet
  • after the 45 minutes of culture, add your rennet pouring it in slowly in circles, then slowly stir for even distribution
  • cover and allow your milk to sit for another 45 minutes - this is the curding process - if you find that your milk does not curd well in the first 45 you may allow it to sit up to 2 hours
  • cut the curd into 1/2" blocks with a curd cutter or sharp stainless steel knife - slicing all the way down into the pot - slow and steady folks - do not rush
  • place the pots back onto heat and bring the temperature slowly (very slowly 2˚or 3˚ every 5 minutes) up to 100˚. you will notice the curds shrink - you can have some fun here and sing 'i'm shrinking, i'm shrinking...' much as the wicked witch of the west sang i'm melting... this is about a 25-3o minute process. plenty of time to work on your wicked witch of the west impersonation.
  • once you reach temperature (100˚), remove from heat, cover and let set for 5 minutes

  • set up your drain system - place a cheese cloth lined colander in a larger pan and/or very clean dish pail - there will be near to 2 gallons of whey to drain so use a large size lower pan
  • uncover your pot and remove the smaller pot from the larger - clean your larger pot and set aside.
  • slowly pour the curds and whey over the colander. i pour out half of the pot just before the curds begin to trail out, transfer the poured whey to the larger (former water bath) pot then continue to pour the remainder of the curds and whey into the drain system. why do i do it that way - i find it easier to handle the pouring of the whey back into the pot - less weight to balance - less mess to be made
this is what it will look like - curds above - whey below
check out these booty kickin' curds hippie folk
golden bits of goodness
  • wrap the cheese cloth up and gather at the top then hang over a pot or bowl for an hour to allow any additional whey to drain from the curds
  • after the 60 minute drip, remove the curds from the cloth and slowly work in 3/4 to 1 tablespoon of salt. i use my hands for the mixing. *do not use salt that has been treated with iodine - again you will experience and off flavor.
  • while mixing in the salt, slowly break the curds into small acorn sized pieces
*note if you do not own a cheese press you can enjoy the above in curd form as the curds at this stage are quite yummy
you could make your own home made cheese press as seen at david b. frankhauser's great cheese site - i got my cheesypress from jack schmidling productions inc - there are options - it is up to you - move forward as you wish

  • pack the curds into a cheese cloth lined mold folding the cheese over the top


apply 10 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes
  • turn the cheese over apply 20 pounds of pressure for 12 hours
  • turn the cheese over apply a second round of 20 pounds of pressure for 12 hours
  • remove the cheese from the mold and carefully peel away the cheesecloth, taking care not to rip the surface of the cheese
  • air dry at room temperature on a wooden board {turning the cheese several times a day to prevent moisture from collecting on the bottom} until a nice rind had developed and the surface is quite dry - this is a 3 to 5 day process - *note - a cutting board will work just fine as your drying board, just make sure the board is clean clean clean before setting your cheese out
if any mold forms on the cheese in the drying process - wet a clean cloth with a bit of vinegar and rub on the mold to remove
this round has been curing rind for two days in the fridge wrapped loosely in cheese cloth and flipped each morning - the darker areas are result of my rubbing the outer rind with smoked black sea salt - yummy! - now the element of patience comes in - sixty days minimum so we are looking at mid october - oh my
  • after your drying process, wax the cheese and age for a minimum of 60 days *the longer you age your cheese - the spikier it will get
  • tic toc tic toc - enjoy!

next up - what to do with all that whey!
whey ricotta cheese

* note your whey should be no more than 2 hours old *
  • pour your whey inoto a pot and heat to 195-200˚ - do not boil the whey - a slow and steady heating process is best allowing you to better control the temperature gain
  • as soon as your curds separate - remove your pot from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes
  • slowly slowly pour off your curds and whey into a cheese cloth lined colander
  • tie up your curds, hang and allow to drain for 20 minutes
  • season curds as your wish and refridgerate
  • use your cheese within a week -
here is another great site with step by step ricotta making cheesey steps
ricotta making illustrated
some ideas for eating your own homemade yummy ricottta cheese
seasonal veggie lasagna
stuffed squash flowers
add it to a yummy breakfast coffee cake
serve it over fresh fruit for a cool summer desert
eat it just as it is

and about that whey?
bake with it
lacto-ferment veggies with it
drink it
feed it to your creatures
water your plants with it
it's good stuff - down the drain would be a shame

do check out new england cheesemaking supply company
it's a hippychick favorite - i bet wallace and gromit appreciate their good work too!


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