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Thread: I'm going to make CHEESE!

  1. #16
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    Zonny,

    I would try using fresh milk before the powdered stuff. I don't know one person who thinks the dried milk powder reconstitutes into anything good tasting...might be a case of "the best ingredients in, the best taste out"...My Shoppers Drug Mart often has milk reduced in price (or has manager's discount stickers on it) when it's close to date.

    I watched a tutorial on Youtube about making mozzarella and it looks like fun. I don't think your son will be able to get his hands in when it's time to stretch out the cheese...the water needs to be almost boiling temp. He'll probably enjoy stirring the concoction. Please let us know how it turns out!

    lecale,
    Thanks for the Junket suggestion. I knew that was the brand name of rennet, just can't find it in my one-horse-town...
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    You will need to try adding some chives or spices to it once you perfect the plain.
    I am a cheese fanatic and can't wait to hear how it turns out.
    please post a photo too.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by marstec View Post
    Zonny,

    I would try using fresh milk before the powdered stuff. I don't know one person who thinks the dried milk powder reconstitutes into anything good tasting...might be a case of "the best ingredients in, the best taste out"...My Shoppers Drug Mart often has milk reduced in price (or has manager's discount stickers on it) when it's close to date.

    I watched a tutorial on Youtube about making mozzarella and it looks like fun. I don't think your son will be able to get his hands in when it's time to stretch out the cheese...the water needs to be almost boiling temp. He'll probably enjoy stirring the concoction. Please let us know how it turns out!

    lecale,
    Thanks for the Junket suggestion. I knew that was the brand name of rennet, just can't find it in my one-horse-town...
    I'm going to try with regular fresh milk from the grocery store first, see how well that works. I wouldn't use reduced price milk (I've actually never seen reduced price milk here in NS), my instructions say the fresher the better. I'd really like to try with a kind of milk that can be found at our local farmer's market, it's in glass bottles, non-homogenized and apparently very fresh. But although it probably makes fantastic cheese, I probably won't go that route; it's $3 a litre and the bottles cost $2.25 each. So a gallon of milk would be $21.

    And yes, it will probably be too hot for DS to handle during the stretch. And Cooper, I'm looking forward to trying some herbs in it too!

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    BTW, they don't recommend using Junket. From their website here: http://www.cheesemaking.com/30-Minut...cotta-Kit.html

    3. Can I substitute junket for the rennet tablets?

    No. Junket is great for making custard, but it is nowhere near as strong as our rennet tablets. Cheese rennet is 80% chymosin and 20% pepsin. Junket is approximately 80% pepsin, so it is much weaker than cheese rennet. It also contains many additives.
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  5. #20
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    OK, I did it, I made mozzarella cheese!

    I used regular milk from the grocery store, just looked for the freshest gallon of whole milk I could find in the cooler. You can make this with skim or reduced fat milk, but your yield won't be as high and they say that full fat milk is easier to work with, so I thought that was best for my first try.

    The instructions said it could be done in 30 minutes, but it took me more like 50, but maybe it will get better next time. It's not quite as firm as I would like, but I can make adjustments to make it firmer. And I think I will add some seasonings/spices/herbs or something to make my cheese a bit more interesting.

    I took pics throughout the process, which I will post soon, have to resize them first! But overall I'm pleased with the result, I got a bit over a pound of cheese from my gallon of milk.
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    Name:  Cheese 1.jpg
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    You start with a gallon of milk and some citric acid dissolved in water, heat it to 90F while stirring.

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    Add rennet, stir for a bit, then take off the heat and let it sit for five minutes. Cut the resulting layer of curds with a knife, all the way to the bottom of the pot.

    For the record, rennet is sometimes derived from a calf's stomach (as with many things, I often wonder who first had the thought, "Hmm, I should add this stuff from the calf's stomach to my milk and see what happens"?). But the rennet tablets from my kit are vegetable based, apparently you can get the same enzyme from some kind of mold (not sure who thought of putting mold into their milk either).

    I'm no vegetarian, but am happier knowing the cheese ingredients came from a mold rather than the bits of a baby animal (for the record, I don't eat baby animals either and have never tasted veal or lamb).

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    Heat again, this time to 105F, gently stirring the curds while you heat.

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    My curds seemed to break up a bit as I stirred, I was concerned about that, but it worked out fine.

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    Looks pretty gross now. What was Little Miss Muffet thinking?

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    Scoop the curds out with a slotted spoon, put them into a microwaveable bowl.

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    Drain off as much of the whey as you can without squishing it too much, then start heating the curds. I used the microwave for 20 seconds at a time. Each time, press them together more and drain off the whey that comes out. The instructions said 30 seconds at a time, but I didn't want to overheat them with my powerful microwave. I figured you can always warm it a bit more, but you can't un-burn your hard work!

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    When the curds get hot enough and you've drained off enough whey, you can start stretching it. When it cools enough to break when you stretch, heat it up again a bit, until it's a smooth, glossy texture.

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    When you're done you can braid it or make it into any shape you want. Cool your chosen form a bit in some cool water, then drop it in some ice water for 15 minutes so it won't just totally relax into a blob. At the end you can roll it out and add herbs if you want, roll it into a log and have it that way. Or you can even make string cheese by dropping pieces of the stretched cheese into ice water. I did one piece like this, it is kind of stringy! But much more moist and tasty than regular string cheese you buy, at least this batch was.
    Last edited by Zonny; Sat, May 26th, 2012 at 07:26 PM.

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    Awesome, Zonny, enjoy! And your pics look similar to how I've seen it done on tv! Very cool!

  8. #23
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    It really wasn't hard. I should note that the pics where it looks yellow, that's just the lighting, it was white all the way. I might try milk powder and a carton of cream next time to see how it compares, both for taste and economically. Aside from the milk it was about $1 a batch; with our milk being $5.69 a gallon, it's comparable in price to grocery store cheese.
    Last edited by Zonny; Sat, May 26th, 2012 at 07:17 PM.

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    Zonny i have been researching this on youtube ... i love the idea! I was thinking about trying it and getting some milk when it is on discount and making batches then. The research i have done says if there is too much whey left in the curd the cheese can be a little runny. The pics look great.

    Please let us know how it works with the powdered milk. I saw someone make ricotta on youtube using powdered whole milk so it does work and seperate into curd.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheekysaver View Post
    Zonny i have been researching this on youtube ... i love the idea! I was thinking about trying it and getting some milk when it is on discount and making batches then. The research i have done says if there is too much whey left in the curd the cheese can be a little runny. The pics look great.

    Please let us know how it works with the powdered milk. I saw someone make ricotta on youtube using powdered whole milk so it does work and seperate into curd.
    When you're heating it, you're draining off a bit more of the whey each time. By the time you've got somewhat stretchy cheese, much of the liquid is gone. I've read on the site where i got my kit, if I increase the rennet a bit I could get a firmer cheese. Could also heat and stretch it more.

    One of the things they say on milk, get the freshest you can possibly get for best results. I'm not sure if I would use discounted milk - that doesn't happen here in NS anyhow, so it's kind of moot for me. I might try ricotta next time, put it in lasagna.

    In theory, pretty much all of you have cheaper milk than we have here in NS, so it might be a more economical choice.

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    our very own zameluzza had a blog she did for a while where she has great pics of her cheesemaking. i enjoyed the pics when she first put them up

    unfortunatly i haven't seen her online in ages, and her blog doesn't seem to go past 2010.

    here's the link. i was totally amazed when i first saw it. the link sghould be to the very first post on her blog

    http://zameluzza.blogspot.ca/search?...&by-date=false


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    Wow anisa that is so cool!

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    Thanks for the update, Zonny! I'm so glad it turned out well. The pictures were great too!

    I didn't know you were using the microwave method - the ones I looked at used boiling water to melt the curds (the way you did it seems much less fussy). Did you salt the cheese? What does your son think of the taste of this compared to store-bought mozzarella?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marstec View Post
    Thanks for the update, Zonny! I'm so glad it turned out well. The pictures were great too!

    I didn't know you were using the microwave method - the ones I looked at used boiling water to melt the curds (the way you did it seems much less fussy). Did you salt the cheese? What does your son think of the taste of this compared to store-bought mozzarella?
    The instructions with my kit had both the water bath method and the microwave. The microwave seemed easier and with less chance to burn the skin off my hands, so I went that way. However, there is apparently a bigger chance you can ruin your cheese if you overheat it, so I heated only 20 seconds at a time. It was fairly hot to handle, but not uncomfortably so for me. DS would have minded it I think.

    I did salt the cheese, when I came toward the end of the stretching part. I just tossed the amount of salt into a bowl, rolled my long piece of cheese around in it to get it all on the cheese, then kept on stretching to get it mixed it. It went in very evenly.

    My DS wasn't terribly impressed, although I think that would have been different if he'd helped me with it. I made one piece of string cheese that he seemed to enjoy, but the texture of the cheese overall was quite a bit softer than store-bought cheese. He doesn't normally eat mozzarella on its own, he's a cheddar guy, we put the mozza on pizza and such. Next time I'm going to increase the amount of rennet and hopefully get a firmer cheese, this would have been impossible to shred without freezing it a bit first. DH isn't the cheese freak that I am, so I've been eating most of it just on its own! :D I also would like to try adding herbs like fresh basil, etc. I think there must be a way to make a spreadable cheese too, kind of like cream cheese, that he would love!
    Last edited by Zonny; Mon, May 28th, 2012 at 08:12 PM.
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    Zonny,

    I wouldn't get hung up on firming the cheese up too much. As far as I know, this fresh mozzarella isn't supposed to be shredded. I've only ever seen it sliced and put in a caprese salad (layers of sliced tomato, mozza cheese and basil), or sliced for topping in an artisan style pizza.

    Have you ever had boccocini? It's just small balls of this fresh mozzarella...I like making a salad of this cheese, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber and black olives - served with a vinaigrette dressing.

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