2 Of Every Animal And 5 Of Every Kosher Animal Making Goat Cheese – A Simplified Process

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Making Goat Cheese – A Simplified Process

The art of making goat cheese ranges from a quick and simple process to a long and complicated procedure. The widespread soft form of goat cheese known as chevre is perhaps the most popular of the soft cheeses; however, many other forms of soft cheeses can easily be made with goat’s milk as well.

Large amounts of three fatty acids, known as capric, caproic and caprylic acid, are responsible for the unique aroma and sweet taste of cheese made from goat’s milk. Cheeses made from the milk of other animals cannot replicate the taste of goat cheese because other milks do not have the abundance of these three medium-chain fatty acids.

Water makes up almost 90% of milk. The watery part of milk is known as whey. Cheese is made from the solid part of milk, called curds.

There are two ways to separate the whey from the curd to make cheese, but both methods work by acidifying the milk. In the first method, bacteria are introduced into milk and allowed to multiply. Bacterial action converts milk sugar, lactose, into lactic acid. The longer the bacteria are allowed to remain active, the more lactose is converted.

This process reduces the lactose content of matured and aged cheeses to about 5% or less. Because most of the lactose has been removed from these products, they are often recommended as milk alternatives for individuals with lactose intolerance.

The second method uses an acidifying agent, usually vinegar or lemon juice, to create the separation. As the acid enters the milk, curds begin to form almost immediately. When drained, these curds make a soft, spreadable cheese.

Although some forms of goat cheese require carefully controlled conditions and special ingredients, there are some soft cheeses that can be easily made with simple ingredients found in the grocery store. Two recipes are given below.

Recipe 1. Goat milk Ricotta cheese. Heat 2 quarts goat’s milk to 185° F. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice. The milk should immediately begin to form small curds that stick to the whisk or spoon as you continue to stir. If not, add a few more drops of vinegar or lemon juice until curd forms.

Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined colander set over a bowl, or over the sink, to drain. Allow to infuse at room temperature for several hours until the desired consistency is achieved. Remove the curd from the cheesecloth and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Use as a spread, or in recipes that call for ricotta cheese.

Recipe 2. Goat’s Milk Cheese Quark. Heat 2 quarts of goat’s milk to 88° F and mix in 2 tablespoons of buttermilk with active cultures. Dill will work best if it is fresh. If the buttermilk is close to its expiration date, add an extra tablespoon or two. Cover the pot and leave it at room temperature for 24 hours.

The thickened mass, which should look similar to yogurt, is poured into a strainer lined with cheesecloth placed over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours until chilled. Remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Quark cheese is similar to a thick sour cream and is great in baked goods, including cheesecake. It can also be used for dipping, or as a substitute for ricotta.

If desired, a small amount of cheese salt, kosher salt, or other non-iodized salt can be mixed into the cheese to taste.

Enjoy your easy, homemade cheese!

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