Even though this recipe might require a stop at a home brewing store the two off the wall supplies needed, rennet and citric acid, are cheap and easy to find. Also you use so little of each ingredient in each batch that I'll be able to stretch the amounts I purchased for many more cheese making adventures. Up next, goat cheese...or maybe feta! A little aside about the whey too; I read from the recipe that the leftover whey can be used in place of water in any bread recipe for an enhanced flavor so I saved mine and will be whipping up a fresh batch of bread this weekend. Cheese making yields many treats my friends.
recipe from The Pioneer Woman
1 gallon of whole milk - preferably raw and unpasteurized if you can find it (I couldn't)
1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid powder
1/4 teaspoon vegetable rennet
kosher salt to taste
Sprinkle the citric acid powder into a large non-reactive stockpot then add 1/4 cup of water and swirl to dissolve. Pour the gallon of milk into the pot and stir to combine. Put the pot over medium-low heat and attach a thermometer to the side of the pot and allow to heat to 90 degrees F. You may notice a little curdling but this is a good thing. While that heats up combine the vegetable rennet with 1 cup of water.
When the milk comes to temp remove from the burner and add the rennet/water mixture. Very gently stir together for about 30 seconds. Place a lid on the pot and walk leave it alone for exactly 5 minutes - don't touch it in the meantime! After 5 minutes the mixture should resemble a very soft custard. A note on this - mine looked more like large curds and didn't congeal as much as the recipe pictures looked. I think this is because I didn't use raw milk so if you don't either and it just looks like a bunch of large curds, don't worry it will still come together. Return to the burner over medium heat and place the thermometer on once again and bring up to 105 degrees F.
Remove from heat and with a slotted spoon remove all of the curds from the whey (the watery looking part) and place in a colander. Press down with a spoon or your clean hands to remove as much of the whey from the curds as possible. Place in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Without burning your hand press on the cheese to drain all of the whey off. Microwave for 30 seconds a few more times to keep removing as much of the watery whey as possible. I only did this two times total. Then knead in salt to taste. Stretch out the cheese curd to get any more whey that you can out of it. Shape into a ball and place in a bowl of ice water until completely cool. Afterwards eat as is or add herbs, seasonings and serve with a crusty baguette as we did.
The final product before it was devoured:
Video of the making: