I made that!

Home Creamery: Mozzarella

Posted in Because, like, I'm Italian, sort of, The Creamery by brandi on January 23, 2009

Sunday is John’s birthday, and we’re having some friends over for pizza and poker. When I hear pizza, all I can think is: I get to make mozzarella! I’ve tried making mozzarella once before, but didn’t get curds strong enough to stretch. I was using Strauss Creamery milk, which is unhomogenized and not pastuerized at high temps like some¬† conventional milks, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that. I blame my “vegetarian” rennet. I just ordered some real rennet from a cheesemaking supply website last week, so it is ON!

First I combined my milk with some citric acid, and heated it up a little to start the curd-making. Then I added my new and improved rennet and continued heating it.

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Once I could see the whey go clear, it was ready to be stretched. I drained out the whey and popped the curds in the microwave to get them all melty. Then I started kneading and stretching until it looked like this:

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It’s so nice when things do what they are supposed to do! That’s Bean in the lower right of the photo. She doesn’t like to be left out of ANYTHING. Since I’m not gonna be eating it now, I put it in some cold water to cool it off and keep it moist until pizza time.

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I know, they look like little brain balls. I’m not sure how to make them round and smooth. Next time I’ll just do one of those twisty shapes. but anyways – Yay! Cheese! Stay tuned for pizza…

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Home Creamery: Cream Cheese

Posted in The Creamery by brandi on January 13, 2009

In another life I have a sheep farm and a creamery. In this one I’m determined to see how much cheese I can make in my kitchen at home. Until I get a cheese press (Wanna buy me one?) I’m limited to the world of soft cheeses. But what a great world!

Start with lots of half and half.

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Throw in some tasty bacteria.

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And 24 hours (and some salt and some draining) later you have cream cheese!

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Kraft: never again.

Chips and Dips.

Posted in I Like Salt Too, The Creamery by brandi on January 3, 2009

Today I made crackers.

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Tried a recipe that called for yeast, which seemed a little weird to me since I thought crackers were unleavened. I had some trouble getting the dough as thin as I know it needed to be.

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In the end they were more like pita chips than crackers. Not that anyone was complaining. At least not to me. All the salt and spices made them super tasty.

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And the assortment of toppings didn’t hurt. And by toppings I’m really just talking about hummus. Creamy Israeli/Middle Eastern style hummus¬† with lots of tahini.

And while we’re on the subject of Mediterranean deliciouness…

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I made cheese!

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Goat’s milk feta cheese! Which really tasted more like goat cheese than feta cheese. (does anyone know where a girl can get some sheep’s milk around here?) So good!