Goat cheese or chèvre is a type of white, soft cheese made from goat’s milk. Goat cheese happens to be one of the healthiest of all cheese varieties. It is also incredibly versatile. You can spread it on bread, add it to savory dishes, or simply enjoy it on its own with a glass of wine. The good news is, you don’t have to buy goat cheese at all. You can make a batch or two at home! In today’s post, we are giving you a basic goat cheese recipe:
You will need:
1 gallon fresh goat’s milk
1 packet chèvre culture
Non-iodized cheese salt
1 sharp knife
Butter muslin or cheese cloth
Step 1: Start by warming the milk to about 68-72 Fahrenheit by pouring the milk in a pot and simmering on low heat. Get a thermometer to check the ideal temperature. Once the ideal temperature is reached, remove the pot from the heat. Then, add the chèvre culture. To prevent the chèvre culture from caking or clumping together, sprinkle the powder evenly on the surface of the milk. Allow the powder to rehydrate before stirring it into the milk.
Step 2: Now let the milk sit in a warm, dark place for about 6 to 12 hours. During this time, the rennet will start separating from the curd. Remember, the longer the curd sets, the more acid the milk will produce. If the curds are not forming well, you can add calcium chloride to the pasteurized cold stored milk.
Step 3: After the curd has formed, you will see a thin layer of whey on the surface of the mass. You need to separate the whey from the curd mass by transferring it into a muslin-lined colander. Using a ladle or a slotted spoon, you want to press the curd mass to remove as much whey as possible. The curd mass has to drain for about 6 hours at 68-72F but this will depend on the desired consistency and sweetness. The draining period will regulate the curd’s texture and will determine the final quality of your cheese. The period could last as long as 12 to 36 hours at 68-72 °F.
Step 4: Once the cheese has been drained according to your preference, you can start the finishing process. Add salt to the cheese, about 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of non-iodized salt. Salting is important because it will slow down the growth of bacteria within the cheese. It will also improve the cheese’s flavor. During the salting process, you can add your preferred herbs or spices.
Step 5: Once you are done adding all the desired flavorings and adjusting the saltiness of the final product, stick the cheese in the fridge. Just place the finished cheese on a bowl and cover it with cling wrap. Exposing the cheese to cool temps will also slow down the bacteria growth. After chilling, the cheese is now ready to be consumed. As with any type of fresh cheese, goat cheese should be consumed within a week or two.