Sunday, August 3, 2014

Homemade Goat Cheese

Homemade goat cheese is the BEST!!!!.  This method is about as simple as it gets in the cheese making tutorials. All you need is......
-goat milk (about a gallon)
-rennet (or vinegar, although vinegar can sometimes leave a weird after taste)
- half a lemon
-salt and other fun things to add in if desired. (read on)

First we bring the milk u to between 90 and 100 degrees F and attempt to hold it there.

While the milk is heating up, this would be a good time to play on your smart phone and update your FB status.  Wait,....No....I meant it would be a good time to add a few drops of rennet into about a half of a cup of water. 

Along with the rennet, add a teaspoon of lemon juice into the water too!

When the milk reaches 90-100 degrees F, slowly pour the water mixture into the pot while stirring slowly. Continue stirring for a few minutes and then turn off the burner and cover the pot. 
Leave the pot alone for an hour or two. 
When you uncover later, the whole top layer of milk should be curd. 

Use a knife and slowly cut through the curd deeply to create 1 inch squares. 

After you are done cutting the curd, use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the curds from the pot while straining the whey. 

Or you can go for the less labor intensive method (like my wife typically chooses) and just pour the whole thing into a cheese cloth lined strainer while is settled nicely above a large pot to catch the whey. 

In our house, the whey is saved for making morning smoothies (Yum and YUM!!!!)

Once the curds are all in the cheese cloth, tie up the ends and hang it above the bowl to drain the excess whey. This can take a while, so walk away for a while and fight the urge to open it before it is ready. Ours took about 2 hours, but I can easily take many more. 

This is the "read on" part where we add goodies to make the cheese even BETTER. Add about 1 tablespoon of sea salt (or kosher salt) to each gallon of milk used.
-also, we like to add other flavoring to mix in to the crumbly soft cheese as well. Flavorings such as chopped green onions, honey, basil, nuts, etc.  

We find it easier to crumble the cheese up, sprinkle the salt and other flavorings in, mix well, and press it down into the containers. After refrigeration, the cheese is still soft, but can be chunked out of the container without it crumbling to pieces. 
thanks for visiting Our Little Backyard Farm. 

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