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Monday, January 16, 2012

Who cut the Cheese?

For fun, we decided to try our hand at making mozzerella and ricotta cheese. The plan was to use the cheese in our New Years lasagna and to make a homemade cheesecake from homemade cheese.

You notice I said 'the plan was' right?

I followed all the directions and tips. I didn't use Ultra Pasterized cheese. I used rennet. I brought the temps up slowly. I didn't over stir.

After bringing the temps up slowly, the curds are supposed to form. Then you are supposed to cut the curds into cubes. Here is what my curds looked like as I tried to cut them into cubes:

So who cut the cheese? Not me! As you can see, I don't actually have any curds. More like a foam.
Anyway, this was my second batch so I pressed forward. I was able to get some cheese; if that is what you call this. It didn't taste like anything...really, it had no taste whatsoever. But it did at least have the texture of a soft cheese.
The Mr. and I can go take a cheese making class for $110 total or we can keep buying $2 gallons of milk until we get it right. Unfortunately, the only thing that I can find online are the steps to make the cheese. Nothing is out there (that I can find) that actually helps with troubleshooting or telling you how to do it with store bought pasturized milk. So I may invest a few more dollars into learning by try, try again. However, I would love some input from those who have been successful at this. Anybody got tips?


  1. I have been making ricotta cheese with bought full cream milk with some sucess. I heat the milk slowly and when just below boiling (90oC or 200oF) measured with a milk themometer add either cider vinegar or citric acid diluted in a little water or even white grape vinegar and stir slowly until the curds form and then drain through muslin and cool quickly eg in a sieve over ice or in the fridge.I use this in tarts and egg pies or other dishes. The milk must be fresh and lasts a week in the fridge. On the other hand I made mozzarella which was ended up like leather,.. I think it was to do with the temperature and cetainly not as economical as the riccotta. Also need more special ingrediants and longer to make. I have an old book I use , "Stocking Up. How to preserve the foods you grow , naturally" ed by Carol Hupping Stoner..has some great tips. Good luck and dont give up. Cheese making can be very frustrating but worth the effort.

  2. I have made homemade butter before but it requires so much salt! And although I know that it has to ferment, I don't like the thought of letting it sit out to go sour. I never thought of making cheese. But some things really aren't worth it and that's where you have to rely on stores.