Yes, Take Three.
I never did write about Take Two.
And instead of boring you with the nitty gritty details of that attempt, I'm just going to give a quick re-cap of my other foibles and then jump forward to yesterday, when I made another batch.
To review: Take one was made with the whey from making two gallons of whole milk mozzarella, plus a little fresh buttermilk. It turned out tasting good, but I didn't get much - maybe a half a cup or so.
The long-lost take two was again from whey after making mozzarella (this time just one gallon of milk), but I made two further adjustments. 1) I added 1/2 gallon of whole milk to the whey and 2) I used citric acid to lower my milk pH (1 tsp per gallon of milk dissolved in ~1c cool water). It too turned out tasty, but I still felt like I didn't get much for the amount of liquid that went into it.
That brings us to Take Three, where I used one gallon of whole milk, one quart of fresh buttermilk and citric acid. This time I think I hit it right. Turns out, it takes much more time that I allowed for to heat to 200°F.
The first batch of curds came out of the milk early - at about 80°. I wonder now if that's the same curds that I would have already been lost to the mozzarella if I'd been using whey? Then it took a long time to get up to the recommended temperature, along the order of ten minutes, with a frustratingly long stint at about 140°F for some reason.
Then, right about 190° a whole second batch of curds bloomed (the best word I can think of to describe its sudden appearance in the pot); these were much finer texture than the first curds that appeared.
I think in both my previous attempts at this I might not have heated my milk high enough to get all the ricotta! Of course, it helps that I used milk instead of whey, but I still think that the temperature made a difference.
This time, I got over a pound and a half of delicious, tender, fresh ricotta. I also drained it much less than the first two times, so it stayed a little milkier / creamier in texture - much more like what is bought commercially.
Tomorrow I hope to post about what I did today with said yummy cheese.
PS. Here's the FPOP (Family Picture of the Post):
|The Bug and his Bobbin, readin' books.|