Showing posts with label Cheese Making. Show all posts

- Techniques & Recipes for Mastering World-Class Cheeses -

Mary Karlin

Copyright © 2011 by Mary Karlin
Foreword copyright © 2011 by Peter Reinhart
Photographs copyright © 2011 by Ed Anderson

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Book Details
 492 p
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 8,617 KB
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 PDF format
 2011 by Mary Karlin

Most people know me as a bread guy, but some who knew me back
when remember me also as a cheese guy. Yes, before embarking on
the baking career that has defined my professional life, I thought I might
instead be a cheese maker, fermenting milk rather than grain. I had
studied a small book on making cheese at home and worked out a deal
with a local raw milk dairy to buy all their unsold milk for one dollar a
gallon, about thirty gallons a week. I borrowed a stainless steel, doublejacketed
cheese maker on wheels from the same dairy, and every week I
rolled it out into the driveway of the ranch where I lived with thirty
other people in a Christian community (I was known as Brother Peter
back then), and transformed that milk into six small wheels of cheddarstyle
cheese that, after some aging, was pretty tasty. We called it Abbey
Jack even though it wasn’t anything like other Jack cheeses, because we
liked the sound of the name.
Soon I was looking at a space in a converted wine building (I lived in
Sonoma County in the heart of wine country, so old wine buildings were
abundant) to set up what I intended to call the Forestville Creamery.
After we measured the one stall in the building that was still available
amidst the other businesses—the existing winery, a gem and crystal
seller, a silk screen T-shirt shop, a comic book collector, and scattered
offices—I studied the board of health requirements for cheese making
operations. I looked, too, at the requirements for bread bakeries, since I
also was a serious amateur baker at the time. It was a no-brainer—the
rules governing a cheese operation were far more stringent and costly
than those for bread, and so I took the path of least resistance. Had I
chosen the creamery path, who knows: perhaps I’d have written a few
books like the one you are now holding instead of bread books. But, as
we all know, there are no coincidences, and this is why I am so grateful
to Mary Karlin, whom I have known for several years and who I consider
one of the godmothers of the artisan food movement in Sonoma County,
with her popular classes on cheese making and wood-fired cooking and
her many years of studying and working side by side with the finest
chefs and cheese makers in America (even I had the honor of working
numerous times with Mary at the award-winning Ramekins Culinary
School in Sonoma). Here, she demystifies essential processes for a new
generation of artisans in this, the most comprehensive book ever written
for home cheese makers.
There are two key words in the previous sentence that I’d like to
revisit: “demystifies” and “artisan.” The category of fermented foods
includes bread, wine, beer, spirit beverages, cheese, pickles, cured
meats, sauerkraut, kimchi, and more. They all evoke an ancient lineage
of mystery that, until modern science grabbed hold, had an aura of
alchemy and magic. This is because, in my opinion, each of these
foodstuffs represents a type of transformation of one thing into
something totally new and different. And the artisans who knew how to
perform those transformations attained a vital, honored, and almost
shamanistic role in their communities. They had, or so it seemed, a
mysterious power. But as science and technology deconstructed the
transformational steps into very non-magical, mechanical processes, an
important trade-off occurred: volume production supplanted small-scale artistry.
However, as anyone interested in this book probably knows, we are
now in the midst of an artisanal renewal. We saw it happen with bread,
wine, and beer in the 1980s, followed by a flowering of amazing
domestic farmstead cheeses in the 1990s. Lately it’s showing up in salumi
and charcuterie. And where the professionals dare to go, home cooks
soon follow. This book celebrates these artisan mysteries, if I can be so
bold as to resurrect that mystical image. I think it’s allowable, because
things exist on many levels, and while alchemy is no longer the rulebook
of the day, the yearning for the transformations that it symbolically
points to never has and never will depart from us. And so I believe that
all of us, whether professional or home cooks, long for the kind of
empowerment that comes with the ability to transform one thing into
something else.
In my cheese making days I marveled at how milk could become so
many different other things and how, if I learned how to properly
control the environment in which I performed my transformations, I
could tease out flavors and textures that weren’t there in the original
source product; I could effect a radical change in the elements, bringing
joy to others. I viewed my stainless steel cheese vat as a kind of altar,
and my aging room as a sacred, veiled chamber. I believe it is in making
connections like this—in seeing the implications embedded in fermented
and thus transformational foods (and in all things, for that matter, but
it’s so much easier to grasp with fermented foods)—that we do attain a
type of veil-splitting empowerment and thus begin to scratch the itch of
our deeper yearnings.
So a book like this one, which demystifies and simplifies, also leads us
deeper into mystery, because it gives us the tools to effect
transformations and to experience the joy of such creation, and also the
joy of giving joy. Every now and then I get the urge to track down some
rennet and make another batch of Abbey Jack, and with this book in
hand, I’ve already begun designating my aging cellar. But more
important, because I have the privilege of traveling frequently, I look
forward to tasting the cheeses made by you, of sharing in your joy by
being the recipient of it.
One final anecdote: During the height of my Abbey Jack days I
decided to make small, twelve-ounce wheels to give as Christmas gifts. I
even dipped them in beeswax and tied them up with twine, with a little
nub of string dangling off the top to facilitate untying them, and happily
gave them to my friends to send to their families across the country. I
couldn’t wait to hear how everyone liked it (this was in the early 1980s
when many people had never eaten homemade, aged cheese). A few
days after Christmas I heard one of my friends, who was talking on the
telephone, laughing hysterically. He kept looking at me and laughing
again. When he got off the phone he said, “My folks wanted me to tell
you thank you for all your hard work, but to also let you know that it
was smelliest candle they’d ever burned.”
Over the next few days I heard this same response from three other
people. Of course, those who figured out that it was cheese raved about
it, but, frankly, I still get notes from old friends reminding me of my
days as the smelly candle maker.
So as you dive into the world that Mary Karlin describes in the
following pages, I leave you with this thought: Know that you are
entering a long tradition of multidimensional artisanship, with all that
the term implies. As you become adept in your transformations of milk
into curds and whey, and thus into cheeses of many types, and as you
learn how to evoke every subtle nuance of flavor trapped in those curds
through proper temperature control, acid balancing, and aging, and as
you begin spreading the joy you have created by sharing the cheese you
create, remember, above all else, to always label your cheese.
Peter Reinhart
Charlotte, North Carolina
September 2010

Iam thrilled to invite you on a rewarding journey, one that starts with
a simple ingredient, milk, which is transformed through a few
fundamental practices into glorious cheese. Whether you are a curious
novice or an experienced hobbyist, you are part of a culture with a
seemingly insatiable appetite for hand-crafted cheese, always yearning to
discover yet another treasure at the local cheese shop or as part of a
restaurant’s cheese plate. Maybe you are like me: when I encounter a
new, remarkable artisan cheese, it makes an indelible mark, and I think
to myself, “I want to make a cheese like that!” The enthusiasm comes
easy when there are so many cheeses to be inspired by and so many
excellent reasons to make your own. Perhaps you are motivated by the
guaranteed freshness of homemade cheese or want to save money
through DIY production, or maybe you are lured by the age-old tradition
of homestead cheese making as a means to feed your family.
I’ve worked with some of the most influential cheese makers and
authorities in the field, and now, in this comprehensive book, I share
with you the collective expertise and knowledge of the American cheese
making community—a dedicated segment of the burgeoning artisan food
movement. As a passionate cook, educator, and hobbyist cheese maker, I
adore both making hand-crafted cheeses and cooking with the results,
and I’m very keen to pass on what I know. This book is my offering,
filled with formulas for making more than eighty cheeses, including
longtime favorites, and more than two dozen newer contemporary cheeses.
We are lucky that the appreciation for hand-crafted cheeses, in the
recent past a rather rarefied interest, is now part of mainstream culture.
There is growing and widespread interest in hand-crafted foods and the
do-it-yourself experience—all part of what Peter Reinhart calls the
artisan renewal. But it is also worth noting that a mere century ago
cheese was still a relatively regional—and European—phenomenon and
that cheese making techniques were limited by climate, geography, and
technology in a way that modernity has rendered obsolete. For example,
bloomy-rind cheeses like Camembert and Brie were first created in
northwestern France because cows were prevalent, cheese was made for
home or village consumption, and a specific acid-tolerant mold
flourished in that region. High in the mountains, fewer cows were
grazed and their milk was pooled cooperatively. Therefore, large wheels
of low-moisture cheeses like Comté and Emmental were created to be
shared and to last through the winter months. In the United States,
cheese production first emulated regional European cheeses, made by
and for specific immigrant audiences. Hard Italian-style cheeses were
crafted in California, Germanic washed-rind cheeses like Limburger were
produced in Wisconsin, and cheddar was produced in New York.
Yet today, cheese makers have nearly unfettered access to the
specialized equipment and molds and cultures needed to produce any
type of cheese; the boundaries that once kept cheeses regionalized no
longer exist. This has resulted in what cheese authority Liz Thorpe notes
is a significant blurring of and riffing on tradition where Old World
meets New. And though technology has increased our access to supplies,
one of the most enjoyable parts of cheese making is decidedly
unmodern: you still can’t rush cheese. It slows down the pace of daily
life by requiring our attention and patience; waiting is essential to its
Knowing this, I should not be surprised that my joyful journey to
writing this book has taken fifteen years in the cheese world, organizing
culinary tours to various farms and creameries, teaching cooking classes
using artisan cheeses, and sharing the hand-crafted babies of passionate
artisan producers in Northern California. These award-winning
craftspeople inspire me, and their dedication has shaped my career and
provided motivation for writing this book.
But maybe the most generous educator is cheese itself. Each time I
make cheese, the process teaches me something valuable. I can also say
to you, with certainty, expect the unexpected. Cheese making is an
unending learning process, even for those who do it daily. My job in this
book is to demystify and simplify that process enough that you can
confidently venture forth into this exciting, mystical world. Once your
hands are on the wheel, the road to proficiency is simple: keep making
more cheese and joyfully share it!
In addition to the more than eighty tested cheese making formulas, I
have included two dozen savory and sweet recipes inspired by the ethnic
or cultural origins of the featured cheeses—the Mediterranean, Northern
Africa, India, and Latin and North America. Helpful at-a-glance charts,
worksheets, guides for aging, and steps for making your own versions of
new artisan cheeses can be found on this book’s companion website,
I encourage you to visit my blog, Artisan Cheese Making at Home
(, so that together we may share updates,
discussions, recipes, new developments, and discoveries. Now, let’s get
started on this magical journey!
A note on the photography: All of the cheeses photographed for this
book by the gifted Ed Anderson were made either by me or by my team
of skilled hobbyist cheese heads. Additional photos were taken by me on
field trips to cheese makers and in my home cheese making kitchen.
Most of the cheeses are perfectly beautiful; some are less so. I hope
showing them to you warts and all proves a valuable tool for gaining
knowledge of what transpires (even unexpectedly) in the cheese making
process. Trust me, even the ugly ducklings can be delicious! The breads
in the photographs are courtesy of Della Fattoria, Petaluma, California.

Table of Contents

Cheese Making Basics:
Equipment, Ingredients, Processes, and Techniques
Building Your Skills: The Habits of Successful Cheese Making
Equipment and Supplies
Ingredients: The Building Blocks of Cheese
Processes and Techniques
Beginning Cheese Making:
Fresh Direct-Acidification Cheeses, Cultured Dairy Products, Fresh Culture-Ripened Cheeses, and
Salt-Rubbed and Brined Cheeses
Low-Fat Panir
Queso Blanco
Whole Milk Ricotta
Whey Ricotta
Cultured Butter
Crème Fraîche
Buttermilk Sour Cream
Cultured Sour Cream
Yogurt Cheese with Mint
Greek-Style Yogurt
Real Cream Cheese
Crème Fraîche Cottage Cheese
Basic Chèvre
Fromage Blanc
Queso Fresco
Ricotta Salata
Intermediate Cheese Making:
Stretched-Curd and Semisoft, Firm, and Hard Cheeses
Traditional Mozzarella
Queso Oaxaca
Junket Mozzarella
Braided String Cheese
Bread Cheese
Smoked Scamorza
Dill Havarti
Edam Boule
Jack Cheese
Just Jack
Alpine-Style Tomme
Tea-Smoked Gruyère
Saffron-Infused Manchego
Asiago Pepato
American Brick
Brew-Curds Cheddar
Cheddar-Jalapeño Cheese Curds
Farmhouse Chive Cheddar
Irish-Style Cheddar
Double-Milled Cheddar
Brin d’Amour
Cocoa-Rubbed Dry Jack Cheese
Lavender Mist Chèvre
Honey-Rubbed Montasio
Rustico Foglie di Noce
More Advanced Cheese Making:
Bloomy-Rind and Surface-Ripened Cheeses, Washed-Rind and Smeared-Rind Cheeses, and Blue
Crème Fraîche Brie
American-Style Brie
Craggy Cloaked Cabra
Fromage à l’Huile
The Goat Experience
Mushroom-Infused Camembert
Bloomy Robiola
Ale-Washed Coriander Trappist Cheese
Cabra Al Vino
Desert Sunset Pavé
Washed-Rind Teleme-Style
Lemon Vodka Spirited Goat
Wood-Fired Morbier
Mixed-Milk Morbier
Port Salut
Bloomy Blue Log Chèvre
Blue Gouda
Buttermilk Blue
Coastal Blue
Smoked Brandy-Pecan Gorgonzola
Cooking with Artisan Cheeses
Maple-Planked Brie with Mushroom-Walnut Ragout
Smoked Mozzarella–Eggplant Fritters with Roasted Tomato–Herb Sauce
Grilled Grape Leaf Goat Cheese Toasts with Citrus Tapenade
Taleggio Fonduta
Grilled Cumin Flatbreads with Tomato-Ginger Chutney and Crème
Fraîche Cottage Cheese
Goat Cheese and Chive Fallen Soufflés with Herb-Citrus Vinaigrette
Manchego and Saffron Flan
Herb Salad with Chèvre-and Bacon-Stuffed Figs
Bocconcini and Roasted Tomato Pasta Salad
Spinach Salad with Charred Ricotta Salata and Caramelized Oranges
Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Blue Dressing
Moroccan Chickpea Soup with Harissa and Yogurt Cheese
Tortilla Soup with Grilled Shrimp, Cotija, and Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa
Curried Saag Panir
Grilled Chiles Rellenos Stuffed with Queso Oaxaca, Mushrooms, and
Sweet Potato
Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Pear Galette
Grilled Apple, Jack, and Curry Sandwich
Yogurt and Dill No-Knead Bread
Cheddar and Chive Scones
Blue Cheese and Toasted Walnut Fudge Brownies
Caramelized Apple Tart with Cheddar Crust
Vanilla Bean Fontainebleau with Pistachio Brittle
Ricotta-Filled Chocolate Crepes with Nutella and Sour Cherry Preserves
Stone Fruit Phyllo Tarts with Mascarpone-Cardamom Ice Cream

Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a
division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Ten Speed Press and the Ten Speed Press colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

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