Making Your Own Cheese

I have been researching how to make your own cheese and have found and tried at least one recipe that is quite easy. It gives a farmers or crumbly type of cheese.

The recipe calls for:

  • 4 cups of milk (I used store bought regular milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • salt to taste

You will also need:

  • a fine mesh tea towel ( cheese cloth if you have it but something about the consistency of a coffee filter or the cheese clumps will fall through)
  • a strainer
  • a larger bowl to catch the whey

Put milk in pot, bring it almost to boil.
Put in vinegar – turn off heat and stir. The cheese will start to clump.
Stir for about 3-5 minutes. Strain.
At this point you can add salt and mix.

You want to close the cloth over cheese and press out any extra liquid. You can either put a weight on top to compress the cheese even more or cool it as is and eat it once it’s chilled.

You don’t throw the *whey out.  *(editor’s note: whey is the liquid that strains from the solids)
Various uses for the whey are: feeding it animals, feeding to plants, using it in soups or other recipes (I used it to make polenta and it was good).

Note: with regular grocery milk, 4 cups will only make 1 cup of the cheese and 3 cups of whey.
I’ve read on one website that it is because of the way grocery milk tends to be processed. He recommended using powdered milk which I’m going to try next.
Also plan on tryng it with half-and-half and seeing what happens there as well.  If you like I will keep you posted.

Some websites call for using *Rennet to make harder cheeses and I just found it in my grocery store in the pudding secton for making ice cream so that is also on my list ( after the half’n’half and the powdered milk test).
*(editor’s note: Rennet is a natural enzyme produced by mammals to digest the mother’s milk, and is often used in the production of cheese.)

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