Farmer’s cheese is a variety of cottage cheese which is pressed. It is also slightly more acidic and has a firmer texture. This cheese can be made from the milk of cows, goats or sheep. Farmer’s cheese is simple and easy to make. Here’s how you can make this fresh cheese from home.
1. 3.7 L whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
2. 1/8 tsp Bioprox M265 Mesophilic Starter Culture
3. 1/4 tsp liquid animal rennet
4. ¼ tsp Calcium Chloride (dilute in ¼ cup water)
5. 1 to 2 tbsp of heavy cream
1. large pot
2. ladle or spoon for stirring
3. curd cutter and knife
5. cheese cloth/ butter muslin
Reminder: Sterilize all your materials before making cheese.
1. Pour the milk in the pot and heat to 220 C. Add the Calcium Chloride (if you’re using pasteurized milk). Stir thoroughly to mix it with the milk.
2. Sprinkle the mesophilic culture at the surface of the milk. Let it rehydrate for a minute. Stir gently in an up and down motion for 1 minute.
3. Add the rennet and stir again for another minute.
4. Cover the milk and let it set for 18 to 24 hours.
5. Cut the curds into ¼ inch cubes.
6. Cover the curds and let it set for 10 minutes.
7. Heat the curds, slowly bringing it to a temperature of 37.80 C. Once the target temperature is reached, maintain it for 10 minutes. Stir gently now and then so the curds won’t stick together.
8. After 10 minutes, gradually increase the temperature to 440 F. Do this in 15 minutes. Maintain this temperature for half an hour or until the curds have solidified a little more, making it firm to the touch.
9. Once the curds are firm, cover the pot again and let it set for 5 minutes to allow the curds to settle at the bottom of the pot.
10. Line the colander with cheesecloth (you can also use butter muslin) and ladle or pour the curds to drain.
11. Pull up the edges of the cheesecloth and wrap the curds in a bundle.
12. Dip the curds into cold water a few times.
13. Drain for several minutes.
14. Prepare a tub of ice water and put the curds in to rapidly cool them.
15. Hang the curd bundle and let it drain until desired moisture is achieved. You can drain it longer if you want the cheese to be dryer.
16. Put the curds in a bowl. Add some cheese salt and mix well. Mix in the heavy cream if you want your cheese to have a creamier texture.
17. Put your farmer cheese in a container and refrigerate. You can also mix some herbs and spices to add a kick to the cheese. As a kind of fresh cheese, you can store farmer cheese in the fridge for up to a week.
Farmer cheese is a versatile cheese that you can spread on crackers, crumbled on salads or used to add flavor and texture to pizza, pasta and casserole. You can also use it as an ingredient for dips and parfaits, and use it as an ingredient for some desserts. This cheese is also a great substitute for cottage cheese, ricotta and mascarpone in certain dishes.
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