Attention all Lactose intolerant people!!! I have tried nearly all of the Lactose free cheese and they are…ummm ok but lets face it if you are someone who loves cheese and you are lactose intolerant the only thing you want in a nice large slice of pizza or lasagna…why because it is the thing your body tells you that you cant have. So the first thing you do is try to work around the fact that you can’t eat these things. You take pills and you buy the tofu stuff and you just deal with it. Well I have something to share. I have talked about the lactase drops on here before but I will share again. What I do is buy a regular gallon of milk and then put these drops into the milk. Once the milk has set for 24 hours you can drink it without a problem.
I recently went to a local dairy and bought raw milk (straight from the cow). This also makes sure that there are no preservatives in the milk and makes sure that your milk is as fresh as you can get it. I bought 2 gallons in order to make cheese. I am starting with easy ones and plan to get slowly to the harder ones. My first one that I tried was farmhouse cheese. It was so easy you would not believe it. I poured half a gallon of milk in a large stainless steal pot and brought it to 180 degrees then poured a little over 1/3 cup vinegar in the pot. You then turn the heat off and wait 15 minutes once that is done you strain all of the whey off of the cheese and press it together with your hands or you can use spoons. Try to press as much juice off of it as you can. I poured mine through a small mesh strainer and it was lined with cheese cloth. I then placed it in a plastic container. I was so excited about my first homemade cheese. I made spaghetti and then chopped up small pieces of this cheese and threw it into the sauce. This cheese will not melt and holds it shape. This is the website that I got the recipe from. http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/breakfast/homemade-farmers-cheese/. Let me just say it was amazing to be able to eat cheese in a meal and not have to worry about it making us sick!
Today I made Mozzarella. I was really worried about this one because I have read if your milk isn’t fresh enough it wont turn out at all. I would hate to waste my time making something that doesn’t work but I figured it was worth a try. So after my drops had been in my milk for 24 hours I tried it. One full gallon of milk poured into my large stainless steal pot and add 1tsp citric acid. I turned my heat to medium low and waited until the heat reached 90 degrees. While that is heating up you dissolve 1/4 rennent tablet into 1/4 cup water and once your milk reaches 90 degrees your pour your mixture into the pot over a slotted spoon. Turn the heat off immediately and stir in mixture for 30 seconds. Wait 8-10 minutes then go cut your curd into a grid. Then stir slowly for 1 minute. Take your slotted spoon and place in a microwave safe bowl…I used a large measuring cup. try to get as much of just the curd as you can and pour off any excess that ends up in your bowl. Once you have most of the whey out of your cheese place it in the microwave for 1 minute. Pull it out stir it and pour excess whey off it again and place in the microwave for 40 seconds. Put it back in the microwave for another 40 seconds and pour excess off again. At this point your curds should be sticking together and becoming sticky. At this point you will need to salt your cheese with 2 tsp cheese salt. You will kneed the salt into the cheese and then stick it back into the microwave for another 40 seconds. When it comes out it will be hot but at this point you will need to start stretching it and kneading it so that it will become shiny and stretchy. Once it is shiny and stretchy place it in a ice water bath for five minutes. This is amazing Mozzarella, it’s taste is wonderful and the fact that it is lactose free is amazing. I am making Lasagna Saturday for the first time in over a year.
Finally last but not least all of the drained off whey from your Mozzarella that you just made can also make Ricotta. But it has to be made within 3 hours of the Mozzarella or it cools down to much and it wont work. Take the whey and place it back into the stainless steal pot then add 1 quart milk to the mixture and heat it to 200 degrees. After it hits 200 degrees turn off the heat and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for five minutes. Then in a cheese cloth lined strainer pour the liquid through. You can let it drain in the sink or use a pot to catch the whey. I use the leftover whey for bread and pancakes…or anything that calls for milk or water in the ingredients. The ricotta will have to drain for a while mine took 45 minutes. After it was done I placed it into a container for my Lasagna that I am making Saturday.
There is nothing more this week that I am more excited over than tasting my lasagna…that wont make us sick. Yay to being able to make my own cheese for recipes that is Lactose free! As always enjoy…I hope this is helpful to someone.