Monday, February 22, 2010

Small Curd Cottage Cheese


Flicr photo by:  Shagadelicbabe


1 gallon pastuerized skim milk
1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride
1 packet direct set mesophilic starter
 Optional: 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, cheese salt, herbs, or fruit


Heat the milk to 72 degrees. If using calcium chloride, add it now.

Add the starter and mix throughly. Cover and let stand at 72 degrees for 16-24 hours. The curd will be rather soft.

Cut the curd into 1/4 inch cubes and let stand for 15 minutes.

Increase the heat by one degree per minute until it reaches 100 degrees. Stir gently every few minutes to keep the curds from matting.

Maintain the temperature at 100 degrees for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.

Increase the temperature to 112 degrees over a 15 minute period.

Maintain the temperature at 112 degrees for 30 minutes or until the curds are firm. Test for firmness by squeezing a curd btween your thumb and forefinger.

When the curds are sufficiently cooked, let them settle to the bottom of the pot for 5 minutes.

Pour off the whey and pour the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth. Tie the corners of the cheesecloth into a knot.

Let the bag drain for several minutes.

Rinse the bag in a bowl of ice water to cool and place the bag in a colander to drain for 5 minutes.

Untie the bag and place the curds in a bowl. Breal up any pieces that have matted. If desired, add heavy cream to produce a creamier mixture.

Add the salt, herbs or fruit to taste, if desired.

Monday, February 15, 2010

30 Minute Mozzarella

Flickr Photo By:  Adactio

This is a really fun recipe. You can have homemade mozzarella cheese in less than an hour. For extra flavor, I usually add a little powdered goat’s milk


2 level teaspoons citric acid
1 gallon pasteurized whole milk
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon lipase powder
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet
1 teaspoon cheese salt


Add the citric acid to the milk and mix thoroughly. If using lipase add it now.

Heat milk to 88 degrees

Add diluted rennet to the milk gently stirring in an up-and-down motion.

Continue to heat until temperature reaches 105 degrees. Turn heat off and let curd stand until you get a clean break.

Curds should look like thick yogurt. If the whey is still milky wait a few more minutes.

Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and put into a 2-quart microwavable bowl. Press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible. Reserve the whey.

Mircowave the curds on high for 1 minute. Drain off excess whey. Quickly work the cheese into a ball until it is cool enough to touch.

Microwave 2 more times for 35 seconds each. After each heating, work the cheese into a ball until it is cool enough to touch. Drain all excess whey each time.

Knead quickly like bread dough until smooth. Sprinkle on the salt while kneading and stretching. When the cheese stretches like taffy, it is done.
When the cheese is smooth and shiny, it is ready to eat. Best when eaten right away, but if you store it in the refrigerator, cover it.

Yield is 3/4 to 1 pound

Friday, February 12, 2010

Homemade Butter

Photo by: Terry Ballard


1 pint pasteurized heavy cream or whipping cream
1/2 cup cold water
Cheese Salt (optional)


Let cream set at room temperature for several hours to ripen

Pour into a 1-quart canning jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake viqorously

After 5-10 minutes,when the butter has formed,pour off the liquid buttermilk and spoon the solids into a bowl

Add the water and press with the back of the spoon to help expel more buttermilk. Pour off the excess liquid and continue adding cold water and expelling buttermilk until the liquid runs clear.

Add salt to taste. Refrigerate overnight. This butter will keep for up to 1 week.

Yield is about 8 ounces

I like to use 1 pint jars instead of the quart jars. Also, do not use ultra-pasteurized cream. If you do, use a cheese starter and let the cream ripen for about 18 hours.