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Fairly simple and quick-ish recipe for curd cheese

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:03 pm
by BernardSmith
If you are interested in making your own cheese from even store bought milk (cannot have been ultra -pasteurized) then this recipe does not involve any very special equipment and does not take more than a few hours to make (much of the time does not involve any work on your part). The measurements are imperial (I am across the pond in NY State)
1 gallon of milk (I use whole milk)
1 cup of culture (you could use yogurt or buttermilk. I use home made kefir)
1/2 rennet tablet (I use vegetarian rennet)
1/4 t of calcium chloride (firms up the protein in pasteurized milk)
1.5 T of cheese salt
Sanitize pot, curd knife, large spoon, colander, cheese cloth with boiling water.
1. Mix milk and culture.
2. In double boiler bring milk to 95 F
3. Dilute Calcium Chloride in 1/4 cup of chlorine/fluoride free water and add to milk, stirring thoroughly
4. Allow culture to ripen 30 minutes.
5. Dilute rennet in 1/4 cup chlorine/fluoride free water and add to milk, stirring up and down for no more than 60 seconds.
6. Cover pot and allow milk to coagulate for 60 minutes or until you get a "clean break".
7. Using knife cut coagulated milk into 1/2 inch cubes (vertically AND horizontally)
8. Allow curds to heal for 5-10 minutes.
9. Maintaining temperature of 95F gently stir curds for 5 minutes to allow whey to be expelled.
10. Very gently increase temperature to 116 F over 15 minutes. You can do this by adding hotter water to the boiler.
11. Gently drain curds 5-10 minutes into a cheese cloth lined colander. (you can save the whey in the boiler)
12. Tie ends of cloth together and allow the curds to further drain 20 - 30 minutes suspended above boiler
13. Return bundle to colander set above boiler and release ends of cloth. The whey in the boiler should be around 100F.
14. Cover the curds with a lid or plate and allow them to stand 10 minutes.
15. Cut slab of curds into two and place one slab atop the second on the colander (This is "cheddaring"). Cover with the ends of the cloth and add about 8 lbs of weight (a gallon bottle of milk filled with warm water works well)
16 Every 10 minutes place the top slab on the bottom and the bottom slab on the top. Repeat for one hour (6 repetitions).
17. Cut slabs into 1 inch cubes and place on colander and sprinkle with half the salt. Cover with plate and add 8lbs of weight for 5 minutes.
18. Remove weight and re-arrange the cubes of cheese. Add the remainder of the salt and replace the plate and weight for 5 minutes.
19. The cheese is ready for eating but can be stored in fridge for a week.

Re: Fairly simple and quick-ish recipe for curd cheese

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:02 pm
by Green Aura
I've made cheese using a very similar recipe and it's lovely but it strikes me as rather involved for a fresh cheese that only keeps for a week or two at most.

Then I discovered a "recipe" which is much simpler - Crowdie. Just put your milk in a thick-bottomed pan on a very low heat (I put it on no.2 on my ceramic hob. Cover and leave it. It's done when it separates out into curds and whey, which may take an hour or several, depending on how much milk you use. Just make sure the heat is low enough so that the milk doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan, or it will taint the flavour. Strain it, through a double layer of cheesecloth and salt it to taste. It takes longer to make but is very hands off for the most part.

The whey, because it has had nothing added is amazing. Until I made Crowdie I didn't realise how sweet whey is. It's good for all sorts of things - feeding to chickens, watering plants, adding to bread dough etc etc. (I'd water it down for all the above.)

I make mine with raw milk so, because it stays at such a low temperature, it retains the probiotics and will keep in the fridge for several weeks too.

Going back to your recipe, have you tried adding a little double cream right at the end? Makes traditonal-ish cottage cheese and is delicious.

Re: Fairly simple and quick-ish recipe for curd cheese

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:39 pm
by BernardSmith
Hi Green Aura - thanks for your post. Truth is I have not added double cream to this and in fact I just made a batch last night, for my wife who loves this, and I made it using fat free milk. But curd cheese is a rennet cheese - so while it does not need to be aged and in fact the "squeaky" curd texture begins to fade after 24-48 hours - so while it can be kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks (I would guess - ours does not "keep". It's too versatile), it's not soft like cream cheese or cottage cheese. It's more like cheddar cheese.

Regarding the whey: another thing you can make from it is a smoothie - use it to replace the milk, and add a cup of fruit and a banana and some sugar and blend for 30 seconds.

Re: Fairly simple and quick-ish recipe for curd cheese

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:19 am
by ina
I made some even more simple and quick curd cheese not long ago... I'd bought one of those bottles of Jersey milk (was reduced, so I couldn't resist). Half way through the bottle the contents went thick on me. I just tipped them into a cloth - and hey presto, curd cheese! And very nice it was, too. (Usually shop bought milk goes off rather than thick, but this didn't.)

Re: Fairly simple and quick-ish recipe for curd cheese

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:51 pm
by BernardSmith
In the US "curd cheese" is a hard cheese. The Canadians use it for a dish they call "poutine" (we are kosher vegetarians so poutine is not something that we eat although I might make a seitan version of this - I include this URL so that you can get a sense of the curds in curd cheese. It is not a soft cheese. ... ne-recipe/