Yogurt – Labneh And Neufchâtel (Farmers Fresh) Cheese

homemade yogurt Source Beginers Cheese Making David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D. – Professor of Biology and Chemistry – University of Cincinnati Clermont College – First published February 2003.

Yogurt and cheese can be made from many types of milk. You can use a wide variety of milks, from commercially purchased pasteurized homogenized cow’s milk, certified raw cow, goat, sheep, horse, camel’s milk or from other types of milk that may be available in your area.

Hint Supermarket bought milk, because it has been Pasteurization removes calcium from solution, you may need to add a small amount of calcium chloride to aid coagulation and form curd which does not fall apart when you stir it. The desired concentration of calcium chloride (CaCl2) is usually specified as 0.02%. That equates to 0.72g per gallon of milk (3.6g) for 5 gallons of pasteurized milk.
Note Just be aware if supermarket bought milk does not work well in your cheese making project it may be caused from a lack of calcium chloride.

One gallon of milk will produce from 1 to 1.5 pounds of cheese.
If you live in Europe don’t try using the Ultrapasterurized milk common on the market shelves in Europe, it has a VERY unsatisfying flavor and is nearly worthless in making Yogurt or cheese.

Starter: Bacteria must be added to the milk so that the rennet will work, and to aid in the curing. Cultured buttermilk can serve as a mesophilic starter (it likes room temperature).
Note: Buttermilk will not work when making yogurt.
You can also purchase pure cultures from cheese makers supply houses.
Be aware that, especially with buttermilk, you should never add too much starter for too long a time such that the milk has even remotely thickened before you add rennet.

Rennet: An enzyme rennin converts milk protein (casein) from a soluble to an insoluble material, causing the milk to gel. It will only work well in acidified milk. The gelling process must be undisturbed to get a clean break. Rennet is commonly available in supermarkets in the pudding section, or you can purchase liquid rennet from a cheese makers supply house. One tablet of Junket rennet is equivalent to 20 drops of fresh liquid rennet.

Equipment needed: Most decently equipped kitchens have the necessary equipment.
Heavy stainless steel pot with lid: A non-reactive pot is important because the acidifying milk can dissolve aluminum. Enamel pots would work as well. A heavy bottom is important to evenly disperse the heat and prevent scorching. Scorching affects the flavor and is a cleanup hassle. The size of the pot should be large enough so that you have at least an inch of head space above the milk. A cover is needed for the steps when the milk must sit for periods of time. A high quality five gallon(20 quart) pot works very well.

Measuring cups you may need range from 1/4 cup to a quart. Obviously you can improvise, but accurate measurements improve your success rate. Measuring spoons are occasionally needed.

A good quality Thermometer is a Must Have Item. An accurate thermometer which reads in the range of 32-225 F (0-100 C) is very important. A candy or meat thermometer can work. There are several reasons that accurate temperature is important, the texture of the cheese depends a great deal on achieving a temperature to within one degree. Also, after milk for yogurt is scalded, it must be cooled to 110 F for optimum bacteria action.

Thorough mixing of starter and rennet is important. A whisk is the obvious choice for this step.

The purpose of “cheese cloth” is to catch the curd and allow the whey to drain out. What most people think of as “cheese cloth” the very wide weave flimsy material is often useless for this purpose. If your curd is fine, it passes through. Even if it is large curd, the curd can become enmeshed in the coarse weave. Try using either large plain white cotton handkerchiefs, or white non-terry cotton dish towels. Ignoring what is sold as “cheese cloth…”

Cheese press is required for the hard cheeses. You can purchase them for a expensive price, or fashion one from materials at home.
Homemade cheese press

Homemade Yogurt. Detail Instructions – Making Yogurt

How to process your Homemade Yogurt into Labneh a Lebanese type soft fresh cheese made from yogurt. Make Labneh cheese

Homemade neufchâtel cheese, (Farmers cheese) a soft unripened rennet cheese. It is easy to make, and may be used like cream cheese.

Easy to make, it is the most common style of goat cheese (Cows milk can be used to replace goat milk) to be found in the American marketplace. It should be used fresh. It may develop an off flavor after storage of several weeks. Similar to cream cheese, and a less tart version of labneh, a yogurt cheese of the Middle East, its mild flavor makes it ideal for use where the flavor of other ingredients are to be emphasized. Many home cheese makers add herbs or seasonings to their neufchâtel to personalize their own cheese. Pure unadulterated version can be seasoned just prior to serving.

Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

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5 responses to “Yogurt – Labneh And Neufchâtel (Farmers Fresh) Cheese

  1. Well I made my first batch of yogurt, and I ain’t going back to the store bought! It is absolutely fabulous! I used a borrowed “incubator”, which keeps the milk at a steady temp overnight, and packaged starter, but I think I’m ready to do it the old fashioned way with my own yogurt as a starter. I’ll keep you posted – thanks!


  2. so glad you pointed out the purpose of cheese cloth – not that i’m going to make cheese but these are little pointers good folks like you care to highlight so that whoever tries the recipe can be successful and not frustrated. As usual, very informative post 😀


  3. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    I love neufchatel cheese! YUM. You’d be awesome to have around !


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