City Girl Makes Farm Cheese

That title is as true as it gets. Have I ever told you how I lived in “the city” until I was sixteen? And then I moved to another city until I was nineteen? I did not grow up here in the backwoods of Northern California. I was/am as far a cry from a native farmer as one can get. Unless you grew up in New York City. Then you win.

While visiting my friend today, whom has goats, I tried my first ever sip of fresh goats milk. I had tried store-bought goats milk years ago, but this was the real deal. Like goats milk from today kind of real.

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Meet Luna (black and white) and Bridgit (tan… and correct me if I spelled her name incorrectly Traci). I totally drank their milk. Their. Milk. That statement may seem completely normal to some of you, but again, I am still a little city-fied. Let me just say that I am a convert. That goat milk was so silky and smooth and clean tasting; I don’t know that I could go back to store-bought, boring cows milk again. And now I really really want goats.

Please excuse my school girl-like enthusiasm, but I brought home two quarts of goats milk… and made cheese! I made cheese! Using just a quart of fresh goats milk and a tablespoon of vinegar. Thanks to a quick recipe from Traci, I made cheese as soon as I walked in the door. Done! Here’s how you do it:

No Tears Fresh Goat Cheese
makes 1/2 – 1 cup of goat cheese

You will need:
1 quart goats milk (pasteurized is fine, but don’t use ultra-pasteurized)
1 tablespoon of vinegar (or lemon juice)
Salt to taste

Non-reactive pot: A non-reactive pot is important because certain metals, such as aluminum, will leach into the milk. Use a stainless steel pot to avoid this.
Thermometer
Cheesecloth
Strainer
Wood or stainless-steel spoon with a long handle

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Slowly heat the milk on the stove until it reaches 180 – 185 degrees. Gentle bubbles should be forming and the surface will look foamy. Remove from heat.

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Stir in the vinegar then let the milk sit for 10 minutes. The milk should curdle and become slightly thicker on the surface.

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Line a colander with four layers of cheese cloth or a flour sack towel. Gently pour the milk into the cheese cloth then gather the cheesecloth up around the curds and tie it into a bundle. A rubberband is also a good way to hold the cheese cloth together at the top.

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Hang the bundle over a pot or jar or bowl so the liquid can drip out. You can do this by attaching the bundle to a wooden spoon or a ladle and setting the spoon over the top of the pot or jar.

Let the cheese drain for at least 1 1/2 hours. Scrape the cheese into a bowl. Stir in salt and/or other ingredients to taste.

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Use your hands to pat and shape the cheese into a small wheel or log. You can also use a cookie cutter as a mold to shape the cheese. The flavor and texture of the cheese usually improves a little bit if you refrigerate it for a few hours before serving. The goat cheese should stay fresh in the refrigerator for 1 week.

20 thoughts on “City Girl Makes Farm Cheese

  1. You can use the whey from the cheese to make bread/biscuits/pancakes whatever. You just use the whey place of the liquid in the recipe.

  2. We use rennet but also try adding a packet of salad dressing seasoning (like garlic&herb or Italian seasoning or even garden green onion) for flavor. That’s what we do with our chevre. Delicious on crackers!

  3. Dang – you don’t waste any time, do you! That was some quick turn around from goat to my fridge, then your stove top, now cheese, and pizza! Glad you made cheese and now know how easy it is. This kind of cheese, paneer (Indian) or queso blanco (Mexican) is also really good cut into cubes and cooked into curry or in pasta salads. I actually put it in a quinoa tabuleh most recently.

    Super cute goat pix! I do spell Bridgit this way, but she doesn’t mind 😉 I’m actually off to milk them now….

  4. Thanks for the easy directions and useful photos. I got a half gallon of raw goats’ milk from a local farm today and you know what I’m doing when I get home!

  5. So glad I found this! I am moving to San Andreas soon and already bought myself 2 goats and have been wondering how I will make cheese until I can find some rennet, so this was just perfect! Thanks!! BTW, I would love to see your place sometime!! We will only be like 30 minutes away! My husband has really enjoyed browsing your site and sent me your way!

    • What a small world! Right now we live about an hour from San Andreas. But if all goes well, we may be moving about 15 minutes outside San Andreas in the very, very near future. Where are you moving from?

      Glad you enjoyed the website and the cheese recipe! Making hard cheese takes allll daaay. I’m sure I will see ya around. 😉

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