This is a simple cheese that is easy to make and delicious to eat!
I prefer to use goat milk for this cheese, but it can easily be crafted with cow, sheep, or any other raw farm fresh milk you have on hand. This recipe is adapted from one offered to me by herbalist Susun Weed.
1. Warm 1 gallon of milk to 80-90 degrees. Optional: You can add fresh whey from your previous batch of cheese as a culture. Fot every one gallon of milk you would add 1 quart of whey. This is not necessary, but if you are using fresh raw milk it will add flavor to your cheese.
2. Add 13 drops of rennet to each gallon of milk plus a squirt for good luck.
3. Let it stand until the entire mass is solid (the texture of tofu). This will take approximately 45 minutes to one hour.
4. Cut the mass all the way through in a grid pattern. Blocks should be approximately a half inch.
5. Slowly heat it to 100 degrees by increasing the heat 2 degrees every 5 minutes. This will take approximately a half hour. The curds will shrink noticeably as you stir. The whey will increase in quantity as the curds shrink.
6. Separate the curds and whey, and place them in a bowl. Add salt, slightly over-salting to taste since much of the salt will be lost while draining. At this time you can also add garlic and/or herbs.
7. Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander, which is over a bowl or bucket to catch the whey.
8. Knot one corner of the cloth around the other three corners and hang the bag of curds to drain for one hour. I often hang the bag above my sink or on the handle of a wooden spoon over a large pot or bucket. If you are making 5 gallons worth of cheese you will hang your cheese for 12-24 hours, and this will be sufficient pressing.
9. For 1-4 pounds of cheese, after 1 hour pour the drained curds into a bowl, and break them up gently into walnut-size pieces.
10. Place the curds into a clean cheesecloth and place into a press. If you do not have a cheese press, you can place the cheese on a plate, tie a bandana around the cheese, and place between two plates. Place a heavy object(s), such as clean bricks, containers of water, cast iron pot, etc. on top and press for 12-24 hours.
Eat and enjoy! Store unused cheese in the refrigerator for up to a week.
I have more recipes for cheeses, herbs, wild edibles, and tradtional arts such as broom making on my Moonwise website, and I sell piima, kefir, and sourdough cultures, as well as raw honey!