|It's not much to look at, but it sure is tasty...|
I find it takes about an hour requires some basic supplies, and it's very rewarding. Here are the hardest things to find:
- Citric Acid (I get it from the beer brewing supply store, but it's also readily available from Indian grocers)
- Rennet (Rennet or Junket can be found with the canning supplies at the grocery, or get liquid rennet from a cheese shop, mine's made from Stinging Nettel)
- Good milk, I like to get Strauss milk from the local grocers in San Francisco
I like to use this recipe as a guide, but here's the gist:
- Boil water for stretching as you start heating the curd.
- Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid to 1/2c water, add this to 1 gallon of milk.
- Stir gently, lifting up & down until the milk comes to 90 degrees.
- After the rennet is added (3-5 drops of my 3x rennet or 1/8 tsp, in 1/8c water), don't touch it.
- To test if the curd has set (about 5 min), check with very clean fingers - it should feel similar to silken tofu.
- Cut the curd into cubes using your knife vertically, and your spoon horizontally through the curd.
- Strain the curd by scooping it carefully into the colander.
- Save some of the whey for storing the cheese.
- Take a small scoop of cheese curd (I use a small 1/4 or 1/8 measuring cup), and lower it into very hot salty water. The salt in the water is your only real chance to add any salty flavor the cheese.
- Once the cheese has heated up, gently stretch it a few times with your fingers. This will give you a very delicate cheese.
- Knead it more if you want a thicker cheese for shredding.
- You might want to wear rubber gloves if your hands are sensitive. This helps form it into a ball, like you see at the store.
- Salt the whey, and store the balls in the whey in the fridge.