I love cheese. Do you love cheese?
First I will tell you how to make yogurt. In your crockpot!! The yogurt can then be used to make cream cheese.
This is all you need:
1/2 gallon milk (We get raw milk, but you can use pasteurized. Just make sure it is not ultrapasteurized.)
1/2 cup live culture yogurt. ( I realize it seems counterproductive to buy yogurt to make yogurt. Go with me on this, K?)
That's it. That is ALL you need.
OK, pour the 1/2 of milk into your crockpot and turn it on low for 2.5 hours.
When the 2.5 hours is up, unplug it and let it sit for 3 hours.
When that 3 hours is up, remove 1-2 cups of the milk from the crockpot, place in a bowl, and mix well with the 1/2 cup yogurt. Put back into the crockpot and stir well. Place the lid back on the crockpot, put the towel tightly over the top, and then let sit for 8 hours.
When the 8 hours is up, put it into the container of your choice, and stick it in the fridge for 24 hours to set.
NOW, save 1/2 cup back to make more yogurt.
Eat the yogurt you made and the starter yogurt from the store. As long as you have that 1/2 cup from your homemade stuff, you can eat all the yogurt. Yum!! This yogurt is good for approximately 7-10 days.
In part 2 we'll use this yogurt to make cream cheese.
Time for some mozzarella!!!
This is what you need for mozzarella.
1/2 gallon milk (Once again, we use raw, but you can use any kind of milk but ultrapasteurized.)
1 large pot
1 glass bowl
1/8 tsp citric acid (I purchased this in powder form at my local co-op. It's available in the canning section of most grocery stores, and also comes in liquid form. You can use lemon juice if you don't have any citric acid.)
1/8 tsp rennet (I also got this at the local co-op. I use vegetable rennet. If you prefer animal rennet, it is much harder to come by. Also, if you are GMO wary, make sure the veggie rennet you buy is not GMO.)
1/4 cup cool water
colander (not pictured)
long knife for cutting the curd
First, dissolve 1/8 tsp in 1/8 cup cool water and add to the milk and stir. Then pour the milk into the pot. SLOWLY heat to 90 degrees. This is the hardest part. Keeping a very close watch on the temp. While the milk is heating, mix the 1/8 tsp rennet into the other 1/8 cup water. Once the milk has reached temp, take it off of the heat, add the rennet, mix slowly, and then cover and leave alone for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check the curd. It should look like this:
If it doesn't look like this after 5 minutes, give it a few more. Once you've achieved thick curds on the top and whey underneath, use the long knife to cut the curds into small squares. You want to make a checkerboard in your curds. Now put back on the heat and SLOWLY heat to 105 degrees while stirring. Once temp is reached again, start pulling the curds out of the whey and place into a colander. Once all of the chunks are transfered, start gently pushing the curds to squeeze additional whey out. Like this:
Once all of the whey is squeezed out, microwave it for 1 minute. Just do it. Then squeeze MORE whey out. Now knead the cheese like you would bread. Microwave for another 30 seconds, and continue squeezing and kneading. Now it should start to stretch. Like this:
Now roll it into a ball and knead and work until it's a smooth, shiny ball. Now eat it. Yummy!!
DO NOT THROW AWAY THE WHEY!!! In part 2, I will show you how to use just the whey to make ricotta cheese.
We will also be using the yogurt to make cream cheese.
Go make some cheese. Your tummy will thank you
If you need additional mozzarella help, go here. She's the "cheese lady". This is the recipe I went off of.