First Steps in Cheesemaking

I bought Nancy cheese-making equipment for Christmas. (I know, I do tend to buy things I’d like for myself but it wasn’t her only gift.) I started making some basic soft cheeses. The first was a goat cheese. I bought the goat milk at the store, though the milk comes from a Sebastopol dairy.

Essentially, you add a culture to the milk along with rennet. The curds form, separating from the whey. The picture below shows the batch ready to be poured into molds, and drain further.

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After they’ve drained for about twelve hours, I took the cheese out of the molds and dried it. Here are four rounds of “Chevre” about ready to be wrapped up. Salt is sprinkled on all sides.

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It was pretty much ready to eat in two days from start to finish. Nancy and all who tried it thought the cheese was very tasty. The texture was especially good. I made another batch of soft cheese using cow’s milk, which also turned out well. When it was done, I added some herbs to the cheese as well.

All in all, at least at this beginner’s level, cheesemaking is not so hard but, like baking bread, it requires time and attention.