Thursday, March 28, 2013

Say "Cheese" this whey! (more pic's to come)

I am not sure why I pick the new things I choose to try.  I was laying in bed this morning and decided that I was going to make cheese today.  So, I got up and did some research on quick home cheese making.  I found some good tutorials on YouTube and of course decided to make some of my own modifications so that I could call it my own.  Off to the store I went to pick up a fresh cheese cloth and two gallons of whole milk (I thought I was going to be ambitious and do two batches but I only did one and therefore only used one gallon of milk).

Here is what you need for ingredients:
1 gallon of whole milk
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
to flavor you may want a little salt, garlic powder, fresh herbs, etc.

Here is what you need for equipment:
1 large pot to hold slightly more then a gallon of liquid
1 large strainer
1 large mixing bowl
1 smaller mixing bowl
wooden or metal mixing spoon
1 cheese cloth (or clean muslin dish towel)
measuring cup
liquid cooking thermometer

Pour your milk into the pot and heat at a medium high heat stirring constantly all the way to the bottom making sure the milk is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Heat until the milk starts to steam and measures 120 degrees.

Add the vinegar and lemon juice while stirring. Continue to stir for about 15 seconds and then remove from heat.  The mixture will start to separate into curds and whey.  Cover and set timer for 15 minutes.

Put your strainer into a large bowl and line the strainer with your cheese cloth.  After 15 minutes, pour your curds and whey into the lined strainer.  Using your mixing spoon, gently press the mixture to remove as much of the whey from the curds.

Pick up the cheese cloth at the edges and lift from bowl gently squeezing out as much of the whey as possible.

Empty the curds into the smaller bowl and continue to remove as much of the whey as possible.

Kneed your preferred seasoning into the very soft cheese (I used about 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder).  At this point you will have a cream cheese.  If you want to have a firmer cheese, you can put it into another clean cloth and continue to let it strain out more whey.

So what to do with all that whey??????  Well, from what I have read, it is full of protein.  So, I decided to use as liquid in my homemade bread.  I substituted it for the one cup of hot water I usually use in my bread.  Got it rising now.

I am thankful for that despite all the adversity in my life right now I still had the wisdom to drag myself from bed, try my hand at cheese making and breath!