Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ricotta, Take Three

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.


  1. You are quite the chemist! I'm totally blown away by your abilities from tree sap to cheese. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Thanks Stacie, but you know you hold your own just fine. I might do a lot of experimenting in the kitchen, but to make a sweater/socks/blankets like you do out of long balls of wool: amazing.


I'd love to get feedback from you on my posts - please feel free to leave a comment! [Blogger's comment feature is a little confusing. To leave a comment with just your name, select "Name/URL" in the "Comment as" box and fill in at least your name.]