1 gallon whole milk of choice (avoid ultra-pasteurized/ UHT milk)
(Goat Milk for Chevre; Cow or Sheep Milk for Fromage Blanc)
1 drop liquid animal rennet diluted in1/4 cup of water
1 drop double-strength liquid vegetable rennet diluted in 1/2 cup of water (Use only 1/4 cup in recipe)
1/4 rennet tablet diluted in 1/4 cup of water
Choose one type of cheese culture:
1 packet of mesophilic culture
1/8 tsp Flora Danica culture
1/8 tsp MA4001 culture
1/8 tsp MM100 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 may see some whey separating from 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 three 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 for another 12 hours.
A small amount of draining will yield a thick yogurt-like cheese.
Drain for approximately 6 hours for a soft, spreadable cheese.
Drain for approximately 12 hours for a cream cheese consistency.
Salt cheese with about 1 tsp of sea salt. Add more to taste.
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.
Photo by @SheSimmers