We learned in our first project — 30-minute mozzarella — that we have lots of leftover whey to deal with after making the cheese. So, for our second cheesemaking endeavor we decided to explore the wide, wonderful world of whey.
We decided that we would each make a batch of the 30-minute mozzarella and with the leftover whey we would make bread, a double batch of ricotta and also make some refreshing, summer, whey drinks.
Photos on Flickr.
Everyone got a gallon of Organic Valley whole milk from New Seasons in Sellwood. Something interesting: I called ahead of time to ask about getting whole milk that was not ultra-pasteurized. All milk comes from the grocery store pasteurized (145F for 30 min or 161F for 15 seconds) however, the higher heat involved in the ultra-pasteurization ensures an even longer shelf life. This milk is heated to 191F for at least 1 second which destroys all the organisms in the milk as well as damages the protein structure and kills the natural enzymes present in milk. It’s not the best base for making cheese at all.
In any case, I spoke to a nice man on the phone who assured me that their half-gallons of Organic Valley were just plain old pasteurized. However, when I got there, all the milk was labeled as pasteurized with no inidication of which might be ultra-pasteurized. I flagged down someone who brought me the man I spoke with on the phone. His feeling was that the gallon size was bottled at a different plant and that some people (perhaps fellow cheesemakers) bought the larger size and were not happy with it. However, no one had complained about the half-gallon size so he could recommend it without reservation. This ends up being a little over $5 for a gallon but at least we knew it was the good stuff.
Nicole also made an experimental batch of mozz with a gallon of whole milk which she purchased at the farmer’s market from Noris Dairy. The milk from there was quite delicious though perhaps not so delicious that one should go out of their way to use it to make the 30-minute mozz. More on Noris Dairy at a later date.
Our first cheesemaking project was Ricki Carroll’s “30-minute Mozzarella” recipe. So, we decided to re-create that since we had plenty of leftover rennet and citric acid. These batches would become the base of the ricotta. The recipe is incredibly simple to make and the result is a very light cheese which, when we first made it, we ate in slabs on fresh bread sprinkled with salt and pepper. Very delicious.
In her book, Carroll notes that this mozz should be eaten immediately. I have to agree. We all kept our new batches, balled up in slightly briney fresh water but I felt like it got too gooey and strange later to eat. I did use it on some salads and it was pretty good. I’ll let Jen or Nicole tell you how they reused theirs.
So, we did five batches(!) and had gallons and gallons of leftover whey! It’s good that I had an extra stockpot around! Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was afraid that we wouldn’t have enough whey for the ricotta recipe. Let it be noted that that is ridiculous. Gallon of milk = gallon of whey (just about).
I’m going to break this up into two posts….