Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kefir - Chapter 8

Another kind of hard cheese I make is cultured with liquid kefir, that I brew at home. This works very well. The cheese is quite different than my Farmhouse Cheddar (see below.) The kefir cheese is aged for 2 months before using and has some holes in it and a very different flavor. I like it a lot. My husband only thinks it's "ok." :)


Aged Cheese cultured with fresh liquid kefir

Before bed the night before: Into heavy- bottomed stainless steel pot, mix 2 gallons fresh goat milk with ½ cup liquid kefir. Cover.

Mid-morning next day:

Gently heat to 88 degrees.

Thoroughly stir in ½ tsp liquid rennet mixed into ½ cup cool water.

Cover pan (remove from heat).

Let sit for 30 – 45 minutes until a “clean break” is achieved.

Cut curd with a long sharp knife into 1/4 inch cubes.

Stir gently with hand for 15 minutes, cutting large pieces of curd.

Put in thermometer and turn stove on medium-low and stirring often, bring curds and whey to 102 degrees in about 1 hour.

Strain curds from whey.

Add 2 T sea salt to curds and mix well.

Line smaller hoop of cheese press with cheese cloth and put in the curds. (place press on baking pan to catch liquid.)

Fold cheese cloth over the top and add the follower.

Press at 10 pounds for 30 minutes. Press at 30 pounds for 1 hour. Turn hoop over, replace follower and press for 30 pounds for 1 hour.

Remove from hoop, dress cheese with cheese cloth, replace in hoop and press at 50 pounds until the next morning. Remove from press, remove cheese cloth. Place in refrigerator to dry for a few days, turning every day.

When dry, dip in cheese wax – 2 coats and label. Allow to age for at least 2 months, turning daily. Keep it in the refrigerator.

Do not throw away the whey! It can be used for many things, but my favorite is to make some wonderful creamy ricotta: To the leftover whey, add 1 pint of fresh goat milk and heat gently to 200 degrees F. Remove from heat. Stir in ½ cup white vinegar and let rest for 15 minutes. Strain through cheese cloth, put it into a bowl and add ½ tsp. sea salt. Store covered in the refrigerator. This wonderful ricotta is good on toast, baked potatoes, in lasagna, etc.



Please take a few minutes to look at Dom's Kefir Site for how to make "Fresh Kefir Cheese." I use it instead of cream cheese and sour cream in many ways. It is SO easy to make and very versatile and keeps just about forever in the fridge if you stir it once a week or so.

11 comments:

  1. I will try this soon.
    I think maybe this is 8 not 7?

    debbieo

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  2. I am working on an expanded ezekiel ebook, when it is done would you consider reading over it for me to catch errors?

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    Replies
    1. I just now saw this... did I ever answer you?

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  3. Yep! You're correct! Thanks. I'll fix it! :D

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  4. I'm really impressed with your cheese making abilities and these posts! I've never made cheese. I would love to be more self-sufficient some day.

    Thanks for your sweet comment.

    Debbie J.

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  5. Debbie, I am certain you are doing just fine. Learning new skills just takes time, sometimes a lot of time. There is no way to do it all at once! People talk about "living simply." Ha! Nothing simple about it ~ one just trades one set of complications for what hopefully will be a more enjoyable set of complications. Never run faster than you have strength.

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  6. I love this... "a more enjoyable set of complications"... that is exactly what I'm striving toward!

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  7. Why do you use the rennet when the kefir will form the curds?
    I am thinking to try to do this recipe and add the ricotta cheese to it as well to make a cheese base. DO you think it would work?

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    Replies
    1. The kefir will not have the same firming action as rennet. If you want to make hard cheese, you need to add the rennet. Good luck!

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