There are many “homesteading” activities I haven’t kept up with – canning is one that comes to mind. The time and energy isn’t worth the payout for Ray and I – maybe that will change some day. Making fresh cheese and yogurt, on the other hand, are worth the work especially since over the years I have simplified the steps to make fresh cheese so that it fits into my life without being a chore.
Fresh cheeses are easy and satisfying to make at home!
Fromage Blanc and Chevre follow the same processing steps; the only difference being that one is with cow’s milk and the other with goat’s milk. I used local pasteurized and homogenized versions of each to start because they are easy to get.
I used to go to the farm for raw milk and this is a good example of how I have simplified my process to make it something that I want to do. But, the steps are adaptable to your situation – if you have your own goats, that is where you will get your milk!
It is this simple!
In a nutshell, here is how you make fresh cheese: Gently warm milk to 86F degrees. Add culture and let it sit for 12-14 hours. Drain the curds from the whey. Allow to drain for 12 hours. Add salt and enjoy! The cheese will keep for a couple of weeks.
I use Fromage Blanc in place of cream cheese on bagels and enjoy crackers and chevre as an appetizer with a glass of crisp white wine before dinner. You can use either of these cheeses as they are or use them in your cooking and baking.
What makes homemade cheese better than store-bought? That is tough to put a finger on, but there is tremendous satisfaction when you serve a cheese platter with cheese you made in your own kitchen.
Cheesemaking.com is the place for home cheesemakers to get their supplies, recipes and instruction.
While these recipes provide a LOT of information, they leave some important and not so important, but still burning questions to the imagination. Here are some answers:
How much salt should I add after draining? I use 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt with what remains from 1 gallon of milk. Salt is CRITICAL. Your cheese will have no flavor if you don’t salt it. Salt will also slow down the fermentation.
What can I do with the remaining whey? Here are some ideas from cheesemaking.com