Cheese is a favorite food of many people. Thanks to the variety of varieties, everyone finds the best option in terms of taste. Cheeses are added to sauces and salads; various dishes are prepared based on this product, including desserts, sandwiches, canapes, and snacks. Yes, and like that, it can be consumed as a complete meal. Unfortunately, those cheeses presented on store shelves are not always pleasing with quality, taste, and useful composition.
As we know, the price of a good product is very high, and not everyone can afford it. A great alternative is to make cheese at home. This is not so difficult to do; the main thing is to know the technology and use high-quality raw materials. We will talk about how to cook hard cheese, cheese, and cottage cheese at home and what you need for this. Soon you will be able to treat yourself and your loved ones to a fantastic delicacy.
And, by the way, you can use a nice wood charcuterie board for serving your home-made cheese!
A few reasons to make cheese at home
Homemade cheese making is a fascinating process. As practice shows, it is quite possible to cook most varieties of cheese at home. In this case, you do not need to acquire specialized equipment or adhere to a complex recipe. And the result exceeds all expectations – homemade cheese is much tastier and healthier than purchased products.
Once you try it, you won’t want to trade for the worst again. Reasons to make cheese at home are:
- The desire to eat natural products with a proven composition. You will know what you are adding to the cheese and not worry about the presence of preservatives, dyes, etc. Such a product can be safely given even to small children;
- High demands on the taste of the products used. Cheese made at home has a natural, richer flavor without flavorings and third-party additives;
- The need to process a large amount of milk. This applies to those people who are engaged in breeding cows and goats. It is not always possible and necessary to consume the amount of milk that the animal gives. To process the product, you can make cheese at home. It keeps well in both the refrigerator and the freezer.
Making cheese at home seems like a daunting task until you decide to experiment for the first time. You will be pleasantly surprised not only by the result but also by the simplicity of the process. Cheese, suluguni, ricotta, mozzarella, and many other varieties can be made independently.
What can be used to make cheese at home?
There are about one and a half thousand types of cheese in the world. Their classification is very diverse, but by and large, the product can be divided into three categories: soft, semi-hard and hard. There are some differences when making one or another variety at home, but the main points regarding the composition and cooking technology are similar. To make your cheese, you will need the following ingredients:
(cow, goat, sheep). You can take a farm product that needs to be pasteurized (heated to a temperature of 62-65 0C and maintained in this state for about half an hour). You should use the highest quality and freshest milk to make cheese at home.
These are pure strains of lactic acid bacteria that convert milk sugar into lactic acid. This, in turn, increases the cheese’s acidity, which prevents the development of pathogenic bacteria. Starter cultures are different; they can consist of one or more types of bacteria. Some only produce lactic acid without affecting the final consistency of the product. Other cheese starters also release ethanol, carbon dioxide, acetic acid, which contribute to the formation of cheese “holes.”
The use of this enzyme leads to the coagulation of milk into a single clot of a loose structure. The most common coagulant is animal rennet called chymosin. There are other options. Before making cheese at home, you should carefully study the recipe and determine which substance should be used as a coagulant.
This ingredient should be used if you make cheese at home. Salt normalizes the taste, makes it more saturated. Sometimes the recipe involves the use of spices and other additives.
It increases the yield of finished products and normalizes the amount of calcium in it. This is an optional component, which is essential because it improves the quality of the cheese.
If you want to make camembert, gorgonzola, brie at home, you will also need a pure mold culture. The substance has the form of a powder and requires storage at sub-zero temperatures or in a freezer.
We hope that our tips were useful to you! And don’t forget that for cheese boards and cutting boards, it’s worth getting a special oil to help preserve them!