Cheese is a beloved food item all over the world. It can be enjoyed by itself or used in a variety of recipes. While many people prefer to buy it at the store, it’s also entirely possible to make homemade cheese from scratch. Making your cheese is an enjoyable and rewarding process that doesn’t require any special equipment or ingredients.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make homemade cheese from scratch.
1. Choose Your Cheese
The first thing you should do is choose the type of cheese you want to make. Some common types include cheddar, mozzarella, and ricotta. Different cheeses have different ingredients and processes, so do your research before beginning.
2. Gather Your Ingredients
Once you have your cheese picked out, you need to gather your ingredients. The ingredients will depend on the type of cheese you’re making, but most likely, you’ll need milk, citric acid, and rennet. You can also add additional flavorings like herbs, garlic, or spicy peppers.
3. Heat Up the Milk
Heat up the milk in a large pot over medium heat. You want to get it up to 86-90 degrees Fahrenheit, so use a thermometer to keep track. Once it’s reached the desired temperature, remove the pot from the heat.
4. Add the Citric Acid
Now it’s time to add the citric acid. Stir it into the milk until it’s fully incorporated.
5. Add the Rennet
Then, add the rennet to the milk and stir for about a minute. Rennet is the enzyme that will cause the milk to coagulate and turn into curds and whey.
6. Let It Sit
Let the milk sit for about 10 minutes. At this point, it should have become solid, and you’ll be able to see the separation between the curds and whey. You can test by gently poking the surface with a knife.
7. Cut the Curds
Cut the curds into small cubes with a long knife. You’ll want to do this in a crosshatch pattern, cutting across the pot in both directions. Then, let them sit for another 5-10 minutes.
8. Heat up the Curds
Now it’s time to heat the curds back up. Put the pot back on the stove on low heat and slowly bring the temperature up to 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to stir the curds occasionally throughout this process.
9. Drain the Whey
Drain the whey from the curds now. You can do this by pouring the mixture through a cheesecloth or strainer.
10. Add Salt
If you’re making a cheese that requires salt, now is the time to add it. Stir it into the curds.
11. Shape and Press
Next, it’s time to shape the cheese. You can do this by pressing the curds into a ball or by putting them into a mold. If you’re using a mold, make sure to press it firmly to remove any excess whey.
12. Age Your Cheese
Finally, it’s time to age your cheese. Some cheeses can be eaten right away, but others need to age for several weeks to several months. Be sure to research the specific type of cheese you’re making and the recommended aging time.
Making homemade cheese from scratch can be a fun and rewarding experience. With just a few simple steps, you can create your cheese that’s customized to your taste preferences. Try it out today and enjoy the delicious results.