Chevre (meaning Goat in French) may be more well known, but this soft, creamy spreadable lactic cheese can be made with any type of milk! It's so easy to make and so delicious!
1 gallon whole milk of choice (avoid ultra-pasteurized/ UHT milk)
Use Goat Milk to make "Chevre"; Use Cow or Sheep Milk (or a mix) to make "Fromage Blanc"
2 drops liquid animal rennet diluted in1/4 cup of filtered water
1 drop double-strength liquid vegetable rennet diluted in 1/4 cup of filtered water
1 rennet tablet, crushed and diluted in 1/4 cup of filtered water - Use approximately 1-2 tablespoons of solution and discard the remainder.
Choose one type of cheese culture:
1 packet of mesophilic culture
1/8 tsp Flora Danica culture
1/8 tsp MA4001 culture
1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk
Heat the milk to 86°F. Remove milk from heat and sprinkle mesophilic culture of choice on surface of milk. Leave to dissolve for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Thoroughly incorporate culture into the milk, folding it in an “up and down motion”. Let ferment for 30 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of rennet mixture, folding it in an “up and down motion” for 30 seconds. Then reverse the folding to stop the movement of the liquid. Cover pot and culture for 8-16 hours.
After 8-16 hours, the cheese should look like yogurt, solid if tipped but still relatively soft. You will see some whey separating above the cheese. The whey is a mostly clear, yellowish liquid. Place a piece of muslin cloth in a colander in a bowl. Gently spoon the curds into the butter muslin. Gather up the corners of the muslin and tie knots to secure. Hang the muslin cloth filled with the curds over a bowl so the whey can drain. An easy way to do this is to tie the butter muslin around a cupboard handle so the bowl to catch the whey can rest on the counter underneath. Alternatively, you can tie it to a long wooden spoon and hang it over a deep pot.
About 2 hours after the cheese has been draining, put the colander back on top of your draining bowl and set the cheese in it. Untie the knots and open the cloth. Gently flip the cheese over. This will promote even draining and even moisture all the way through the curd. Hang the cheese bundle again and let it drain until desired consistency.
A small amount of draining will yield a thick yogurt-like cheese.
Drain for approximately 4-6 hours for a soft, spreadable cheese.
Drain for approximately 8-12 hours for a denser consistency.
Using a spatula, scrape cheese into a bowl. Salt cheese by folding in about 1 tsp of sea salt.
Mix herbs in directly, store in a glass container with lid.
Roll cheese into 8 oz logs using parchment paper (refrigerate first so cheese is easier to work with) then roll herbs on the outside. Store in parchment paper.
Press cheese into a shaping mold, refrigerate, then roll it in herbs.