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How to Make Soft Cheese

ingredients

makes 400 g
2.5 litres fresh or slightly soured milk
4 tsp rennet essence
salt
double or single cream

for the flavouring

1) Finely ground, coarsely ground or crushed whole spices.
or
finely chopped herbs, eg chives.
or
Well drained chopped fruit.

method

1. Warm the milk to tepid (30-35°C approx) and pour into a bowl.

2. Stir in the rennet essence and leave at room temperature until a curd forms; the time will depend on the temperature of the milk and the surroundings.

3. Line a metal sieve with a scalded piece of muslin about 25cm square, and stand it over a bowl.

4. Tip the curded milk gently into the cloth.

5. Bring the corners of the cloth together, tie securely with string, and hang above the bowl to catch the dripping whey.

6. Leave for 6-8 hours, or longer if a fairly thick cloth is used.

7. Open the bag, and scrape down any curd on the sides of the cloth into the main mass.

8. Cut any solid curd into small pieces.

9. Re-tie the bag, and rehang it to continue draining.

10. Repeat the scraping down and cutting once or twice more until the cheese reaches the required consistency.

11. This can be judged by pressing the bag gently.

12. Turn the curd into a bowl, and mix in salt to taste lightly but thoroughly.

13. Blend in any cream and flavouring used.

14. If the cheese is then softer than required, return it to the cloth bag and rehang for 2-3 hours.

15. Form the cheese into pats or turn into pots or cartons.

16. Cover, and chill until required.

Use within 36 hours or within 24 hours if flavoured with fresh solid flavourings such as herbs.

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