Essential Ingredients for Home Cheesemakers

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Essential Ingredients for Home Cheesemakers

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Most people have all of the ingredients needed to make cheese at home right now. The two items that aren’t available tend to be rennet (animal or vegetable) and cultures.

Many of these ingredients are available online or at your local store.

If this is your first time trying to make cheese, it may be useful to by a direct set of mesophilic mother cheese culture. This freeze-dried product allows you to make a significant quantity of fluid that facilitates numerous cheese recipes.

You can even purchase freeze-dried thermophilic cheese culture online.

Once you have those items, all you need is some milk to get the process started. Raw milk is the best ingredient to use, but store-bought options are useful if you have calcium chloride available.

Are You Ready to Go Beyond the Basics?

The combination of milk, rennet, calcium chloride, and cultures can make several cheese varieties. If you’ve never followed a home recipe before, it may be helpful to become familiar with these ingredients so that you know how to use them correctly.

When your skills are ready to go to the next level of cheesemaking, you’ll want to have these ingredients stocked at home.

1. Annatto

This ingredient gets used to dye your cheese when following some recipes. It comes from the seeds of the achiote tree, and it is responsible for a majority of the natural food colors we all consume each day. It offers antioxidant and antimicrobial properties to specific varieties while creating an attractive hue that makes you want to eat what you’ve made.

2. Lipase

Your body uses this protein to absorb fat. Doctors even order blood tests to measure levels to see if your pancreas is functioning properly. When milk goes through commercial processing, most of this ingredient disappears. You can reintroduce it while making a recipe to create a sharper taste. Powders come in mild, medium, and sharp varieties to create your preferred outcome. Please remember to store it in your freezer unless the instructions say otherwise.

3. Cheese Salt

Several cheese recipes call for the use of kosher salt. It is a non-iodized product that has more flakes than crystals to it. You need to use a product that doesn’t contain iodine because the mineral inhibits the bacteria and cultures that you want to have in your final product. You may discover that “cheese salt” is more expensive than “kosher salt,” so shop carefully since the products are mostly the same. This eight-ounce pouch of flaked salt is an excellent product to use in your kitchen.

You may also want to experiment with waxing your cheese by using beeswax or a suitable paraffin product for aging.

When you’re ready to try cheesemaking, it helps to review the entire recipe you want to follow first to secure all of your ingredients. Don’t forget to pick up the cheesemaking equipment you’ll need, design a cave, or find another storage method! When everything comes together, you’ll find that making cheese is a fun hobby or lifestyle to embrace!

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