A cheese pictorial

As promised, here are photos of the cheese making process:

First you heat the milk to 80 degrees.  Then you add diluted rennet (an enzyme containing substance produced in any mammalian stomach to digest the mother’s milk) and buttermilk starter.  I use my own buttermilk made from goat milk rather than store bought buttermilk.  It takes five quarts of milk to make a pound to a pound and a half of cheese.

After sitting in a warm room (70 to 75 degrees) for eight to ten hours, the cheese curdles.  The liquid that is in the pan is the whey.

Draining the whey.

This is the drained whey which I’ll give to the dogs.  They love it.

After draining the whey, I wrap the cheese into the flour sacks I bought a few weeks ago and squeeze the cheese to drain more whey out.  I do this two times before hanging the cheese.

The cheese hangs in the same warm bathroom for about six hours.  I change the cloth two times during this process.  Chevre is sometimes referred to as “bag cheese.”

The final product which I’ll divide into three equal portions, put in small zip lock bags and then the three into one large zip lock bag and into the freezer.  I add herbs to the cheese prior to using it for cooking or eating it.  Freezing the cheese with the herbs added dilutes the flavor of the herbs.

I’m shamelessly proud of mastering cheese making.  Next on the hit parade is sourdough.  I made the starter this morning.  It will take five days to finish.  Fingers crossed.  Here is a good pictorial of the sourdough starter process.

I added another item to my shopping list for later today: bread pans.  I haven’t made bread in quite a while and that’s because I don’t like how the bread turns out if it’s baked in the bread machine.  My friend Helene uses the bread machine to mix and kneed the dough and then bakes her bread in the oven.  She told me how to do it, but I couldn’t grasp it.  I found this tutorial which sets it in my mind.