Cheese is a very popular garnish, or a snack for some, that many people want to learn how to make at home. It is a delicious and versatile treat, which can easily be made in any kitchen. In fact, this kind of white cheese recipe, as any other kind of cheese, even, can be made by using the simplest ingredients and not with any complex equipment. This article aims to provide a recipe for white cheese which has a consistency similar to that of Indian chenna/panir, cottage cheese, Catalan brossat or Italian fresh ricotta.
The equipment necessary for this process are a large pan, a colander, a cheese cloth or a muslin cloth, a wooden spoon, a small piece of kitchen twine, string or twist ties, as well as a large bowl in which one may place the colander, though this part is optional. Get the large bowl in the event that the idea of placing a colander in the sink is not of any desirable thought.
As for the ingredients themselves, only two are necessary. Grab half a gallon, or two liters, or whole milk. Try to get organic milk if such is possible, though it is not necessary. As for the other ingredient, four to five tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
This recipe should yield roughly three quarters of a pound of fresh, homemade white cheese.
To begin the process of cheese making, take the large pan and pour all of the milk into it. Take caution that this large pan is one that has relatively tall walls which can allow some kind of room for boiling, because milk has a nasty habit of rising quickly when it boils. Heat the milk over medium heat such that it results in a rolling boil. Make sure to constantly stir the milk with a wooden spoon such that it will prevent any sticking.
In the meantime, take the fresh lemons and squeeze out the juice if this has not already been done. Upon the boiling of the milk, remove it from the heat and immediately add the lemon juice to the milk – however, take caution in pouring and do not pour the lemon juice into the milk too quickly. While doing this, take the wooden spoon and gently stroke it through the milk in a single direction.
After a few seconds, it should become relatively obvious that the changes are occurring. That is, after a few seconds, the milk will begin to split into watery whey and many lumps of curd. These lumps of curd that are appearing in the milk are the homemade cheese.
At this point, it will be necessary to cover the pan and set the pan aside for about two hours. This process is necessary in order for the curds to properly settle. In the event that two hours simply cannot be spent waiting, it should be fine to reduce the waiting time to a half an hour.
Either way, whenever the determined amount of time has passed, take the cheese cloth or muslin cloth and line the colander with it. If the cheese cloth looks very thin, especially if it can be seen through, take more cloth and line another couple of layers to it to ensure it does not end up breaking during the next step.
Depending on what the whey will be used for later on, place the colander in the sink or in the large bowl. Taking caution, slowly take the large pan of curdled milk and pour it into the colander. Once the liquid has completely drained either into the sink or into the large bowl, take the corners of the cheese cloth or the muslin cloth and hold them together such that they form a makeshift bag.
Take the kitchen twine, string or twist ties and tie the sack carefully. Hang the bag either over the sink or over a bowl so that it will catch any remaining liquid whey that may drop off. A good place to hang the bag from would be a kitchen cabinet knob. From here, it will only take three hours of waiting, after which the cheese is ready to either eat or refrigerate.
This kind of cheese will keep well in the refrigerator for roughly three or four days.