Monday, October 5

Cheese and Yoghurt Making

Some years ago I attended a lesson on making cheese at home.  Mozzarella, ricotta, and other simple cheeses.  I was fascinated as I love cooking and I love doing things from scratch provided that there is not a LOT of work involved.  I was fortunate during my school years to be trained to be a wife and mother.  Yes, it is strange to hear those words, but in the early to mid 1900's that was what women were expected to do.  For 4 years or so I attended "Domestic Science" classes where not only did we learn to cook, but other subjects such as Housekeeping and Laundry were in the curriculum.  I also attended sewing lessons too.  

I don't regret any of it - but I don't think I ever intended to be "just a housewife" though for periods of my life that is what I was!

In retrospect, I wonder why such things as cheesemaking were not included - other than to know now that there are sophisticated ingredients and tools that were not freely available to the general public at that time.  Look at the raft of equipment that is available to use in the kitchen these days with entire shops or sections of a department store devoted to some aspect of cooking.

And so I come to 2015.  I attended some more cheesemaking classes, and not only that, I found I could go to Dr Google and key in some words and hey presto, details, recipes and additional information is available to me.  Easily.  

Nowdays I make some interesting things as a result of my recent learning.   I make cheeses and my specialty yoghurt, but I have learned to make it simply at home.  It is cheaper than buying from the supermarket - and I KNOW what is in my yoghurt.

This is my recipe.

(I use boiling water to sterilise my equipment - saucepan, slotted spoon, container, colander, cheesecloth, bowl etc)
1 litre of milk
2 tablespoons of yoghurt (I can use one that I have made or have to buy one which on the ingredients lists must be "live yoghurt cultures"

Method

Put milk into a saucepan and heat quickly, while stirring, to 40 degrees, then allow to cool for about 30 minutes.    Then add the two tablespoons or your yoghurt and mix before pouring in a clean container with a lid. 


You can use one of several methods to keep the mixture warm for the next few hours.  I use a yoghurt maker (I bought with a packaged yoghurt program) - and keep it warm for 12 - 20 hours. Sit it in a thick container, in a container of boiling water, and keep it warm - or a special product from a cheesemaking shop.

After it has been kept warm for 12 - 20 hours, I check it, and if ok, I put the container of yoghurt in the fridge.  You will perhaps notice that it is thicker at the bottom of the container.  It should be thicker than milk at the top.  

My next step and there is no specific time for doing this - a few hours after it has been in the fridge is ok - is to sterilize a strainer or colander and cover with a double layer of cheesecloth (sterilised by boiling water) and pour the mixture from your container in the fridge into the colander so that the whey can seep out the bottom.  (You can use the whey in other cooking).

You might let it seep like this for 30 minutes or so.  Then carefully scoop the wonderful yoghurt into a sterilised container and return it to the refrigerator.

It is essentially ready to eat.    If you like it - you can save two tablespoons of your own yoghurt to make a new batch.  I think it is safe to keep in your fridge for 2 - 3 weeks, but mine never lasts that long. I have eaten it!

I hope this makes sense.  

Below is a video - which explains simply how to do it - without the tools that I have in my kitchen!!  Enjoy.

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