Paneer! (Adventures in Cheese-Making Part Two)

So, as-you-know-bob, I recently tried to make yoghurt. It didn’t work, but the resulting cooked dairy product made a really great cheese-like-substance to use when I made chocolate-chip-walnut brownies the other day, so nothing got wasted at least. πŸ™‚
Likewise, and somewhat more successfully, I tried making Fake Ricotta back in October.
Being something of a dairy fiend and, what with the house seemingly falling down around our ears[1], the only things I really want to do are cook and read Under the Tuscan Sun[2]… Well, let’s just say I’ve got a lot of things on the stove right now.
My adventures in making our daily bread continue (and continue well), with a loaf rising in its pan and just about ready to go in the oven. I’ve got my Second Attempt at Yoghurt incubating in the slow-cooker (wrapped in a towel, rather than plugged in over heat, this time), and, as the title of this post would suggest, I’ve got a batch of paneer draining over a large, empty coffee can[3].
Paneer (I used this recipe, more or less) is, really, the propper name for “Fake Ricotta”, and the recipe I used was the kind where the directions are as follows:
Take milk[4]
Add 1/2 tsp salt for every litre of dairy that you have
Get milk hot enough to be foamy and almost boiling
Add 1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar per litre of milk being heated
Stir while the milk curdles
Strain through a coffee filter[5]
Wheigh it down with something and strain further
Serve however you like
I got about 1 cup of cheese (and a LOT of whey) from my litre of milk. I hear that, if you use raw milk, you get a lot more curds for your trouble… and I’m glad to hear that, as I like me some cheese.
As it stands now, the cheese is chilling in the fridge, the bread has gone into the oven, the yoghurt is going to be ignored until some time this evening, and my plans for the whey include using it as a cooking liquid for a beans-and-rice-and-greens dish this evening and/or using it in a batch of corn bread (as I hear that works well).
Wish us luck with the repairs!
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] I came home yesterday to a leak in the ceiling… which is semi-fixed but, alas, not comepletely. The plumbers are doing their thing at the moment, so here’s hoping… :-/
[2]The original is not all that much like the movie, though I love both of them for different, related reasons. The original is about restoring a house + five-acre orchard & vinyard while cooking up a storm using locally grown, in-season ingredients. You can imagine why it’s so far up my alley that it’s actually inside my house. πŸ˜‰
[3] I needed something deep enough to catch all the whey while also being narrow enough to rest the sieve in without it falling over.
[4] 8 parts milk to 1 part butter OR 3 parts milk to 1 part cream OR just plain milk all the way. They all work, although the “just milk” version will by a little dryer. Not that this is a big deal. πŸ™‚ I used 1 litre of homogenized milk + 1-2 tbsp butter, in the hopes of getting a slightly richer cheese. Whether it worked or not remains to be seen, but it definitely hasn’t done anything to harm the flavour. YMMV.
[5] I used three paper coffee filters to line my sieve, plus a fourth one on top when it came time to weigh everything down with a tin of beans to further strain out the whey.


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