Goat milk cheese? – Yes, now!

You say you like cheese? Go to the store to buy cheese and you get what you get. What you get might be surprisingly delightful or it might not suit your palate at all. For example, buy chèvre (perhaps the least complex type of goat milk cheese), and you might react in the same way my beautiful wife did when I bought some for her- it’s too sour or it’s too bitter.

Taste is a puzzling and unusual sense. You can be sure there is more disagreement about flavor than the visual beauty of a sunset. We can usually agree about what we see and what we feel, but flavor and aroma are perceived more personally. So, even though my true love and I could drink goat milk together we were divided by store-bought chèvre.

Indeed, I have a loving wife, and she would never let anything divide us, not even a type of cheese. So, I received a present some two years ago – a chèvre cheese-making kit. It was a chance she had to take – perhaps homemade goat milk cheese might be better than store-bought.

Dairy_dare-01Dear readers, the rest is history. My wife’s intuition was sound and now homemade chèvre is a regular and lasting part of Serendipity’s Daring Dairy repertoire. We hope you will come to enjoy making your own chèvre as much as we do.

So, now it’s finally time to dare to make chèvre in the soon to be famous SFH test kitchen.

Preparing to Make Goat Milk Cheese

Knowing nothing about the process herself, my enterprising spouse did some quick  research and determined the market was filled with simple, inexpensive cheese making kits. She selected the Chèvre Cheesemaking Kit by Roaring Brook Dairy. It worked just fine. Since then, however, we have become more confident in our own abilities and we purchase our own supplies and continue to experiment with the process.

If you are using a kit, the cheesecloth and cheese mold will be provided. If not, you may need to make a trip to the store or look online to get those items. Everything else you need should already be in your kitchen. Following is a list of the items we use:

Required Utensils & Equipment

Item

Comments / Notes

1x – Medium stainless steel or  non-aluminum pot  We use stainless steel
2x – 1-cup measuring cups
1x – Set of measuring spoons
1x – Spatula or slotted spoon  For stirring
1x – Thermometer
1x – Colander or sieve
1x – Glass or plastic bowl  Larger than colander or sieve
1x – Cheesecloth  Available in kits or sold separately
1x – Cheese mold  Available in kits or sold separately
1x – Butter knife

 

As you may recall, when it comes to dairy, there is almost always a kitchen controversy. In the case of Julia, Butter & Serendipity Farmhouse, the cause of concern was ultra-pasteurization. Although it seemed to make no difference in making butter, the use of ultra-pasteurized goat milk can adversely affect development of curds for chèvre.

Although we here at SFH have direct access to raw goat milk at Reality Farm, you may have to do some online research to find raw goat milk or simple pasteurized goat milk. (Here again my beautiful wife distinguished herself by doing a great job of research – she not only found the goat milk, she also found a place where I can visit the goats. She brings joy to my life.)

Listed below are the ingredients we use.

Ingredients

Ingredient

Comments / Notes

½ Gallon goat milk Avoid ultra-pasteurized
1   Level tsp. citric acid  Available in kits or sold separately
¼  Tablet rennet Available in kits or sold separately
 1 Tsp. cheese salt  We recommend only 1/2 Tsp.
 2 Tbsp. herbs de Provence  Or season to taste

Making Goat Milk Cheese

We said earlier that chèvre is perhaps the least complex type of goat milk cheese. It takes us roughly 45 minutes at the front end making the cheese. Then, after the cheese drains and sets in the refrigerator, it will take another 10 to 15 minutes for seasoning. Of course all the kitchen rules apply – clean hands, clean utensils, and have all ingredients and utensils ready to go.

Step 1 – Ingredient Preparation: Dissolve the citric acid into a cup of cold water. Dissolve the rennet int 1/4 cup of cold water.

Step 2 – Heating the Milk: Heat the goat milk slowly to 185º. Add citric acid and stir 30 seconds. Add rennet and stir 30 seconds.

Step 3 – Developing the Curds: Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Press the curds with the back of a spoon. If a dent is left, the curds are ready. If not, allow to stand for 2 more minutes.

Step 4: – Draining the Curds: Drain the curds into the cheese cloth and colander. Let the curds drain for 10 minutes, then gently mix in salt.

Step 5: – Forming the Cheese: Using a spoon, gently pack curds into the cheese mold. Cover the mold, place it on a small plate or in a small bowl. Allow the cheese to drain and set in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Step 6: – Seasoning to Taste: After 2 hours, remove the cheese from the refrigerator and slide the butter knife around the edge of the cheese until it is separated from the mold. Extract the cheese. Place seasonings on a plate and roll the cheese, covering the exterior.

 

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There it is! Goat milk cheese, ready to eat!

 

You can store it for up to seven days, but it is usually consumed within a day or two. By the way, grandchildren will ask for seconds and thirds. Make sure you make a lot.

If you’d like to see a more detailed demonstration watch this video.

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