May 7, 2012

I Think She's Got It!

Goat milk cheese #10 

Well, maybe not in the looks department, but this is the first of my many cheeses that I am actually loving eating!

Last year I made 19 raw goat milk hard cheeses, and about 44 pizzas worth of mozzarella. My first mozzarellas weren't so hot either (that here), but I finally got the hang of it (here, with the tips I follow.)

The mozzarella goes on a pizza every Friday night, but we've been slower at eating our way through the hard cheeses. Well, me more than Dan, because the first 9 really weren't that great. We're chalking that up to the learning process, bug finally, cheese number 10 seems better than the rest, a little sharp (aged 7 & 1/2 months), and perhaps needing a tad more salt, but a good texture and flavor. After cutting it open and sampling, I sliced some onto a piece of bread, popped it unto the toaster oven until melted, and topped with Farmgirl Susan's Green Tomato Salsa. Yum! I couldn't eat enough! Maybe it was the salsa, hopefully it was the cheese. It melted beautifully and tasted great.

I admit I'm not following the conventional cheesemaking recipes. Instead, I've been following the hard cheese directions in The Little House Cookbook, Since this is an historic type recipe, it doesn't use a standard, commercial cheese culture. This works for me because I want to make cheese with ingredients readily available on the homestead. In other words, I'm in search of a sustainable cheese. For a culture, I've been experimenting with leftover whey from previous batches. This particular cheese was made with whole, raw, goat milk (skim doesn't make very tasty cheese in my opinion), and whey from previous cheese #9, which had used whey from a batch of mozzarella.

I've kept detailed records....

Click to biggify

Notes and comments after tasting are on the back of the page.

Next cheese making season I'll have to try and duplicate this one. It wasn't without a "mistake" in heating. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy it and hope it's only the first of many tasty cheeses.

27 comments:

Stephanie said...

Well done!! I agree that the best way to learn to do something is without the "modern" conveniences of starters and such. If something happens, those won't be available to purchase, and then you are stuck if you never learned to do it the old fashioned way.

Lisa B. said...

One of my goals this year is to start making cheese as well. I have The Little House cookbook as well. Don't you just love it?

One reason I havnt tried the recipe is due to trying to find the appropriate milk.

I may have a source for goats milk soon so I can try to make some cheese. I'll be reading your tips.

Mama Pea said...

I am in awe of your diligence and success at cheese making! I so need to stop procrastinating and get into this for myself. (Man cannot live on homemade cottage cheese alone!)

Kristi said...

Very cool. We've dabbled in cows milk mozzarella, but never got it quite right. Good idea to keep such detailed notes.

pilgrimscottage said...

Congratulations on "making it"! I hope to be cheese making in the near future myself as soon as we have a couple more goats producing milk.

The Mom said...

Good for you! I tried mozzarella once and it was a miserable failure. I really like the idea of not having to buy rennet. Thanks!

A. Wright said...

Congrats, sounds delish!

Bernadine said...

Very nice. I enjoyed your notes. Very helpful. We've made our own Mozzarella and a little of Ricotta twice. A very rewarding experience.

The Weekend Homesteader said...

Congratulations! I was just telling my husband how much I love goat cheese last night and how I really wants some goats in the future.

Nina said...

It's wonderful when experiments finally end with success. I think it's a good looking cheese. A cheese that melts nicely, is important! It's great that you're finding new ways to use up that milk.
Are there any signs that the goats may be kidding soon? If not, tell them to hurry up!

Sherri B. said...

You are always so very patient in, trying until you finally get it....I could learn a big lesson from you! xo

Natalie said...

What a great idea to do it without a modern culture. I tried 2 cheeses, which both failed, and haven't tried again since. My biggest setback (which I guess you don't have) is trying to get some milk.
Thanks for sharing your process. I love the detailed notes. I think I will do the same when I (one day) start again.

Leigh said...

Stephanie, excellent point. Plus, just trying to be more self-sufficient demands it. I was beginning to worry though, that I couldn't do it without!

Lisa, yes, you have to find milk that is not ultrapasteurized. Some places carry it, and if legal, raw. Homegrown milk is best though, I think. :)

Mama Pea, agreed! (Especially since my cottage cheese was not a hit. :)

Kristi, do see my mozzarella update post. I got a lot of great tips from an experienced mozzarella maker. Those made all the difference in the world.

Pilgrimscottage, thanks! It's a great way to preserve milk.

Heather, I'm still using boughten rennet, just not culture. Do check out my mozzarella update post. I applied tips from the more experience for consistent success!

A., thanks!

Bernadine, yes I've made ricotta too. Thanks for mentioning that because I forgot!

Candace, you definitely need goats. :)

Nina, thanks! I agree about melting. And, I hope to have kids within the next several weeks!

Sherri, I don't know about patient, I just had to do something with all that milk!

Natalie, cheese making is akin to bread making. Seems to be a knack to it, so I didn't worry about my first cheeses not being that great. It's one of those "practice makes perfect" kind of things. :)

Leigh said...

Stephanie, excellent point. Plus, just trying to be more self-sufficient demands it. I was beginning to worry though, that I couldn't do it without!

Lisa, yes, you have to find milk that is not ultrapasteurized. Some places carry it, and if legal, raw. Homegrown milk is best though, I think. :)

Mama Pea, agreed! (Especially since my cottage cheese was not a hit. :)

Kristi, do see my mozzarella update post. I got a lot of great tips from an experienced mozzarella maker. Those made all the difference in the world.

Pilgrimscottage, thanks! It's a great way to preserve milk.

Heather, I'm still using boughten rennet, just not culture. Do check out my mozzarella update post. I applied tips from the more experience for consistent success!

A., thanks!

Bernadine, yes I've made ricotta too. Thanks for mentioning that because I forgot!

Candace, you definitely need goats. :)

Nina, thanks! I agree about melting. And, I hope to have kids within the next several weeks!

Sherri, I don't know about patient, I just had to do something with all that milk!

Natalie, cheese making is akin to bread making. Seems to be a knack to it, so I didn't worry about my first cheeses not being that great. It's one of those "practice makes perfect" kind of things. :)

Michelle said...

Congratulations! This is the year I get to learn to make hard cheeses. I've only done mozzerella and yogurt-style cheeses in the past. I'm glad I can refer to your posts to help me along the way. :-)

Have you considered using thistle instead of rennett? I've read about this in Juliette de Baïracli Levy's books and am eager to try it.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Just as soon as our newborn babies have been weaned, it is Jens plan to make some yummy cheese. I'l buy her that book, I think she'd like to add that one to her resource library! Beautiful looking cheese Leigh.

Lap Dog Knits said...

I'm not sure which I want more....

a huge chunk of your wonderful looking cheese or that adorable puppy you just added to the clan.

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

Oh my does that cheese sound and look wonderful! Think I need to investigate that cookbook. Pet the kids for me.

Leigh said...

Michelle, thanks. Yes, I'm definitely going to try rennet alternatives eventually. I recently got Juliette de Baïracli Levy's Complete Herbal for Farm and Stable but I haven't run across that tidbit yet. Ricki Carroll lists a number of plants in her book Home Cheese Making: nettles, butterwort leaves, knapweed, mallow, teasel, and yarrow. I figured though, that I'd better master a basic rennet cheese first, so that if something goes wrong, I'll have a starting point to return to for my analyses.

Janice, it's a great way to deal with extra milk! Fun to learn too. :)

Kyle, LOL. I appreciate that. :)

Thiste Rose, thanks! It's a very interesting cookbook. Lot's of historical information.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Cheese looks great! I'd like to give cheesemaking a go, but not interested in having the goats or cows!! I don't even know of anyplace within striking distance where I could get the proper milk. Even though I still have family living on a "farm", he doesn't have a milk cow or goats. Hmmmmm.....he might know somebody in his community who does, though. Gotta ask.

I do love goat cheese. Have you thought about goat gouda? Its yummy.

Marissa said...

Looking great! I've yet to really fall in love with any of the hard cheeses we've made with goat milk. Still need to keep working on it though!

The folks we bought our goats from don't use fancy cultures. If the recipe calls for mesophilic, they use buttermilk. If it calls for thermophilic, they use yogurt. And their cheese is TO DIE FOR! So you may want to try that out if you keep buttermilk and yogurt around!

Renee Nefe said...

YAY Cheese! I'm reminded of "Wallace & Grommit and the Curse of the Were Rabbit" Wallace loves cheese.

Mystic Mud said...

Great post - I want to make cheese someday. If I ever get around to doing it I would want to do it like you and without as much store bought stuff as possible. I'm happy for you that you finally got to a brick that you like:)

Sue said...

Congrats on a great looking (and tasting) cheese! I can't wait to get my dairy goat and be able to make cheeses on my own too.

Leigh said...

FFL, yeah, getting the right milk is a must. Does Florida allow the sale of raw milk? Or can you find regular pasteurized as opposed to ultrapasteurized? I've not tried gouda. I believe it requires a mesophilic starter culture. I've not tried anything with standard cultures yet. Dan loves provolone, so I did get some thermophilic starter. I had a rather disastrous attempt at preparing the milk culture however, so I've not tried it again.

Marissa, thank you! Thank you! You have been the absolute best cheese mentor to me. I will absolutely try these. I am determined to create some of those "to die for" cheeses too!

Renee, LOL. Now we definitely need to see that one. :)

MM, thanks! It does require having time as well as milk. I figured it would take awhile and knew I'd probably have to put up with a lot of beginner cheeses for awhile. Hopefully I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Sue, you will love it. You will love having dairy goats. (Notice the goats, plural? I'm sure once you get your doeling you'll get her a bud just to keep her company and it will be history from there. :)

Laura said...

Making cheese is also on my to do list. I saw a microwave version I thought I might try first.

a view from a brown dog said...

Wow this is wonderful! Making cheese has been "next" on my to do list for a while now. After reading your notes i may finally be ready to jump in a give it a whirl, thank you for the inspiration.