I have always wanted to have a go at making my own cheese but have always been put off by my assumption of the need for complex ingredients and equipment. Then I found this recipe for Labneh a simple cheese that can in made in 24 to 48 hours. http://www.self-sufficient.co.uk/Making-Labneh.htm. This inspired me to look for more easy cheese recipes.
Making the Labneh was very simple. I mixed salt into the yogurt. I placed one of my clothes inside my colander covering the holes and then poured my salt yogurt mix into this. I brought the edges together ensuring none of the mix escaped and sealed it at the top with a food clip (the recipe suggested elastic or string but I used the first thing that came to hand). Then I left this mix to drip over a bowl for the next 24 hours.
Next, feeling a bit braver, I moved on to making my own curds and whey. I used the recipe from wiki how: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Cheese-at-Home to attempt this. I boiled two cups of milk. Then I turned the hob off and mixed in 4 teaspoons of vinegar leaving the pan on the hob. I left the pan for about seven minutes then strained the mixture through my substitute cheesecloth lined colander. I doubled up my cloths for the next bit just in case. I squeezed water (this is the whey) out of my curds and then skipped the option to add salt before hanging this next to my Labneh to drip. Next time I make this I will probably try adding herbs at the salt stage but this time I wanted to try the basic cheese before I began to experiment with the flavour.
3 hours later- checking on my curds and whey I found my small parcel solid enough to place in the fridge. My Labneh mix was still very soft I placed this in the fridge too. I tied both to the shelf above allowing them to continue to drip. I now had two cheese mixes which needed to be left a minimum of twenty four hours to mature.
24 hours later I decided to test the cheese.
The Labneh was still very soft but had formed into a delicious creamy cheese. I tested this on toast and would definitely make it again. It was so easy that I would try this recipe again with my three year old nephew who loves helping in the kitchen.
The Curds had hardened into a solid ball and on tasting had very little flavour reminding me and my friend of mozzarella. There was also a slightly vinegary taste around the edges. This may have been due to my adding slightly more vinegar than suggested to help the curds separate from the whey. If I made this again I would buy un-homogenised milk instead of the normal whole milk. I would also add some basic herbs to change the taste or use it on pizza instead of eating the cheese cold.
The results- This was fantastic fun and I would try it again. When I have another go I would like to try making cheese using goat’s milk instead of cows. I would also like to test the fridge life of the cheese but this would involve leaving it long enough to go off (a difficult challenge in my house).
Once again thanks for reading. I hope this has been in some way helpful and don’t forget to share your own experience.
P.S. Here are some picture of my cheese although forgot to take photo’s until after it had already been tasted so the recipes make more than seen.
- Easy as Cheese ~ Works for Me! (hidingthepeas.wordpress.com)
- Lebanese Feast (yesanotherfoodblog.com)
- Take 3 ingredients: Homemade cheese -recipe (busyellebee.wordpress.com)