Cheese – I made cheese!

Posted on April 30, 2013

21


thingswemake - cheese

I actually made cheese.

This first batch is nothing fancy…just plain, soft white stuff.

I haven’t decided what to do with it yet, other than photograph it and show it to you. I think it would make a good filling for fresh pasta, but I have used up my creativity allocation for this week so I am not sure that’s going to happen.

I can’t deny I am a bit scared of it. It’s like some sort of witchcraft; the alchemy that goes on with just 2 litres of milk, a pot of yoghurt and a teaspoon of rennet. The process doesn’t feel natural to me yet. Although it’s reasonably simple there are a few rules to be followed and lots of waiting around whilst things ‘drip’. I’m not very good at either of those things.

Everything needs to be scrupulously clean, and boiled before use, you need to get things to exactly the right temperature – the digital thermometer helped with that. I did break two of the rules, and it still worked ok: I searched for milk that was not pasteurised but couldn’t find any, I just used whole milk; I also realised, in the middle of the process that the jam kettle I used was aluminium not stainless steel; another no-no, but no one died. (yet)

homemade cheese - things we make

Pretty isn’t it?

I have fancied making cheese for a while, and I finally got around to it because Lakeland sent me their cheese-making set to try. There are some much more interesting cheeses in the book but I held myself back from diving straight into anything like Mozzarella. Although it would be a great to have homemade Mozzarella, I saw that even Kavey had a bit of a nightmare making it.

Baby steps.

The most exciting thing I have done with it so far is to pick some fresh wild garlic from the garden, shred it up and make my version of Garlic and Herb Boursin®. Oh and I wrapped some wild garlic leaves round it in a ‘you could serve it like this‘ stylie.

homemade cheese - things we make

We have oceans of wild garlic in the garden. The chickens gorge on it at this time of year, so they constantly have a garlicy hum. If you stick your head into their coop at night (which I do…I count them to make sure they are safely tucked up) they smell like self basting chicken kievs. I used the leftover whey in the bread that you can see here, and Ernie the dog liked a bit on his biscuits too.

I might make the Halloumi next. That recipe looks nice and simple.

You never know, this sun might stick around and I can griddle some on the barbecue at the Weekend.

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Lakeland provided me with the cheese-making kit that included the soft cheese making book and some other cheese making paraphernalia. The kit came to £14, so not too expensive, but get some bigger muslins as the ones it comes with are way to small.