How do i create cheese from scratch?

Tuesday,June 17, 2014 @ 20:31

Question by aktruong64: How do i create cheese from scratch?
meaning normal cheese you put on jacket potatoes, assuming i’m an adult and wanted to make some 🙂

Best answer:

Answer by LittleBarb
Got COWS? that’s the first step in CHEESE FROM SCRATCH…

This simple cheese has several aliases. Two common ones are soft farmer’s cheese and “chevre.” They both are rather loose names. “Farmer’s cheese” can refer to any of a number of different soft home-made cheeses which are eaten fresh. “Chevre,” which actually means goat, could refer to many different cheeses. This recipe for “Farmer’s Cheese” is nearly identical with Neufchatel Cheese, the recipe for which I posted some time ago on my Cheese Page.

I have modified this recipe from one I got from Julia Farmer a year or two back. She states that she got it from a book by Jean-Claude Le Jaouen, but did not mention the name of the book.


Two gallons goats milk
1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
½ tablet Rennet (or two drops of liquid rennet)


Warm milk to room temperature (68-70°F)
Dissolve 1/2 of a rennet tablet in 1/4 cup luke warm water.
Stir in buttermilk, mix thoroughly.
Stir in rennet, mix thoroughly, cover, let sit for 24 hours.
Check for clean break. The curd should be firm enough to cut into 1/2 inch cubes (see page on Making 5 gallons of milk into cheese for pictures). Some recipes call for stirring the curds into a slurry, and pouring into a fairly tight weave bag to drain. However, if the weave is too loose, such as with a single layer or two of cheese cloth, the fine curd will run through at first. I far prefer to cut the curd as it makes for more easily separated curds and whey.
ladel the curds into a sterile cloth in a strainer (or colander), and suspend in a refrigerator or cool place.
Let the whey drain for 24 hours in a cool place.
Salt to taste (about 1-2 teaspoons), store covered in the refrigerator for a week or two. This cheese will not keep for much longer.

Julia Farmer further says that you can
press into small cheese molds for little cheeses
roll them in ashes, place in a jar with garlic and herbs, cover with extra virgin olive oil
Although hundreds of specialized techniques lend different types of cheese their distinct flavors and characteristics, three basic steps are common to all cheese making. First, proteins in milk are transformed into solid lumps called curds. Second, the curds are separated from the milky liquid, called whey, and shaped or pressed into molds. Finally, the shaped curds are ripened using a variety of different aging and curing techniques.

Curds are formed when an enzyme called rennin is stirred into milk. Rennin encourages casein, one of the proteins in milk, to solidify and clump together, or coagulate. Rennin is found in rennet, a substance extracted from the stomach linings of calves, sheep, and goats, and also in certain plant extracts. Rennin aids coagulation only if the milk is slightly acidic, as it is when it becomes sour. Rather than waiting for milk to sour, cheese makers speed up the process by warming the milk and adding specialized bacteria that convert the sugars found in milk to lactic acid, creating the acidic environment necessary for casein coagulation. As the casein clumps together, it traps fat globules and some of the milky liquid inside the clumps, forming moist, nutritious curds.

In the second step of cheese making, the curds are separated from the whey. The curds are cut into small chunks to drain the excess whey trapped inside. Different types of cheeses have varying moisture contents, determined by the amounts of whey allowed to remain in the curds. To produce cheeses high in moisture content, such as cottage cheese, cheese makers need only cut the curds and drain the whey before seasoning and packing the cheese into cartons for sale. Cheeses with lower moisture content undergo further treatment to condense the curds and remove more of the whey. The varying methods used to release excess whey play a large role in determining the final character of the cheese.

Some cheeses, such as Swiss cheese, are heated and agitated in a cooking process that further breaks down the curds and releases more of the whey, creating a denser style of cheese. To create cheeses that are denser still, the curds are stacked on top of each other, in a process called cheddaring, which relies on the weight of the layers to squeeze still more of the whey from the curd. At this point, cheese makers may knead the curds—twisting and pulling them by hand—to create a stringier, more elastic texture like that found in mozzarella or provolone.

The curds are then shaped by hand or pressed into molds of various shapes and sizes. Curds of nearly all cheeses are salted by stirring the salt directly into the curds or by rubbing salt or a saltwater solution, called brine, onto the curd surface. Salt pulls moisture from the cheese, but more importantly, it acts as a preservative and slows down the final step of cheese making—the ripening.

During the ripening process, microbes such as bacteria slowly change the composition of the curds, creating cheeses with distinct flavors, textures, and aromas. The kinds of microbes used, the temperature and humidity conditions of the ripening environment, and the duration of the ripening process, all contribute to the final characteristics of the cheese.

In some cheeses, the bacteria added to create the acidic environment necessary for curd formation continue to ripen the cheese as well. In Swiss cheese, for example, these bacteria produce gas bubbles during ripening, creating its characteristic holes, or eyes. In other cases, microbes are added to the shaped curd. For example, a blue-green mold called Penicillium roqueforti is used to ripen cheeses such as Roquefort and Gorgonzola. This special mold creates bluish-green veins in the cheese and a characteristic sharp flavor and creamy texture. Other cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, are ripened by bacteria rubbed on the outer surface of the cheese. The bacteria slowly work their way into the interior of the cheese, creating a soft, pungent interior and leaving a powdery, edible white rind on the outside.

Ripening usually takes place in carefully controlled environments. Conditions are often designed to mimic the natural environments of the ripening microbes, such as the cool, humid limestone caves of southern France, where Roquefort cheese originated. The moisture-laden air prevents the cheese from drying out as it ripens. Temperatures are kept cool, not only to encourage the activity of the ripening bacteria but to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria that could spoil the cheese. The amount of time that cheeses are allowed to ripen, or age, also contributes to their final character. Generally, cheeses develop sharper flavors, harder textures, and deeper colors as they age.


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