Since yesterday I talked about the making of yogurt and also shared how it can can fixed in various degrees - almost liquid, creamy and spreadable - I thought today I would tell you about a harder cheese, that can also be made a couple consistancies.
Again take a gallon of milk and while stirring constantly on high, let the milk come to a boil. This approximately takes 20 - 25 minutes. Have a collander ready lined with either a napkin or cheesecloth. Also a spoon that will drain will be used. Once the milk reaches a boil and starts to come up over the top of the pan, reduce the heat to about medium, or where it will manage to boil a little, but not make a mess. Now add lemon juice or apple cidar vinegar. Just spritz some in and watch the magic. Very quickly the curds and whey will start to separate. As the curds separate, gather them with your draining spoon and place them in the lined collander. You can add little more lemon juice or vinegar to make sure you can all the curds you can, I always do.
You can either use Whole or 2% milk here again. But, the more fat in it, the more curds. So with this cheese Whole Milk is usually the best. You also can add a cup to a cup and a half of Buttermilk to the milk and that also, when it boils will not only make fuller curds, but divides the curd and whey itself.
The addition of lemon juice, apple cidar vinegar and buttermilk is the addition of a rennet in your milk. All they do is divide the curd from the whey. There are many cheese making kits out there that sell a rennet. They are not inexpensive. With these 3, I find I can make all the cheese I need, with the occasional buying for special occasions.
Add salt to the curds right away. If there is any flavoring, in the way of spices, this is also the time to add it. Now you get to make some choices again. To just drain and leave it alone, this cheese is similar to "cottage cheese". You can also wrap the napkin around it tightly, squeeze and make a cheese ball. This will become a harder, more compact cheese, like the kind you would slice and put on a sandwich, but will not melt. Try both, they each have their uses.
Take the cheese ball out of the napkin/cheesecloth and store in a refrigerator container. It will not last more than about a week to 10 days. Remember there is no aging or preservative here, it is homemade. I find this cheese to be filling and I don't use as much at a time when putting on sandwiches, etc. So once again, you have a hefty amount of cheese for the price of a gallon of milk and a little lemon juice or vinegar.
Let me know how this goes for you! And save that whey again. We will use it tomorrow for the 1st time!