Friday, June 13, 2008

You Don't Have to Be a Cheese Whiz to Make Your Own Fromage Blanc

Usually making something like fresh cheese at home is done because it's higher quality, and much cheaper. Today's video recipe for making Fromage Blanc, or Farmer's Cheese, flies in the face of that conventional culinary wisdom.

If you consider the fact you need to buy a package of cheesecloth, along with the dairy ingredients, the cost of your cheese is no less expensive than at the store. And, while the results of your homemade cheese adventure will be rich, creamy, and delicious, there are some fantastic brands of fresh cheese available in the better markets, so it's hard to argue that our version will be "better."

So, why bother? Because, for any self-respecting foodie, making a batch of homemade cheese is definitely on the culinary "bucket list." Before you cash in your apron for good, you should experience the magic of watching a pot of milk turned into cheese. And if all this sounds kind of cheesy, so be it. Enjoy!




Ingredients:
1 quart fresh, local whole milk
1 cup active-culture buttermilk
2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar, more if needed
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste

192 comments:

Lucia said...

Awesome.

A pity they don't sell buttermilk in France, or at least around here.

You reckon yoghurt would work? I remember curdling milk trying to make yoghurt for my dad by putting on the yoghurt in the milk when it was too warm.

Anonymous said...

If one uses goat's milk will one get a reasonable facsimile of goat cheese?

Pyrofish said...

I had no idea it was that easy. I had a peppered goat cheese while I was in Malta a couple of years ago. It was a soft tangy cheese with cracked black pepper pressed sparsely onto the outside. Served on a rooftop in the Mediterranean with friends, and some home made wine, it was quite the fond memory, and something I definitely haven't found here. Do you believe this method would lend itself to that kind of cheese?

Chef John said...

yes, it should work with goats milk.

And yes, I believe active culture yogurt would also work fine.

Chef John said...

without buttermilk it will still curdle from the acid, but will lack the taste and texture the buttermilk adds I believe.

Jeff said...

The milk here is definately key! Local fresh whole milk makes all the difference in the world.

At my house we don't use the lemon juice and we call it ricotta. BTW chef you sound so un-Italian when you say it, but you were probably trained in classic French-I still like you. :)

Chef John said...

What kind of Italian name is Jeff? Yeah, I should have pronounced it like Tony Soprano... "Rig-goat"

Jeff said...

I'm in the witness protection program!

Actually it wears off when you get to the third generation-we just have to get by Nona and we're good. Thanks for showing everyone how easy it is to make such a cool dish.

Jeff...
Valentino(the Italian part)

Chef John said...

You're welcome! I'm not sure who said it, maybe it was me, but "we're all Italian in the kitchen!"

li.phillip said...

more seinfeld jokes please

-phil

li.phillip said...

more Seinfeld jokes please

Mary said...

I LOOOOVE that you posted this recipe! Just had to say =)

Anonymous said...

the spreading-the-cheese-on-the toast act is really bothering me! now I want toast with homemade fresh cheese. I don't really like salty cheese, though, so if I ever made it, I'll omit the salt. I fancy cheese with a hint of sweetness..hmmm..

Anonymous said...

Hey, Chef John. I should have figured this out on my own. I have the ingredients and haven't gotten around to experimenting. Maybe you know all about this, though, and can offer some advice...

I keep getting lemon-flavored cheese. Three times, anyway. *Kept getting. I probably added too much lemon juice. This video, where you say the temperature has to be 175 first, makes me think maybe I didn't get the milk hot enough and thus had to add more lemon juice to make the milk curdle. My solution at the time, though, was to buy powdered citric acid and try using that instead of lemon juice. (I haven't tried yet.)

Now, my question: Is powdered citric acid really any better or worse than lemon juice?

This was kind of a dumb way to get around to the question, but I think it's a good one to ask.

Chef John said...

i've never used the powder, but I really don't think its needed. I would heat the milk on low until you see it begin to simmer (not boil!). then turn it off. You can also use plain white vinegar if you like lemon, but with 2 tsp per quart it shouldn't really taste that lemony.
It may also be the milk. Dont use ultra pasteurized, just regular pasteurized.

Balu said...

Now I'm confused. Over here (http://www.instructables.com/id/S4WVGUAF11S8QGP/) they are making plastic just the same way you make cheese :-o...

?!? :-)

Johnna Knows Good Food said...

This looks easy enough...I'm gonna try...

We Are Never Full said...

This is a keeper recipe in my book. I would be so proud of myself if I made cheese!

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the videos you post. I am going to try the hommade cheese this weeked. Thanks for posting the how too's!

East Village Kitchen Wench said...

Hi Chef John,

First off, thank you for this video. I can't wait to try this in my own kitchen.

I'm writing because my boyfriend told me that you had said that you are planning to do mozzarella, which I was/am really looking forward to. I'm not sure where he got this information, but he is so devoted to your blog that I tease him about having a little man-crush on you. Are you indeed planning to show mozzarella cheese making?

Please consider doing it - I'm not sure that Brian could take the disappointment! Keep on rockin'.

Chef John said...

K-wench,

that was a case of bad editing - I said I would show how to make the fresh cheese (which you saw), but when I said it, the mozzarella came on the screen. I may do a demo, but have had a hard time finding fresh cheese curds nearby.

Stay tuned, and thanks!

P.S. I appreciate the man-crush mention. Give him a big bear hug for me...just don't hold it too long.

Chef Wendell said...

What exactly does it taste like??

Chef John said...

like a cross between ricotta and cream cheese.

Anonymous said...

Very tasty...used it in the savory crepe recipe.

East Village Kitchen Wench said...

Easy to make, with awesome results. We're smitten. Thanks Chef John!

Chef John said...

Glad you gave it a go. It is whey cool.

Anonymous said...

would you also show how to make fresh mozzarella? Thank you!

Alex said...

Hullo Chef John,

Would there be a special/proper way to age this cheese that would avoid horrible things growing in it? And how long could it be done for?

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm anonymous (don't have time to register). Just to be clear, my name is James and I live in San Francisco. Point made.

Anyway, wonderful video! My question is when you leave the cheese to sit awhile to "ripen," are you leaving it at room temperature or in the refer? I can wait to try your recipe and plan on adding dried blueberries to sweeten thing up.

Thanks again.

-James (Not Anonymous).

Anonymous said...

Chef John you ROCK!!! I just caught this video by chance on youtube, I don't even remember how but it caught my eye. I thought it was going to be some 20 step process impossible to accomplish at home...but no. It was so simple! KUDOS!

ambrosiality said...

that looks so good.

I'm tempted to try it. But i dont see it going so.. smoothly lol

Marino said...

Hi Chef John,
Is there something I could use instead of buttermilk? I heard some people just add lemon-juice to regular milk. Is that ok? In your recipe there is already lemon-juice so I suppose I can just make it without buttermilk. I would really like to try this recipe because I love cheese but there's no buttermilk my country! :(

I love your "death by chocolate" recipe! [a.k.a. "chocolate lavacake"]

Chef John said...

give it a try without or use yogurt instead.

Chef John said...

This is strictly a fresh cheese, not meant to be aged. It's good for about a week.

Andreas said...

Hello,

i just tryied 2 different sortes of this cheese.
the first one i left blank and just added the salt.
but on the second one i added salt and chives.

well, i am going to try them tomorrow, so i am really looking forward to it!!!

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between this cheese and the Lebanese Labneh? Because I saw that it is about the same way to be done, with the cloth etc..

Chef John said...

all cultures fresh white cheese are made the same basic way.

Ryan said...

can you make chocolate cheese using chocolate milk? I'm sorry, the though crossed my mind a week before I saw this!

Chef John said...

chocolate cheese? I've never tried or even thought about it. I suppose you could, but that has lots of other "stuff" in it so it may not be too good. I think you should try!

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John, Thank you for enlightening the masses. I used white wine vinegar b/c that's what I had on hand. Otherwise, followed inst exactly.
My cheese is a little dry, not creamy at all. It only sticks together when cold and compressed. At room temp, it quickly separates into little round pieces, similar to foam 'beans' in a stuffed toy.
What did I do wrong?
Jennifer in Alabama

Anonymous said...

Hi, Chef John. Loved the vid, have always wanted to have a go making cheese, this looks so simple. In NZ dairy prices have rocketed, it now costs $17 a kilo for a cheddar. I can get my hands on milk straight from the cow and have some ?'s. Can I use unpasteurised? Can I age the cheese made this method. Thanks so much, Kiwi from Nz

Chef John said...

I would google some cheese expert sites. Check out about.com's cheese site. Tell her Chef "American Food Guide" John sent you.

Ladilamborn said...

Chef, does the temp of the buttermilk have any effect either way? Is it better to have it room temp or cold? Thanks
Nanci in Atl

Sherin said...

I just tried it, initially it was a lil crumbly and the taste was ok. But when I cooled it a few hours in the fridge! OH MY GOD!!! It was a lil creamier, and was soooo good!!! I'm gonna mix a spoonful of cream in it to smoothen and add chives. THANK YOU CHEF JOHN!!! HUGS!!

Chef John said...

the temp of the buttermilk isn't a huge factor, but not ice cold. I measure it out and leave it out while the milk is heating up.

Anonymous said...

Hi from Portugal.

I just made this, i was kindy sad when the milk started to curdle it was not like i saw in the video but when i took it off i was beautiful, its in the fridge now but it tastes good now :).
Thanks

Anonymous said...

saw it - did it - loved it.
right now i am doing it again...
Thanks Chef John!

D said...

For some reason, I also thought you were going to make mozzarella :(

I've always wanted to make my own mozzarella but I have no idea where to get rennet and citric acid except online, and I haven't yet gotten over my reluctance to eat things that came from the internet.

Alex said...

thanks so much for this recipe Chef John! I FINALLY MADE CHEESE!!!

~J~ said...

Chef John, this recipe was an instant hit in my house. I used vinegar instead of the lemon juice and ended up with a fantastic cheese!

This was the first recipe I've tried on your site (newbie, obviously, lol), so now I'm thinking I'll check out your site to add a new dish to the menu every week. Thank you for a great recipe site!

~Janet~

Chef John said...

thanks! please tell a few hundred friends about the site!

Roto13 said...

My husband just made this cheese an hour ago after seeing the video on YouTube. I'm looking forward to trying it.

bEr said...

hi,
i tried your method, and im in norway, i din quite get the milk,but i got yogurt and i think it turned out quite well, moreoever i was wondering, how long could the cheese last?

Chef John said...

should last about 5 days

Anonymous said...

I just made this and mixed some chili and chives though. mmmmm..

Simon said...

You should have your own NPR show, like your voice and poise.

elaine said...

Ok, I used goat's milk instead of buttermilk but it never curdled or wheyed. It's still liquid hot milk. I used 2 tsp of lemon juice then another tsp. but no more. I didn't want lemon cheese. Should I try next time to put half cup buttermilk, half cup goats milk into the cup of milk? I had also used lowfat milk. Not sure if that affects it. thanks.

Chef John said...

I don't believe lowfat will work as well, and also it may be ultra pasteurized instead of pasteurized. But, the most important factor is the butter milk. You can't sub goat's mil for it, there not the same acidity and the goats milk has not active cultures.

Elaine said...

I spoke too soon Chef John. In one last desperate attempt, I added vinegar and turned up the heat. I poured the mixture in the strainer and let it drain and before I knew it, Goat cheese appeared. It sort of snuck up on me. I thought for sure I had ruined it with all the vinegar I had put but I decided.... to follow your instructions.... so the next day I put a little olive oil and cracked pepper on top and it tasted devine.....Thank you!
Next time I will certainly use the buttermilk and pasteurized whole milk. Thanks for your quick response. your'e the best! Take care :O)

Rickey said...

I made this with fat free buttermilk and skim milk. It's all I had, so I figured I would try it. I had to add probably twice the amount of vinegar, but then it separated great. I ate it warm with some crackers.

Mine tasted very much like mozzarella. It even had the same texture and fell of mozzarella. It wasn't creamy at all. I assume that the skim milk and fat free buttermilk was the issue.

KrazyKook said...

My whey never became as clear like video. Instead of laddling I poured slowing from pan and was able to gather all the curdes. I now can say I made cheese before I died! I'm going to crush some fresh garlic and dried basil and stir in. Oh and Chef John, I think I've fallin in love with you...Ok thats a bit over the edge, but I have fallen in love with your video recipes!!!

Chef John said...

thanks, I'm flattered! But, it happens all the time, it's quite normal...the love, not the whey.

Anonymous said...

I saw this on youtube. and i just ahd to try it. I'm adding my own herbs to it... I was wondering if there is a difference if you use milk bought from the store (like the name brand milk....) or the milk you get from like.. a farmer...? I just used what milk i had on hand heh...

Well! we'll see how it turns out!!! ^_^

thanks!,

Ethilia

garlic_n_wine said...

Chef John I can also now say I made cheese before I died! Mine was made exactly per your recipe but unlike in your video the whey remained as white as the curds. Do you know why this is and does it matter? The cheese was great!

Chef John said...

not sure, maybe the milk?

Santiago said...

Tried this today and it worked PERFECTLY!!!!
1 litre milk + 250 g natural yoghurt + 40 ml lemon juice + salt to taste

I followed all indications, temperatures, times, and everythuing went perfect. Nothing strange with the flavour nor the texture. Now it's resting overnight, so I will try it tomorrow to see how the flavour developed.

Thanks for the excellent, detailed and clear indications. Now teach us how to make other types of cheese, please!

Regards from Barcelona.

Anonymous said...

so one day during the summer my boyfriend and i were supposed to go to the beach, but instead it rained and we found ourselves on youtube, learning how to make cheese. so, we had to try. that night, we had our homemade cheese and tomatoes and toast for dinner. romantic, i know, hahahaha but it was so awesome to do it ourselves. ive been hooked on your site since, and have made the french toast, the pizza dough. ciabatta bread, mushroom ragout, and about a gazillion other things including mayo. youre awesome, and keep posting! we love you!
:D <3

Chef John said...

thanks! i luv u 2 too.

Going bonkers!!(help) said...

okay so im not sure if this will work but here goes...I'm doing this speak and show for 4-H and its about making sheep cheese or at least hopefully i might have to change it if this dosent work out.So can i use sheep's milk? ugh this is really driving me bonkers please answer quickly.

From someone going bonkers!lol

Chef John said...

sorry, i have no idea, ive never used sheeps milk.

Its a secret!!hahaha said...

dang!!!well thanks for answering so quickly chef John i think ill try it anyways.
bye.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great recipes. Can you double or quadrouple this recipe? I have a one gallon (4 quarts) milk jug.
Thanks,
Matt

Chef John said...

yes, no problem.

KBB said...

Chef John:

This is a fantastic recipe! How would one go about infusing other flavors/ingredients such as peppers or garlic to this cheese?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

I've used this recipe a few times the last few days. I keep getting a cheese that is not very smooth, it comes out very crumbly.

I've tried vinegar and lemon juice. Can lemon juice be from concentrate?

Also I've seemed to need closer to 4 teaspoons of vinegar.

Any suggestions on how to make it smooth and creamy like in the video.

Thanks

Chef John said...

I imagine it's the quality of the milk and/or the fat content. The lemon juice should be fresh, but it's probably the milk.

Euthie said...

I've made cheese accidentally a few times, lol. But thank you for the recipe, I can't wait to try it intentionally! :D Will let you know how it goes!

kat said...

Could this cheese be used to make Kanafa, my favorite middle eastern desert made of soft cheese, filo, and sugar syrup? WOW!

Chef John said...

ive never made, it but sure

arsenius said...

Thanks for this recipe. I substituted homemade yogurt for the buttermilk, since that is unavailable here. I had a bite and it was really good! It's in the fridge now and I will try it tomorrow. Where I am cheese is very expensive, so this is actually about 1/4 to 1/8 the price of cheese in the grocery store!

DonnaJo D said...

Dear Chef John,

I was watching yogurt making videos on YouTube and saw your video. I went to your site and looked for the recipe and read it about ten times before I got it! Cheese Whiz! You are too funny! I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Anonymous said...

Im Ricka, Hi, thanks for teaching the delight in making one's own cheese. I think the Youtube presentation is wonderful, thanks again for airing it. One update/comment please, if you don't mind. If yogurt is used instead of buttermilk, you may also substitute low or nonfat milk,it makes a delightful cheese called Paneer, India's version of farmers cheese.

Anonymous said...

I have just had my first two bites of this cheese on my (finally) cooled no knead bread. Amazing.
It worked exactly as in video, although I substituted an equal amount of yogurt for buttermilk and vinegar for the lemon juice.

Now I will have to think of something else to say on my death bed.

Thanks Chef!

David said...

Hi chef,
One of the children at Kindergarten(3-4 years old NZ kindy) wanted to have some cheese for the basket she'd made. I suggested she could make some, so we googgled youtube and got your video, perfect. I got together the ingredients last night and she and her friends made it with me today. We've just popped it in the fridge.

After looking up whey we found you could have it as a protien drink. It tastes like natural yoghurt.

Any other suggestions for the whey?

Chef John said...

I've never really used it for anything, but i hear its a very nutritious drink, and that people feed it to their pets!

Trying Traditional said...

Excellent recipe! Thinking of herbs to go into the next batch has been fun.

When is a very useful if you ferment veggies. My favorite salsa is fermented and packs a tangy punch with the fresh, spicy flavors. Also, it is good for soaking or sprouting grains. We never throw out whey and usually do not have enough!.
Next up I am trying the French Onion soup, something about fall makes me crave it.

Trying Traditional said...

Excellent recipe! Thinking of herbs to go into the next batch has been fun.

When is a very useful if you ferment veggies. My favorite salsa is fermented and packs a tangy punch with the fresh, spicy flavors. Also, it is good for soaking or sprouting grains. We never throw out whey and usually do not have enough!.
Next up I am trying the French Onion soup, something about fall makes me crave it.

Achint said...

You have a wonderful site. Just came across this recipe. We make it all the time from childhood and buttermilk is not a must to add. Just lemon juice or white vinegar added to boiling whole milk in a thick base pan works equally great. One can add herbs too before adding lemon juice to get herbed cheese.

Anonymous said...

is it really necessary to use fresh local milk, i don't have access to it.

Chef John said...

Just make sure it's not "ultra pasteurized" and you should be fine.

WoodsyGirl said...

Hah! I made this once and didn't even know it--I was trying to make yogurt but heated the milk too much and it separated when I put it in the yogurt maker. The sad part is that I threw it out because I thought it was ruined yogurt...yogurt I had planned to put in cheese cloth and make labneh with (fresh middle eastern cheese). Silly me.

Anonymous said...

I went online looking for how to make butter with my 5 year-old and after learning about that I decided to move on to cheese when I saw your link. I'm wondering if I can use the buttermilk that I strained off of the butter to make the cheese? I'm guessing that would not be "live cultures", but since some of the comments say it can be done without buttermilk at all, do you think this would work? It would be a great way to save another trip to the market for buttermilk and the cost too.

Chef John said...

I honestly don't know! Sorry, i've only done it this way.

Michał Cierniak said...

Thanks for the recipe! I made this cheese with my daughter (she's almost 4) both at home and at school and she and her friends loved it. Here's my short report about this: Making cheese at home.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you so much for this whole site but really this cheese video mostly. I have made this cheese to spec and it turned out great! I would also like to say I kept it in the fridge for almost two weeks by compressing it in a small container and smothering it with olive oil, and covering it with plastic wrap, and it kept great. Thanks again John! :)

King To said...

Chef John,

Could you explain the different between Active Cultured Butter Milk, Cultured Butter Milk, and Butter Milk? I only can find Cultured Butter Milk in the store but not the other two.

Thanks.

Chef John said...

not sure, you better google that one. All i know is mine says "active culture" good luck

andrea eickelmann said...

Hi Chef John,
I am late to this thread but i was wondering if using UHT milk would affect the results. Right now I live in Thailand and its practically impossible to find now UHT milk. Thanks!!!
-Andrea

Chef John said...

I'm sorry, but I really have no experience using it. So, not sure.

Jtree said...

Another successful cheese-maker here! Awesome recipe, very easy for a beginner cook like me. Thanks Chef.

albert said...

Hi there-

Got here through your french toast video (which was amazing!) and I went out and got the ingredients for this as soon as I finished making the french toasts and I'm curious, what am I doing wrong if the whey isn't clear?

Chef John said...

It's not suppose to be totally clear. Does it look like the video?

albert said...

Sorry, I should've been clearer (pun unintended!). The whey is still quite milky, in fact, it looks like a really watered down milk, so no, it doesn't look like the video.

Chef John said...

then its not right, but I don't know why. Maybe the milk, or not enough acid, or the temp, etc. No way to tell from here.

albert said...

I'll keep trying then. Thanks!!

Hiratana said...

Hey chef John , this looks like a very cool recipe ! I always wanted tomake my own cheese !
I'm deffinitely going to try this recipe so I have two questions :

1. If I use a fresh farm milk (not from the store) do I have to boil it first (to get rid of the bacteria),let it cool and then start the recipe? And if I do that what do I do with the kaymak that's going to form on top ? Somebody told me that that's essential for making cheese...

2. When is the moment when I can add something to the cheese (like nuts or some herbs or anything)

Thanks for your help chef John ^^

Chef John said...

sorry, youll have to check with a cheesemaking site for 1. im not sure.

i'd add flavoring at the end, or after the curds are drained.

Anonymous said...

What can i do with the leftover whey?

Chef John said...

see previous comments

Chef John said...

I though someone talked about that. I've never used whey personally.

clickgo said...

Hey Chef John,
Thanks for posting this. It was easy and the outcome was delicious!

For those who are interested in what to do with the whey, I found a few suggestions on Chowhound: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/549139.

Shoot! Wish I didn't toss out the whey:( I'll definitely save it next time I make this lovely cheese.

Thanks again for the post, Chef John.

Amy said...

We are getting a milk cow and I can't wait to try this with fresh milk! As for the whey, it is very healthful for pets. Our chickens will be the happy recipients of ours. :) Thanks for the great video!
Blessings!
Amy

Laura said...

You can use the whey to bake bread. (Just sub in the whey for some of the liquid.) You can feed it to pets and pour it on houseplants, I'm pretty sure too.

I am going to try this cheesy recipe tomorrow. I can't wait! :)

Anonymous said...

**THIS IS A SERIOUS QUESTION**
I have for some time wanted to make cheese with breast milk. Don't know why I guess i just want to try it. Would this be a good recipe for it or Should i maybe look for a more complicated bacterial fermentation?

Chef John said...

sorry, i have no idea!

Cuddly Family said...

hi chef John. Been a follower of your video/blog now, been great! I've tried your lemon curd recipe and now I've just tried your cheese recipe (wt adapation).

Im in Malaysia so we don't really have buttermilk (if we do, it's VERY expensive :( ) I do however make homemade yoghurt. so armed with that, we attempted the cheese!

my prob is that I didnt have a wooden handle or rod to hang it, I used the colander and improvised somehow to squeeze (I used my kids to squeeze, they enjoyed that haha), and used muslin cloth (cant get cheese cloth here) instead.

started earlier in am, now it's solid(ish) and the kids snuck a quick taste, u can actually taste the "cheesy-ness" -subtle but it's there. I think if I could hang it up, it wld work better.

seasoned with salt/pepper and some herbs, left it in the fridge now till 2mrw, hopefully it will thicken even more. YAY!

cheese is very expensive here (imported mostly), so this is something we like to keep try at.

Was just wondering if adding the lemon juice/vinegar make it thicken faster? I used UHT milk to make the yoghurt.

Thanks again for the videos etc (just wish the site was more "search-friendly") and good luck for the Food Network contest!

Lia

Cuddly Family said...

Been following your blog/videos for a while now. Attempted the lemoncurd (success!)and I enjoy watching and learning from your videos.

Made homemade yoghurt and been wanting to try making home made cheese as it were.

Made yoghurt using UHT milk.

I used: muslin cloth. colander. Yoghurt. a bowl.

I didnt have a rod to hang it off so I had to improvise (I may "conveniently" break my mop? haha). I got my sons (twins 8yrs n 1x 5yr)to take turns gently squeezing out the whey (there was quite a lot). then tried various ways to raise it or use weights of a kind.

After several hours (left it in fridge, I live in Malaysia so the heat prob isnt a good idea to leave it out, not sure), it was really thick. I've kept aside the whey for baking etc as suggested by a few folks here.

Kids and I snuck a taste, u can faintly taste the cheesiness.I've put it into a container (do not scrape the muslin cloth, that bit doesnt taste so good haha) and seasoned it. hopefully it wld set to soft cheesy goodness!

I was wondering if adding lemon juice/vinegar would help it along more? Im not sure. I had used cold yoghurt as well. help?

Thanks again for this! I must find a way to hang it properly so it can drain properly.

good luck with the Food network contest btw, kids and I love watching and learning together from your videos!

Lia

Anonymous said...

AWESOME BLOG!

I would like to make a smoked cheese from scratch. I often take store bought cheese and smoke it but want to go from scratch. Also would like to add home made chipotle that I have smoked and dried and crushed at home.

So how do I expand the recipe into a hard cheese and press it? At what point would I smoke and/or add the pepper or other flavor?

Chef John said...

Sorry, no idea! This is the only cheese i know. Hard cheeses are WAY more complicated.

jules said...

how good is this, i have only just recently started making my own ricotta this is great and so similiar to ricotta making, will enjoy.

Sacha said...

Dear Chef John,

I was wondering if you had to use live cultured buttermilk. Is there a reason why i would not be able to use the buttermilk i get off making butter?

Thanks
Sacha

nn83rd said...

Hi,
It is now 01:35 in the morning, no I don’t usually cook at this hour, and in fact I don’t cook at all. I just wanted to surprise my wife and kids with your cheese recipe.
Can I ask a question? I have made my own buttermilk from 1 cup of milk with 2 tea spoons of the cream of tartar and three tea spoons of lemon juice.
I then took 2 pints whole milk and brought to the simmer and added the home made butter milk and some more lemon juice and left it all for about ten or so minutes. And then it curdled the whey separated and I sieved out the curds. I have just tasted it and it seems to be a bit grainy. Is this correct or have I done something wrong?
Regards
Paul
I can now hopefully die in peace.
If this has been asked before could you direct me to where it is, as I have looked but could not see it?
It is now 02:12 and I am going to bed, night night.

Chef John said...

You just made fake buttermilk, it doesn't have the active bacteria cultures like real buttermilk. Maybe the problem. Not sure!

Anonymous said...

can u let your cheese age for awhile? so it wil develop more flavour?

أبو خطر said...

great , i'll try this right now
thanx :D

Chef John said...

this type of cheese is eaten fresh, but you can let it sit a few days if you want.

Anonymous said...

amazing thanks!

Dustin said...

I must say, I just made this cheese, and it was... Amazing. I thank you fine sir for sharing this.

Rebecca said...

This is wonderful. We've made it a number of times and the last time we made it - it was not spreadable, but instead crumbly. Can you tell me what we did wrong?

Thanks!

Chef John said...

no way to tell. maybe the milk.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John
I want to use raw (unpasteurised) milk to make my cheese - in the hope of producing something similar to the home-made cheese sold at the roadside in Morocco where I lived for eight years.
My question is whether the raw milk will already contain the active bacteria cultures?

Chef John said...

sorry! not sure!

Eddie said...

This was a great recipe and entertaining video. Making the Fromage Blanc was pretty easy.

The ingredient quantities listed made more cheese than it seemed you yielded in the video. And I had some this morning on toast. :)

Thanks for a good recipe!

Anonymous said...

Hi john ,,
Thanks for this nice&easy recipe,, It works for me & i am now enjoying eating my homemade fromage after adding some thym and olive oil ;)
Thank you for taking the time to share with us!
kari,

Anonymous said...

omg the cheese is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!

Anonymous said...

I'm a beginner cheese maker. I haven't tried this one yet.

But to answer a question, I have been told by cheese makers that it is a good idea to use pasteurized milk...not ultra-pasteurized, in which the protein structure is broken and will not make good cheese.

Milk from the farm is great for cheese, and you can pasteurize raw milk from the farm by bringing it to 180 degrees, I believe. You can research this quite easily to make sure of the temp.

Some people make it from raw milk, but there is a danger of bacterial contamination that is quite dangerous...lysteria, I think it's called.

In any case, it's good to have the best milk you can find....organic is best.

Graham said...

I use dried buttermilk (SACO brand) - it's called "cultured buttermilk blend for cooking and baking" - for breadmaking. Do you think that would work for this cheese?

Chef John said...

sorry, no idea!

Wyldbird said...

Chef John, I am so glad we found you. Where have you been on my searching for recipes all these years?... So we were looking for an easy cheese recipe and found yours. Am going out now to get the ingredients. Have you ever made this will a flavoring of wine or beer. I remember a Guinness cheddar that a cheese maker in Oregon makes.

Iweta said...

Chef John,

This recipe sounds wonderful to me.

I understand that this will turn into a kind of cream or cottage cheese however, I would like to know, how to make actually mozzarella cheese? Or do you say that this recipe can be used for mozzarella...?

Many thanks,
Iweta

Chef John said...

Sorry, not sure. This is the extent of my cheese making skills!

mike said...

Hey Chef John:
If I were to flavour the cheese, say with dill, when is the time to add it? I suspect about the same time the salt is added, but would like to hear what you have to say about it.
Cheers,
-mike
(My first batch of the cheese is now in the 10-minute wait period ...)

Chef John said...

yes, with the salt!

Jennifer said...

Cheese was great! I had some similar issues to those posted above. Whey was still cloudy, too salty. You can read about my cheese-making adventure on my blog if you like! I'm just ready to make another batch! Thanks for the instructions.

Anonymous said...

Chef John:

Did you buy the lemon juice or did you squeeze out and use the juice from a lemon? Can you use juice squeezed out from a lemon? Does the vinegar you use have to be white vinegar, or does it matter using cider vinegar? Interesting video clip!

Chef John said...

you could prob use any lemon juice. I used fresh. It's more about the acid in the process than the flavor.

Anonymous said...

i am 11 and im making some cheese yay

Anonymous said...

hi chef john, how much is 1 quart?

Go Share Your Faith said...

This was the second time I've made cheese using this method....it's easy and tasty..

Thanks Chef John! (Unfortunately no "man-hug" today...but a big thank you!)

Good going and thanks for all of your videos.

RITZ CHEWAN said...

What do they mean when they say "unpastuerised milk cheese" the heating at a certain temperature at a certain time would pastuerise the milk even if in the first place unpastuerised milk was used? Is that not so?

Shawn said...

Just did it... It really was just as easy as it looked, but I do have a question. I saw someone do something similar but with rennet... He kneaded the cheese afterward like dough and it came out more of a mozzarella consistency. Could I dod that with this kind of preparation or is it apples and oranges !!!
Great recipe,

Chef John said...

no, you need a different kind of curd. This is the extent of my cheese knowledge. :-)

Chef John said...

no, you need a different kind of curd. This is the extent of my cheese knowledge. :-)

ThisDameCooks said...

Whole milk yogurt or
Greek Yogurt are good substitutes for buttermilk. Even instant dry whole milk powder will work...use 1 cup of powdered milk. The SACO buttermilk powder doesn't dissolve well. I tried that...yuk! We can't get fresh buttermilk here in Puerto Rico so I use homemade Greek Yogurt for the buttermilk.

Anonymous said...

To make Mozzerella you need Rennet, comes in tablet form. I found it at walmart in the pudding and also in the canning and preserving isle. And , yes you do knead it to work the water out. You can also flavor it by adding garlic, chives, smoke flavoring, etc. Saw the demo at a dairy museum in Sulphur Springs, TX. 2 retired farmers gave the demo. Cheese was great, and yes you need to add some salt to give it 'taste'.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John
Just saw the video on how to make fromage blanc. My question is if you cannot get buttermilk or yogurt culture what can I use? I live in country where most yogurts are either fruit or plain. Can I use plain yogurt?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

This is just wonderful on bagels :D

Granola said...

Gosh I didn't think that milk would ever simmer. :) But it did and we had success! This was so simple I used it with my Kindergartener for his school fair project. He received an "Excellent" ribbon - we both thank you!

Anonymous said...

Sure, this cheese might be a little expensive to make, but it is SO DELICIOUS. While there are many different kinds of cheese at the store, I've never found anything as fresh and just delicious as this homemade cheese. Yum.

Luigihiji said...

What else can be used instead of cheese cloth, I'm a 16 year old about a third of the way of becoming a chef, just interested

Luigihiji said...

Chef John, I'm 16 I want to become a chef, I have about 4 or 5 people in this little town that always like me to cook for them about once a week, I really love cooking and making recepies, well, all I wanted to know was, what else can you use besides a cheese cloth? Any suggested easy recepies?

Chef John said...

You can use a clean cloth napkin, but the cheesecloth works best! Good luck!

Luigihiji said...

Any buttermilk substitutes?

Anonymous said...

The real question is: Is there a way to dehydrate the isolated whey to make protein powder?

Katrina Hall said...

This is fantastic. I have access to raw milk from our local farmers here and have been looking for a easy recipe for making cheese. Thank you Chef. I do have one question though do you need the buttermilk if you have raw milk for the active cultures? I understand the part about making it creamier. I was considering mixing sour cream in when adding the salt for creaminess if buttermilk was not needed.

Katrina Hall said...

Thank you Chef John. I have been looking for a recipe for making home made cheese as I have access to raw milk for our local farmers. I do have one question for you. With using raw milk would i still need the buttermilk for the active cultures to help it curdle or would it do so without it? Again thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Mike from Italy and thank to you Chef John I can say I made cheese (and it was very good).
I also wanted to thank you for the great recipes and the good fun that is listening to your cooking lessons.
I'd also like to share something that I've found while making cheese this way: I started with 2 quarts of raw whole milk and used skim fresh yogurt for the buttermilk, which I don't have here. One quart I did with lemon juice, the other with vinegar. The lemon one came a bit creamier, while the one with vinegar had drier curds and a mozzarella-like texture, it made a bit more cheese and left a clearer liquid. Also I left the the cloudy liquid from the lemon batch sit for a couple of hours, then I brought it to a boil again and filtered out another two full scoops of homemade ricotta. All the cheese that I got managed to end up on homemade ciabatta or bruschette, not before being mixed with chopped fresh chives or dried chili pepper flakes (yes, the seeds too). YUM!!
Not having any cheesecloth or suitable napkin/clean kitchen towel, I used four plies of new sterilized cotton gauze which I had leftover from the few months I spent in the hospital after being run over by a stupid driver. The gauze worked flawlessly: it's sterilized, with a very open weave and by design it doesn't loose any strand or cottony bits, might as well use it for cheese instead of taking room in the med cabinet; besides I really hope I don't have a proper need for it any time soon.

Sorry for the lenghty post, many greetings and keep up the excellent work.
And as always.. we do ENJOY!!!

Chef John said...

thanks for the info!!

Anonymous said...

I found your video and am so excited to make cheese with my food science classes. I am a chemistry teacher who likes to cook, so I am now teaching a 4th science here in Texas. I have 15 groups who are going to make cheese in a few days. I will let you know how it works out.

Sonal said...

hi chef john... m from india... and we make this kind of cheese at home most of the time... we call it "paneer" here... just thought i should share... by the way, your special touches are awesome... this type of cheese tates awesome with spinach n a bit of fresh cream.. its called "palak paneer"

Anonymous said...

Great way to make Canna-cheese also John. Medical-Marijuana users eat it is reduce pain and promote natural healing.

Grind the marijuana fine and add to milk as it is heating. Try to hold at the simmer for a short time to allow the active ingredients of the marijuana to transfer to the fats in the milk. Use a strainer to remove a majority of the marijuana before going on as normal with the recipe.

The finished product should have a slight green tint to it with few green flecks throughout the cheese and the taste is awesome.

Bang-A-Gong-John!

Thesexicarmelbeast said...

Ok so I was wondering would it still have the same out come with soy milk? Or any lactose free milk?

Chef John said...

definitely no

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
I didn't read the comments here before making this, and I used ultra pasteurized milk. It actually came it really well. I was really pleased with the outcome.
I'm not sure why you kept stressing here to not use ultra pasteurized.
-Ariel

YM said...

Hello Chef John, Discovered your cheese making recipe today. I live in the UK and did not have any buttermilk at home so, used less 2% fat milk 3 cups and less 1% fat milk 1 cup. For buttermilk used ( 1 cup less 2% fat milk to 1 tbp lemon juice. Leave to sit for 5 mins) and then followed your recipe from then on. I was a bit heavy handed with the stirring so got some brown skin into the cheese but it makes it look pretty. I got cheese alright but noticed that my whey was not as clear as when l make greek yogurt. The whey was milkish. Could this be because l used a lower fat milk?

Thanks again for the recipe.

alexandisiu said...

Just wondering, will ultra pasteurized milk work as well?

Chef John said...

Not sure! I've heard mixed results.

Chef John said...

Not sure! I've heard mixed results.

Chef John said...

Not sure! I've heard mixed results.

Me.Eat.Food said...

"Cheesecloth is like the fishnet stocking of kitchen equipment." - Chef John

Truer words have never been spoken, demonstrating once again the steamy link between the kitchen and the bedroom. Some things from the kitchen are made more delicious in the bedroom, and some things from the bedroom are enhanced in the kitchen!

Alex May said...

Howdy Chef. I found your google video when searching for how to make cheese. Your video and ingredients were spot on. We added the buttermilk to the whole milk before we turned the heat on, it didn't seem to make a difference as we got plenty of curds. We're just waiting the 30 minutes until all the way has drained. This was a simple recipe and a good activity on a Sunday. I can now RIP knowing that I have made cheese from scratch!

Anonymous said...

I've watched a couple of your videos on youtube before, but this is the first time I've tried one of them out. I was a little nervous, but the cheese came out perfectly! I mixed in some chives, parsley and garlic before chilling it, and it is DELICIOUS! And I would say cheaper than a comparable store-bought cheese (in Canada, anyway). Thanks Chef!
-Ashley

snowflake said...

Can you tell me approcimately how much finished product there is after using the measurements described in the recipe? Have you ever doubled the recipe and would you recommend that?

Chef John said...

Maybe about a cup? Yes, you can double!

snowflake said...

I did it. I am so excited. I didn't check here for a reponse, so I didn't double it. It is straining now. The whey was much cloudier, so I am not sure if I should have added more vinegar. Am going to try again. Looks great so far. Thank you thank you thank you. And any advice about the cloudy whey. I was trying to read through all the comments to find an answers but...didn't look clsoe enough

Mimie said...

Dear Chef,

Can you do a video how to make homemade mozzarella chess and how to make homemade butter.

i found some video in you tube but i like your video more..lest talking and straight to the point.. and also your video is so clear(hd)..

tq chef..

Learning Homemade said...

I saw your video first when I googled for making cheese. I watched several, then came back to yours because I liked your recipe using buttermilk. I am very familiar with making my own yogurt so I heated my milk to 180 degrees. I then poured the room temp buttermilk and 2 Tbls. of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (instead of the lemon juice) My cheese instantly curdled into curds and greenish whey! I have it draining now but I can already tell it was a complete success…..yippee! Thank you for posting this video, I will never go back to the store for farm cheese/ricotta again! As a side note, I didn’t have whole milk today so I used 3 cups of 2% and 1 cup of heavy cream to equal my quart of milk. I do believe the more milk fat the better the results.

Adrian said...

Hi Chef John,

Can I use skimmed milk instead of whole milk to make the homemade cheese?

Thanks.

Adrian said...

Hi Chef John,

Can I use skim milk to make the homemade cheese?

Chef John said...

No!!

Chef John said...

No!!

LT72884 said...

Hey chef john, Grill of my dreams speaking. I have a question regarding this recipe. My wife loves traditional recipes such as sprouted grains and so forth. Here in utah, we both grew up on raw milk. We still have access to the stuff. Here is my question.

We have made something simular by taking raw milk and letting it sit till it seperates, roughly 3 days, then we drain via a dish cloth hanging over a pan. Then i seaon with fresh chive and seasoned salt. tastes just like feta cheese..


Can raw milk work for this since it has cultures and enzymes in it?

I have also used raw milk with butter milk to make cream fraiche.

Thanks for the help.