Cream cheese

Cheese is a great benefit of dairy goats being in the family.  Because of the high butterfat of Nigerian Dwarf goat milk, their milk is great for cheeses because the yield is much higher per pound of milk.

The first cheese products I made were yogurt and ricotta.  My next cheese venture was cream cheese which goes by various names.  I found Jane Toth’s recipe at the Hoegger Farmyard website and like it very much.  She calls it soft French-style cheese, and it is included in her book, “A Cheesemaker’s Journey.”  On the below linked web page, there is also a video to lead you through the process step-by-step.  Not shown here, I pasteurize my milk first, holding it at 145 degrees for 30 minutes and then cooling it back to the 80 degrees needed for the recipe.  One of my reasons for doing this is that the milk behaves differently at different stages of the goat’s lactation and from goat to goat, and pasteurizing helps to make them more alike.  In addition to giving more consistency to subsequent batches of cheese, it also allows me to freely share my cheese with friends and family.  In our state it is illegal to transfer raw milk or raw milk products unless you have a certified dairy.  If I pasteurize milk for all my cheeses (and yogurt), I do not need to be concerned if the milk was raw or not because none was.

As you make your cheese, I recommend that you keep notes as to how long you let it incubate and even how long you let it hang to drain so you discover the times that are best for the results you want in your own cheese.

Jane Toth talks about freezing the cheese in 8-ounce quantities in zip-lock bags.  I have found this works very well.  Also, when I thaw it, I break it into a bowl so that all the cheese is thawed in the bowl rather than some clinging to the inside of the bag.

Locally, I buy my cheese cultures at Bader’s Beer and Wine Supply, 711 Grand Boulevard, Vancouver, Washington.  They stock most cheese-making supplies and books; they also offer some classes.  Supplies can also be ordered on line.

Happy cheese making!  I am certain you will enjoy this recipe.

Soft French-Style Cheese Recipe

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