cheese making for beginners

Everyone loves cheese, so we have come up with the most simple recipes so that you can make cheese at home.  

How to make ricotta cheese

How to make ricotta cheese

Ricotta is a great cheese that can be used for sweet or savoury dishes. It can be used to make ice cream, cheesecake, stuffed savoury pasta (cannelloni), sweet dessert pasta (cannoli) and more. In Italian cooking it is used to make an authentic tiramisu and homemade ricotta cheese will of course be better than from the supermarket.

You will need

  • Whole cows milk (8 pints)
  • Large deep pan with lid
  • Butter muslin
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Colander
  • Large slotted spoon
  • Cheese mould
  • Citric acid (1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Cooled boiled water (50ml)

Method

  • Mix together the citric acid and water allow to dissolve. 
  • Pour the milk into the pan and add the citric acid solution in gently mixing in an up and down motion. Do be careful not to over stir. 
  • Heat the milk to 185f on medium heat, stir gently and occasionally, when the temperature has reached 185f the curds and whey should be separated, remove from the heat and allow to sit for 20 minutes. 
  •  Line the colander with the muslin and pour the curds into it. 
  • Add in salt and stir, leave to drain in the colander for 10 minutes then transfer to a basket cheese mould to continue draining and shape. 

How to make queso blanco cheese

how to make queso blanco cheese

This is a beautiful white Spanish cheese, it is mild, creamy and can be used in many different ways. The queso blanco cheese pairs well with Mexican food such as enchiladas, tacos etc. You can make it into a dip for salty tortilla chips, pita chips, crudités.Crumble it on salad, rice and beans or serve with fruit, marmalade and chutney. 

 

What you will need

  • Whole cows milk (8 pints)

  • Citric acid (2 teaspoons)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Colander 
  • Butter muslin 
  • Cooking thermometer 
  • Large deep pan with lid 
  • Cheese mould 
  • Large slotted spoon
  • Cooled boiled water (50ml)

Method

  • Mix together the citric acid and cooled water and stir until dissolved. 
  • Pour the milk into the large pan and heat till the thermometer reaches 185f, stir gently and very occasionally to avoid scorching the milk.
  • Turn the temperature to low and slowly add the citric acid and water solution, you should see the separation immediately, leave on low heat for 20 seconds and remove and turn of the heat. 
  • Line the colander with your muslin and pour the curds in, allow to drain for 5 minutes, rocking occasionally to encourage drainage.  
  • Gather up each side of the muslin and press gently to remove any excess whey. Open the muslin and add in your salt and any extra herbs you require. 
  • Gather the muslin again and tie around a tap to hang and drain for one or more hours or transfer to a cheese mould. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  

How to make Mozzarella

how to make mozzarella

Mozzarella is used all around the world and goes great on pizza, chips or in a lovely fresh salad in the summer. Out of all the cheeses it is probably one of the most versatile cheese that you can use to make all kinds of meals. In Italian cuisine it is used a lot, some examples include; to top a lasagne or placed inside arancini. Americans have deep fried mozzarella with jalapeños, and a really nice simple party snack is sliced tomato with sliced mozzarella and a basil leaf. 

What you will need

  • 8 pints of whole cows milk. (Blue top or gold top)
  • Rennet tablet (1/4)
  • Large glass bowl
  • Large deep pan with lid
  • Citric acid (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Knife 
  • Large slotted spoon
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Cooled boiled water (50ml) x 2

Method

  • Stir together the citric acid and water until dissolved.
  • In another bowl mix the 1/4 rennet tablet into 50ml cool boiled water and allow to dissolve. 
  • Pour the milk into your pan and slowly drizzle the citric acid mix and gently stir through the milk in an up and down motion.
  • Heat the milk to 90f stir very gently and occasionally to avoid scorching.
  • When the milk reaches 90f remove from the heat and gently sir in the rennet solution with the up and down motion for 2-3 seconds, do not over stir. put the lid on and leave undisturbed for 20 minutes. 
  • Cut the curds into 1inch cubes place the pan back on the heat until it reaches 105f whilst gently moving the curds with your spoon. 
  • With your slotted spoon ladle the curds into a bowl. 
  • Heat the reserved whey to 180f, shape the curds into 3 lumps and put them into the muslin to dip into the hot whey. 
  • Dip the muslin bag into the hot whey for 1 minutes, remove from the liquid and knead the curds with salt. Repeat the process until the cheese comes out of the cloth smooth and elastic.

If the cheese is not coming together at 180f then raise the temperature of whey even higher and try again. 

How to make paneer

how to make paneer

 

Paneer is such a versatile cheese often used in south asian cuisine, it can be eaten with sweet or savoury dishes and is a great meat alternative for vegetarians. This type of cheese is very different to others, it has a chewy texture similar to halloumi but holds together well. It can be fried without melting, is often found in Indian cuisine and tastes great in a curry. 

What you will need

  • Whole cows milk (8 pints)
  • Citric acid (2 teaspoons)
  • Salt (2 teaspoon)
  • Colander 
  • Butter muslin 
  • Cooking thermometer 
  • Large deep pan with lid 
  • Large slotted spoon
  • Cooled boiled water (50ml)

    Method

    • Mix together the citric acid and cooled boiled water.
    • Add the milk into a large pan and heat until it reaches 190f on the thermometer, stir the milk very gently and very occasionally to avoid scorching.  
    • turn the heat to low and before the foam subsides drizzle in the citric acid and water mixture, slowly stir in an up and down motion to evenly distribute the mix. Do not over stir the mixture, cook for one more minute occasionally stirring. 
    • Remove from the heat and continue to very slowly stir and very gently. (the curds should be white and the whey should be yellowish or green, if the whey is still whitish sprinkle in 1/2tsp more of the citric acid. 
    • Once there is a clear separation of the curds and whey let the liquid sit for 10 minutes without touching or stirring. 
    • After 10 minutes place the muslin on the bottom of the colander so it is lined with the muslin, pour the curds into the colander, gently but firmly twist the top of the muslin to squeeze out any extra liquid/whey. Now its time to add in the salt or herbs if wanted. 
    • Rest the curds in the colander and cover them with the corners of the muslin and place a plate with a weighted item such as a vase of water on top and press for at least an hour. 
    • The cheese should be used within 5 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 
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