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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Making Goat Cheese for the Boy

Sometimes I get random ideas in my head. Some are extremely practical, some are thoughtful, some make sense only to me. I think this one was all three.

My son, is on a gluten-free diet and only consumes goat's milk, preferably raw. So for both processing and dairy reasons, the poor guy can't have cheese. For me, this is a TRAGEDY. Note the caps. TRAGEDY. I love cheese.

So, whilst rummaging through various cooking sites the other day, looking for yet ANOTHER crock pot recipe, a light bulb lit up above my scalp, old-school cartoon style. I wondered, wondered, wondered... could I MAKE goat cheese????

After much Googling, and reading of recipes, I got the basic idea. The thing is, all of the recipes I looked at called for at least a gallon of milk. Now, I don't know about other people, but raw milk here in Georgia is NOT cheap. And, of course, I had no idea if we would actually LIKE said cheese.

The basic concept seems to be-- 1 large part milk (preferably unhomogenized and unpasteurized), 1 small part acid, 1 teensy part salt. If you're feeling adventurous, add herbs. And the magic temp everyone seems to agree on it 195.

Cool. Sounds like a go.

Of course, this may have gone more smoothly if I had, A) followed a recipe, B) written down a single site I had looked at, or C) tried this after 6:45 AM.

All in all, though, it really wasn't that hard. And every bit I made was gone within 5 minutes of unveiling it to the family.

My recipe:
Approx 1/4 gallon raw goat's milk
1/8 cup white vinegar
3/8 tsp. sea salt

Heat milk over low to medium heat, stirring often so you don't form a skin on bottom or top. Using a thermometer, monitor the temperature carefully. You want to reach 195 degrees but not go over 200 degrees. (I don't really know what happens if it gets too hot, all of my research prior to today suggested 200 was really, really bad.) Once you reach 195, remove the thermometer, and grab the vinegar and a spoon. Sloooowly pour the vinegar into the milk, stirring the whole time. The milk should begin to curdle. Turn off the heat. Let this crazy looking mixture cool until it reaches 100 degrees, you can handle touching it, or you run out of time like I did. Grab a large mixing bowl, and over it place a colander lined with cheesecloth. (I used two freshly cleaned cloth napkins, but cheesecloth is actually made for this purpose.) Pour the mixture through the cloth. Grabbing the cloth by the corners, tie it up to hang and drip until you have the texture you want. (I ran out of time, so I balled it up and squeezed. ) The liquid in the bowl left behind is whey you can use for fermentation. For the cheese, place it into a mold (I used a Japanese-style teacup) and cover with plastic wrap or similar. Place in the fridge and chill. I served mine on a butter knife, directly into the hand.

Some notes: This made an extremely mild cheese. It turned out great for my purpose, which was largely to see if the boy could tolerate it. It's been 3 hours, so far, so good. But for anyone else's purposes, I would season the cheese with more salt and a bit of pepper, or some herbs, or some chopped olives. I think you can add this stuff just before the straining. It would be a lot more tasty.

When I do this again, which I definitely will, I'll try some alterations and post again if I come up with a super-yummilicious recipe.


  1. did this taste like fresh mozzarella? I am wanting some and may have to make my own.

  2. It did kindof taste like fresh mozzarella. I think fresh mozzarella may have a higher cream to milk ratio, I just shook up the milk and used cream and milk together.