Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cheese Round Two

Okay that was exhausting. 2 hours later i have 4 packets of mozz from two gallons of organic whole milk, and hands that smell a little sour.
There was snipping at husband, there was frustration with too cool water, there was scalding of hands on hot cheese.
But i think it turned out okay. Not perfect - plus 2 gallons makes a LOT OF CHEESE. too much to handle. 2 packets for freezing, the other two for pizza and snacks.
I used this recipe again, followed it more closely this time. Everything went well until the end. I have a really hard time with the stretching part - getting the cheese to be hot enough, the water hot enough, my hands non singed. I had to resort to putting batches in the microwave instead of all in the water - hopefully they're salty enough, i may brine two if i feel they're not - and i made one with basil - very tasty. might always make it with basil.
I hope my cheesemaking skills will improve and accept any advice on this last step.
I have a hard time telling how long to stretch, how much to stretch, how to keep it from getting those little break apart furries. troubleshooting cheese isn't as easy as i'd thought.
Next batch of cheese will be simple queso blanco - hanging bag cheese. Hopefully with raw goat milk.
All pictures on flickr under the housekeeping 09 set, but here are a few of the main points of progress:
2 gallons organic whole milk.
Add citric acid to cool milk, bring up to 88 degrees then add Rennet.Slowly bring that up to 108, stir curds.

Once temp is reached turn off heat, stir occasionally and let sit a while.
Strain the curds and drain in a collander for a few minutes.
Attempt to stretch. Note: this is a LOT OF CHEESE. i ended up breaking it up into 4 chunks to handle it, my hot salty water wasn't hot enough so i had to use the micro.
But it tastes okay and looks okay - will judge more carefully later after it has chilled.

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