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As news about the negative health effects of store-bought products spreads, more people are turning to making food items at home. Making cheese has become particularly popular. Not only is homemade cheese delicious, it’s simple and uses inexpensive ingredients. Learning how to make cheese is also a great hobby you can enjoy with family and friends.
Benefits of Homemade Cheese
Apart from being a fun pastime, learning how to make cheese is good for your health. One of the biggest advantages of homemade cheese is that it does not contain harmful artificial ingredients. Some – but not all – store-bought cheeses have preservatives, additives and sugars added to extend shelf life. Unfortunately, these chemicals can tamper with your health and your waistline.
Making cheese at home can save you a lot of bucks in future. It requires very few ingredients that you can use over and over again to make large quantities of cheese. The cheese-making process is also easy. Whether you like brie cheese or cheddar, you can use one method to make a range of flavorful cheeses.
How to Make Cheese at Home
As mentioned earlier, cheese-making is a one-technique-fits-all process. Once you practice and master the process, you can just change the ingredients to make other flavors of cheese. It is best to begin with a basic recipe and gradually progress to more sophisticated ingredients. To make your first cheese, you will need:
- 2 cups of milk (any type of milk except Ultra-pasteurized or UHT)
- 4 tsp. lemon juice/vinegar
- Cheese cloth
Add milk to a large pot and heat until it boils or reaches 85 F on the thermometer. Stir constantly. Turn off the stove but leave pot of milk on the plate.
Stir in the lemon juice or vinegar. The solids (curds) should start separating from the liquid (whey). Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
Pour and filter the curd-whey mixture through cheese cloth. Press and drain to get rid of as much liquid (whey) as possible.
Open up the cheese cloth and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper if you like. Use a spoon mix cheese and press any remaining moisture out.
Mold the cheese as desired and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Homemade Cheese Tips and Tricks
The above recipe is one of the simplest ways to learn how to make cheese. It is ideal for beginners. When you’ve mastered this method, you can advance to more technical methods and complex ingredients. The flavor of your cheese depends on the kind of milk you use. Goat milk, for instance, will differ in taste compared to cow’s milk. Sample commercial cheeses to find a flavor you like.
Making cheese is easy, cost-effective and quick. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cheese maker, you can make healthier cheeses from the comfort of your kitchen. Find your flavor profile by sampling cheeses made from different milks and practice regularly to hone your skill. Serve cheese with salads and breads.