The Versatility of Milk
Cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, buffalo milk, camel milk ….. all nutritious food and a wonderful ingredient for cheese-making.
A great stand-by while waiting for our hard cheeses to mature is queso fresco, made with unhomogenised cow’s milk.
Straight forward to make, we use leftover home-made yogurt. This is added to heated milk along with rennet diluted in water, then left for an hour to coagulate. When ready the coagulated milk becomes a firm curd mass and can be cut into small segments, thereby releasing some of the liquid whey within it. The curds are then poured into a muslin-lined colander to drain. Mixing a small amount of salt through the curds also helps to remove some of the moisture content.
Making farm-style hard cheese requires a bit of patience. Using a similar process to queso fresco, the curds are cooked a bit longer to release as much whey as possible, poured into a muslin cloth where the salt is mixed through it, then all lifted into a cheese mould and placed into a cheese press. After 12 hours it is flipped and then drained for a further 12 hours. After that, the drained curd is removed from the press and muslin cloth to be air-dried. Once dried, the cheese curd is prepared for ageing and then placed in a temperature controlled “cave” to mature. In our case, 3 months.
And to accompany our cheese – fresh, home-made sourdough wholemeal bread 🙂