cheese making and bread baking

Today I made some cheese. Farmers cheese which is somewhat soft and versatile due to its subtle flavor. I also had to make bread, because I needed something to put my cheese on and I needed to use some of the whey that was left over. Also, its been rather cold; turning on the oven warms up the kitchen and my bedroom quite nicely.

Lets begin: I went to whole foods to get some Straus Organic milk, because there is no other way that I would buy milk. (bonus: once I sanitize the glass bottle, it is the perfect vessel for my kombucha! note: I tasted the kombucha today and it is delicious. slightly sweet and a bit effervescent but it still needs 1 or 2 more days). Anyways, I bought a gallon of milk, and poured it into a large pot, along with a generous pinch of salt.

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milk in the pot. The yellow is the cream which has started to melt.

I boiled the milk until the edges started to bubble and it was just at boiling, reading 185-190 on a thermometer. While the milk was boiling, I squeezed 1/4 cup of lemon juice to have at the ready. Turning off the flame, I poured in the lemon juice, and gave it a stir. It started to curdle almost immediately, but I let it sit for 7-8 minutes to continue the process.

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The curds begin to form

While the milk was curdling, I lined a colander with some cheesecloth, and set it in the sink over a bowl (in order to catch they whey). Then, I poured everything into said colander/cheesecloth contraption. I let it drain for about an hour, with a weight on top, and gave it an occasional squeeze. The final product is below.

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cheese in the forefront. whey in the background.

Verdict: its really good. Very mild flavor, next time I will add more salt. It also has the potential to be flavored with some herbs and spices. I sliced some and ate it atop a salad with some balsamic vinegar and it was really good. It would make an excellent filling for lasagna, or ravioli, or on top of pizza. Or, on bread…

…I had a lot of whey leftover, and wanted to use some before storing it in the refrigerator. I had read that it can be used in place of water and/or milk in baking. Last week I made a whole wheat loaf adapted from the King Arthur website. I decided to go off of that recipe again, but adapt it to my whey. I replaced the water and evaporated milk with whey, and used half agave and half molasses for the sweetener. I also reduced the oil in the recipe from 1/4 C to 1/8 C.

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ready to go into the oven! note the bubble on top…

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final product! the apples and persimmon in the background are from the farmers market and are providing my kombucha some company.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/home-made-farmers-cheese/ and http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-100-whole-wheat-bread-recipe

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