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3 gallons milk—Pour into large stainless steel pot with thick bottom.
Mix: ¼ cup water and 1 Tb. Citric acid
Stir this mixture into the milk rapidly for about 30 seconds.
Heat to 88 degrees F on medium heat.
Turn off heat and add the following mixture: ¼ cup water mixed with ½ tsp rennet.
Stir into the milk mixture for 15 seconds.
Let sit for 20-25 minutes until it sets thick like Greek yogurt.
Take a long knife and cut into ½ inch cubes in a grid pattern. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Heat to 108 degrees F on medium to high heat stirring constantly.
Shut off heat and stir until it feels rubbery and clumps.
Drain off whey and save for other uses.
Add very hot water to the pan and rinse the cheese one time by stretching it with a couple of forks.
Drain off the water and use in compost.
Put the pan back on the stove with the lump of cheese in it. Use your fists to flatten it and sprinkle 1/8-1/4 cup of salt on it and other seasonings if desired. I use lots of herbs and seasonings (basil, sage, oregano, chives, garlic, thyme, dried tomatoes, olives, etc.) You can make a plain mozzarella cheese as well. After the salt and herbs are spread around the top of the cheese, I fold it and press them into the cheese. If the cheese gets cool it won’t squish together as well, so sometimes I turn the heat on extremely low for a minute to keep the cheese soft while I press the herbs and salt into it with my fists. I keep folding the cheese until the salt and seasonings are all mixed in. Try not to touch the bottom of the hot pan.
Next, I line a colander with a cloth and pour the cheese into it. I place a plate on top of it and put a gallon jug of water on the plate to press the whey out of the cheese. I place the colander over a bucket to catch the whey. This is seasoned whey, so I don’t give it to my animals. It is good to use in dressings and to culture vegetables. I leave the cheese on the counter to press for an hour or so until it is as dry as I want it.
Next I dump the cheese onto a cutting board and cut it into desired sizes. Some of the cheese chunks I put directly into plastic bags in the fridge and the rest I freeze for later. This cheese freezes really well, even with the herbs in it.
We use fresh raw goat milk in our cheese so I only take enough cheese out of the freezer for a week at a time.
Our favorite kinds are:
Sun dried tomato, basil and garlic
Italian seasoning, chive and olive
Smoked cheese using liquid smoke and mesquite seasoning with dried peppers
Parsley, sage and oregano
Mint Medley: use different types of chopped mint
…actually every new cheese we make just becomes another favorite.