Cookbook Review: Home Cheese Making

Now that we are successfully milking our cow I have been branching out and reading cheese making books. I have checked out a few different ones from the library and this has been my favorite one, so far. I think that this book is pretty straight forward and great for beginners. There are easy recipes to start with and she also includes recipes for hard cheeses, buttermilk and yogurt as well. Reading the book one afternoon had me dreaming of building my own cheese cave and starting some artisanal cheese making business. And then I came back to reality and thought I should start making cheese for my own family first!

I have only tried a couple of recipes so far. Most of the recipes call for specialty products that aren’t accessible on the island. I have tried ricotta and a lemon cheese, which was pretty much ricotta with lemon juice. And I’m looking forward to getting rennet so I can try mozzarella. I have tried it in the past with milk from the supermarket and it has never worked out, I blame it on the pasteurization. I guess I’ll soon find out if it’s me or the milk that was to blame.

Pros: Seems great for beginners. I feel like the recipes had a lot of detail. I also loved the profiles on people who are making their own cheeses – from the guy next door to dairy farms.

Cons: Carroll has a cheese supply store and sometimes she pushes her products a bit, but they are necessary to get the job done.

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  1. We make homemade pizza every friday night. We’ve wanted to start making cheese but are intimidated by it. Maybe I’ll have to give this book a try. Or maybe I’ll wait to hear your trial and error with mozzarella and copy what you do 🙂

  2. we have her cheese making kit! it’s great! (that’s where i got my rennet)

  3. We have made mozzarella a bunch of times. I tried every local milk available and only had one success (and one fail from the same brand?). I used the free instructions on Ricki Carrolls website and used Carnation brand powdered milk with cream added and it works every time. I also tried some other powdered milks with success but the Carnation brand was the best. I buy rennet at the health food store next to the yougurt, even though when I asked they said they didn’t carry it (I think it is not very popular). It was a lot cheaper than buying a kit!

  4. I tried once using powdered milk too, but the cheese tasted like powdered milk. Maybe the brand was not that good? But I’m sure if I had added cream that would have improved the flavor. How much cream did you add?

  5. We used 1 cup heavy cream to 4 liters of skim milk. The cheese tasted good, but I think that the Carnation brand powdered milk is one of the better flavoured ones. I’m sure you can add more or less cream to your taste, and you do lose some of the cream when stretching.

    We did make mozzarella from skim powdered milk one time, just to try. We figured it would be good if you were trying to live on food storage. It was quite dry and almost transparent. It did melt some and was good on garlic cheese toast. But we figured if you were going to the effort of making cheese, make it fatty 😉