Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cheese Making Workshop, Part Two

The class was held in the sustainably designed, solar heated meeting and workshop space of the Angelic Organics Learning Center, towards the back of the farm. The building is a straw bale structure and from what they say, very energy efficient. Attached is the milking area and animal pens surround it.

This picture shows our class. Starting from the lower left and going clockwise: feta, chèvre, ricotta, fromagina, and mozzarella.The ricotta came about pretty quick and caught me unprepared and cameraless.

Mozzarella required heating the milk to a couple different temperatures. Below the milk is sitting in a water bath trying to maintain a constant temperature of 108 °F for 35 minutes.
Mozzarella also needs to be worked. Bits of mozzarella are pulled like taffy and then formed into balls and dropped into a brine solution. This was the hardest recipe because there are several different temperatures that have to be hit and maintained and it also requires the most actual 'hands-on' work. However, this cheese probably turned out the best (I didn't try the ricotta) that day.

Fromagina may sound unfamiliar. It is a cross between Fromage Blanc and Mascarpone developed by Bob & Ricki Carroll of the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. Ricki Carroll is also the author Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Delicious Cheeses. Fromagina is an easy-to-make, creamy cheese. Here the curd is being ladled into colanders to drain the whey.I think this cheese needed more time to drain than the class allowed.

The most common goat cheese you will find on the supermarket shelves is Chèvre. 'Chèvre' is the French word for goat. This is also a cream cheese which usually comes in vacuum-sealed logs; often combined with herbs, nuts, edible flowers, or fruits like cranberries. Here they are ladling the curd into colanders to drain.Several people declared this cheese 'goaty' though I didn't think it was bad. Pete, the instructor, made several different types of spreads with Chèvre as the base including a chocolate one.


DougT said...

Oops, I should have read this post before I commented on part 1. I am intrigued by the avaiablility of cheesemaking workshops someplace closer to whre I live than New England. I've been amking cheese for a bit over a year now and would like to take my craft to the next level.

Susan said...

This looks like a very cool workshop. Are the necessary supplies readily available and this something that can be done at home?

Paul said...

Doug, this was a pretty basic class. I saw on your site you made a pretty good looking gouda; you are well beyond this class. Perhaps you may find something through the Wisconsin Dairy Artisan Network?

Susan, this was fun! You probably have most of the equipment. The rennet and cultures are available from the New England Cheesemaking site, Amazon, and I'm sure others. The recipes also seemed similar to the ones in the Carroll book I referenced but I've seen recipes online as well.

s.j.simon said...

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Paul said...

Thanks for stopping s.j.!

s.j.simon said...

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