Making my own cheese at home is something I do for fun. It's a science, and it can take years of trial and error before you get it right. I was lucky enough to find some great books when I began that pointed me in the right direction.
Recipe: Homemade Chevre
- 1 gallon goat's milk
- 1/4 tsp. mesophilic chevre culture
- 1/2 drop liquid rennet
- Sterilize all equipment in your dishwasher if you have the setting to do so, otherwise you will need to use a solution of diluted bleach in water. Make sure all equipment is dried with paper towels before you begin.
- Add milk to a stainless steel pot. You need to use stainless steel otherwise it throws off the PH and could cause problems with your cheese. Using a double boiler (you can use a separate pot with boiling water underneath the pot you use to warm your milk with). Bring the temperature of the milk up to 85 degrees F and remove from heat.
- Remove the milk from the heat and pour it into a plastic container. Allow it to rest for a few minutes. I like to use a rectangular or square plastic Tupperware container that has a lid on it. This keeps out any contaminates that might find their way into the cheese.
- Take your mesophilic culture and sprinkle it evenly over the surface of the milk and allow it to sit for 5 minutes to activate. Using a stainless steel or wooden spoon, gently stir the milk to incorporate the culture throughout.
- To ensure the right amount of liquid rennet, fill a measuring cup to the 1/2 cup line with cold water. Add 1 drop of liquid rennet, stir, and then add 1/4 cup to the milk. Stir gently.
- Place the lid on top of the plastic container, and put the whole container in your oven with the light on for 12 hours. If you don't have a light in your oven that's OK. Keeping it in your oven gives the bacteria a quiet spot to work their magic.
- After 12 hours, remove the container from your stove and place a colander lined with cheese cloth (you could even use a clean hankerchief) in your sink. Using a spoon, scoop the curds into the cheese cloth and tie it into a bundle to hang and drain. I like to use the cabinet handle right above my sink so I don't make too much of a mess. Allow the cheese to drain for 8 hours.
- Refrigerate the cheese for an hour to firm it up. At this point you can season it and shape it how you like. If you want to make a roll, just wrap it in plastic wrap and roll it using your hands. You can salt to taste. I like to liberally salt the entire outside of my cheese. It will keep up to a week and a half in your refrigerator. Enjoy.
Number of servings (yield): 12