Saturday, August 04, 2012
After an unsuccessful attempt at making homemade cottage cheese, I achieved delicious curds. The difference? I used the suggested calcium chloride. The results was a nice break in the curd. You can see how well the curds stayed together once they were cut and being reheated. I didn't stir the curds, but I did swirl the pot to help distribute the heat. I followed the directions in Ricki's Basic Cheese Making Kit from the New England Cheese Making Supply Company. The only thing I also wasn't too concerned about was only raising the cheese 2 degrees every 5 minutes to get to the required 110 degrees.
After draining the whey from the curd, I had a big solid mass. Once crumbled, it looked more like cottage cheese, but didn't have the smooth curds like store bought cottage cheese. I also did mix some cream into the cottage cheese at the end to moisten it.
I feel ready to tackle feta next!
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
I have no pictures to share because we ate these up so fast, but if you have strawberries, they are worth making. Recipe for Shortcake Biscuits 2 cups AP flour 2 T sugar 1 T baking powder 1/2 t salt 8 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 cup heavy cream Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture until butter is pea sized. Add cream and mix until moist. Kneed gently. Roll out until about 1 inch thick. Cut into biscuits. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Serve with strawberries and whipped cream. Delicious.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
original recipe from Sarah Schecht of Brooklyn appeared in an article by Craig Claiborne in 1976. I’ve divided it in half, given food processor directions, and braided like a sane person instead of in an eight-strand braid. However, the pictures you see in this post are actually of a double batch following the instructions below (literally, I made it once, then made it again . . . otherwise it doesn't fit in the food processor, or in any bowl I own to rise) and then following Ms. Schecht's instructions for braiding, which even I could follow. Penzeys Ceylon cinnamon, which has a heavenly, ethereal taste, unlike the heavy ground bark you get from your average grocery store cinnamon. I used Penzeys cinnamon blend this last time, and while it is leaps and bounds better than grocery store cinnamon (which is probably stale China cinnamon), it might have resulted in challah too breakfast-y to use for lunch sandwiches.
If you are planning to use your challah for sandwiches, allow the second rise (the one after you braid it) to continue a little longer. On cold days, I let it rise more than an hour. The challah pictured here rose for two hours and 15 minutes in a kitchen with an ambient temperature around 71 degrees. The reason traditional challah might fall apart when you cut it for sandwiches is because it is supposed to be easy to pull apart to share on Shabbat, like a loaf of dinner rolls.
- 4 1/2 C unbleached flour, plus additional flour for kneading
- 1 t dry active yeast
- 1/4 t baking powder
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 C plus 2 T plus 1/8 t sugar (save the 1/8 for the egg wash)
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs (save one for the egg wash)
- 1/4 C plus 2 T canola oil
- 3/4 C lukewarm water
- Place the flour, yeast, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and sugar in the food processor bowl. Pulse to combine.
- Add the vanilla, 2 of the eggs, and the oil and run on bread setting for 20 seconds. Add 3/4 c lukewarm water and run again for 20 seconds. The dough is ready when it doesn’t stick to your hands. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then lay a clean towel over that, and let rise for at least an hour.
- Turn the dough onto a flat surface and knead briefly. Cut off 1/3 of the dough, knead quickly, shape into a ball, flour lightly and let rest for 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a 12-to-15-inch-long rope. Continue with remaining balls.
- On a baking sheet lined with a Silpat non-stick baking sheet liner (or analog), align the ropes, side by side. Gather the tops together, one at a time, pinching down to seal. Braid them. When braided, gather the bottom ends of the ropes and pinch them together.
- Cover the loaf with a towel and place in a warm spot until the loaf is doubled in size, about an hour. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Beat the remaining egg with the remaining 1/8 t sugar. Brush the loaf with the egg wash. Bake until puffed and golden, about 45 minutes.
Monday, April 02, 2012
I owed four quarter-pound batches of mozzarella to some colleagues who helped me out with a little class project (in case you're wondering, according to Fullerton's zoning ordinances, the incoming CSUF president could keep chickens at her official residence). When asked what form they would like, the only one with an opinion requested nodini. The recipe in the booklet that comes with the kit yields approximately 3/4 lbs mozzarella. So instead of using one gallon of milk I increased it to 1 1/2 gallons of milk and increased all of the other ingredients proportionally, except for the salt. I also modified the original instructions to maximize moisture retention and tenderness. They turned out light as air and delicious, so I'll be returning to this interpretation of the recipe again.
For those of you playing along at home, I used Straus Family Creamery's whole, organic, non-GMO, creamtop, pasteurized milk which I purchased from Mother's Market in Brea.
Nodini adapted from Ricki's 30-Minute Mozzarella recipe in the booklet accompanying the 30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit.
Yield: Approximately 1 1/8 lb. cheese
- 1 1/2 gal whole, non-ultrapasteurized milk (I used pasteurized milk. The directions vary slightly in terms of times and temperatures for raw milk.)
- 1/2 C cool, chlorine-free water
- 1/2 tablet (or 1/2 t if you're using liquid) rennet
- 1 1/2 C cool, chlorine-free water
- 1 1/2 t citric acid
- 1/2 t cheese salt
- 2 gal stainless steel pot or any non-aluminum or non-cast iron pot.
- slotted spoon
- long knife
- large microwave-safe bowl
- powderless nitrile gloves
- Put a large bowl of chlorine-free water in the refrigerator. Put another large bowl of chlorine-free water in the freezer.
- Dissolve rennet (tablet or liquid) in 1/2 C water. Stir and set aside.
- Affix the thermometer in a readable position on the pot.
- Dissolve citric acid in 1 1/2 C water. Pour into the pot.
- Pour all of the milk into the pot and stir vigorously.
- Heat the milk to 90 degrees Fahrenheit while stirring.
- Remove the pot from the burner and slowly stir in the rennet solution with an up and down motion for approximately 30 seconds.
- Cover the pot and leave it undisturbed for 7 minutes.
- Check the curd. It should look like custard, with a clear separation between the curd and the whey. If the curd is too soft or the whey is milky, let set for a few more minutes.
- Cut the curd with a knife that reaches to the bottom of your pot. Cut cubes no smaller than 1 inch square.
- Place the pot back on the stove and heat to 100°F while slowly moving the curds around with your spoon.
- Take off the burner and continue slowly stirring for 2 minutes.
- Pour off the floating whey.
- Ladle your curds into a large microwaveable bowl and drain off as much of the whey as you can without pressing the curds too much. Put on your gloves.
- Place the bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Meanwhile, take the large bowl of water out of the refrigerator and set it next to where you'll be tying your nodini.
- Remove and drain off the whey as you gently fold the curds into one piece. Add 1/2 t salt.
- If it's not warm enough to stretch, microwave for another 30 seconds. But if it's already starting to stretch, try to keep the microwaving to a minimum.
- Stretch the cheese by pulling it into one long rope. Try to work it as little as possible to maintain the delicate texture.
- Tie a knot at the end of the rope and pull it off from the rest of the rope. Immediately drop the knot into the large bowl of cold water. If the rope cools off too much to work with, pop it back in the microwave for a few seconds. Continue to do this until you've run out rope and have a bowl full of cold water and little knots of cheese.
- Put your bowl full of cold water and nodini into the refrigerator for five minutes.
- After five minutes, use the slotted spoon to transfer your nodini from the bowl of refrigerated water to the bowl of water in the freezer. Put your bowl full of really cold water and nodini in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- You can wrap these in waxed paper and store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, you can float them in brine (just salt and water) in an airtight container for a similar length of time. Really, you'll end up eating them WAY before two weeks is up.
Monday, March 05, 2012
Mark Bittman's Pizza Dough from How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food. Super simple. I let it rise, transferred it to a ziploc bag and refrigerated it overnight, then let it get to room temperature before shaping it on the Lodge Pro Logic Cast-Iron 14-Inch Pizza Pan. Then, I let it hang out for about 30 minutes before proceeding. All of this contributed to this turning out to be the most awesome pizza crust EVER. How did I gain all of this rising wisdom? Well . . . that has to do with another 2012 blogect to be revealed shortly.
30-minute Mozzarella recipe and used her 30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit. Super easy and the transformation from milk to cheese is really satisfying. Much more satisfying than many of the Au Lait du Mois which were like, "Look, after two days I can make milk turn into . . . slightly thicker milk." This is like, "In less time than it takes my pizza dough to rise, I can make milk into stretchy, melty, fantabulously cheesey cheese!"
Clover Organic Farms whole milk with a sell by date eight days after I made the cheese. I bought it from Mother's Market in Brea. Also, there's some sort of something about not making cheese while you make bread or where you make bread or something like that. I ignored it and it all worked out fine. Then again, I made my mozzarella and ate it within 24 hours. So whatever "yeast contamination" took place, didn't have time to rear its ugly head. Right? I don't know. I'll try to find out more about this whole "yeast contamination" thing and get back to you.
January's Pizza del Mese: Pizza Margherita adapted from Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Between the four of them, they're like the Justice League of Pizza.
- January's Pizza del Mese: Pizza Margherita
- February's Pizza del Mese: Mushroom Pizza
- March's Pizza del Mese: Broccoli and Tomato Sauce Pizza
- April's Pizza del Mese: Alsatian Tarte Flambe
- May's Pizza del Mese: Fig and Prosciutto Pizza
- June's Pizza del Mese: BLT Pizza
- July's Pizza del Mese: Plum Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza
- August's Pizza del Mese: Chili Deep-Dish Pizza
- September's Pizza del Mese: White Clam Pizza
- October's Pizza del Mese: Broccoli Cheese Deep Dish Pizza
- November's Pizza del Mese: Winter Squash, Onion, and Pine Nut Pizza
Check out my guest blog appearance on the New England Cheesemaking Supplies blog. Wow, I'm so shiny and talking in that picture. It's so huge. You can totally see my pores. Eek. And this is why I avoid posting pictures of myself on this blog.
And is our blog named for something involving computer games? Bob, did you trick us into being geeky cool? Well, Jeri at New England Cheesemaking Supplies thinks so. That's cool with me.