The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

cheese, anyone?

ericb's picture

cheese, anyone?

I know this is pretty far off topic, but I was wondering if anyone knows anything about making cheese? In a way, it seems similar to making sourdough bread: mix a bunch of raw ingredients together, put it in a warm place for a given amount of time, and let the bacteria work their magic.

Friends of ours buy a special kit that includes enzymes, but it's fairly expensive. I'm wondering if there is a way to produce these enzymes "naturally," like one cultivates a new starter.

Any thoughts on this?



ehanner's picture


I just got my first cheese making kit from New England Cheese Making. It is a simple process but from what I can see is even less tolerant of missteps and sloppy practices. Depending on where you live, finding milk suitable for making cheese (not ultra pasteurized) may take a little looking but you should be able to find it.Depending on what you want to make you will need specialized ingredients you need to purchase. Unless you have the intestines of a eue handy for the rennet.

Bread and cheese are perfect together. In fact I'm making baguettes to go with bruchetta and mozzarella for Sunday.


ericb's picture

Wow. Thanks for that information. I definitely need to learn more about the history of cheese making. What freakish accident of nature led someone toto mix the bacterial remnants of sheep guts with milk?

I think I'll stick to bread for now!


SulaBlue's picture

Frankhauser walks you through the whole 'fermenting milk' thing from the easiest to the hardest, making sure you get all the little things down in each step. First comes yogurt (not difficult at all as long as you've got a thermometer), then yogurt cheese, then cheeses needing more additives and processes.

Sterilization is -key- with cheese making. It's far less forgiving on that front than bread making.

suave's picture

No, unfortunately to produce cheese you mostly need not bacterial cultures, but enzymes which do not self-propagate.  The only really natural way of obtaining these enzymes I can think of is to extract them from stomachs of calves.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona the easiest to make in the home. All you need is fresh milk and an acidic coagulant (I use citric acid - there are recipes on the 'net that use lemon juice, buttermilk or white vinegar as the coagulant).

You can make your own ricotta. Slightly firmer versions made the same way are the Latino queso blanco and the virtually identical Indian paneer.

These are very mild cheeses. They are not aged cheeses made with enzymes. I think they work best as additions to other dishes.

The leftover whey is a great substitute for the water called for in bread recipes.

Cooking202's picture

This is a link you might find interesting.  Also if you Google cheese making there is a mountain of good information and instructions, including pics.       Carol



ivyb's picture

you can make ricotti  with 1/2 gallon of milk, a tsp. of salt, & either lemon juice or buttermilk. OR, using rennet, you can make mozzerella first, then use the whey for ricotta....  not complicated at all! Once you get the hang of this, (and manage to not scarf it up as soon as it's ready - a common dilemna in this house, anyway.....), you can continue to explore the delights of making your own cheeses! Cheddar cheese is another easy one, but takes more time.


ivy, ny



althetrainer's picture

I have a book "Making the Best of Basics" Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage Stevens.  It's an emergency preparedness book but there are a lot of recipes and instructions how to use the food storage suggested in the book.  I learned how to make yogurt, sourdough baking, sprouting and a lot of other things from this book.  This book also covers cheese making: cream cheese, cottage cheese, basic cheese (including step by step instructions, how to vary basic cheese flavor), basic cheddar and white cheese.  And of course recipes you can use with the cheese you make at home.  I have not tried making cheese myself but when I am ready this book will come very handy.