Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Blessed Cheesemaker

The cheese was fantastic! I was planning to take a photo of our fab pizza, but I forgot because I was too busy eating it. Usually I make pizza with a yeast raised dough and we cook it on pizza stones in the barbeque. Today the girls and I spent the afternoon eating cupcakes and drinking tea with other girls who appreciate such things... so no time for all that dough raising faffing about. I tried out a dough from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals that is basically a scone dough with oil instead of butter. The underneath of the dough is fried in a pan, toppings added, then finished to a bubbling golden mass under the grill. Jamie claims it is a twelve minute pizza, and while it is certainly not that, it is very fast, and as a bonus, no one had to go out in the rain to cook on the barbie. I still prefer a 'proper' pizza crust, but the family loved this.

And the mozzarella, sliced into rounds, with olives and salami and tomatoes and basil...oh my, it was just perfect. The small cheesemaker beamed with pride, it was stretchy and just what a mozzarella should be. Would we do it again? Well, we made it with four litres of unhomogenised local milk which cost about $7.50. It made 500g of cheese. 500g of the cheapest mozzarella at the supermaket costs $7.20. Rosy's cheese was so much better than that though, creamy instead of rubbery. With practise hers will rival the scarily expensive artisan mozzarella at the Farmers' Market. It took four hours, but, like bread making, most of that was waiting. Probably an hour of hands-on work. And for us, time is not money. I would much rather see Rosy make cheese than play computer games, and such a cool talent will come in handy in the event that she starts entering beauty contests.

Also, the only packaging for this cheese was two recyclable milk bottles, which is excellent, and it used a local product, which I love. Now the quandrary. As well as cheese, we now have almost four litres of whey to do something with. So far we have fed some to the cats, who think it's great. What else to do with that lot? I'm thinking of using some for the liquid in cheese scones.. but that's a lot of scones. Thoughts?

Here is a video that is very close to the process we used. We used 2 tsps citric acid instead of the buttermilk to separate the milk, and we let the curds drain for a couple of hours over dinner, instead of over night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgB-pmwOhbw

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