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Artisan Cheese Making at Home: Techniques & Recipes for Mastering World-Class Cheeses Hardcover – August 23, 2011
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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Featured Recipe: Brew-Curds Cheddar
2 gallons pasteurized whole cow’s milk
1/2 teaspoon Meso II powdered mesophilic starter culture
1/4 teaspoon liquid annatto diluted in 1/4 cup cool nonchlorinated water (optional)
1/2 teaspoon calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup cool nonchlorinated water
1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool nonchlorinated water
One 12-ounce bottle dark ale or stout at room temperature
1 tablespoon kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal brand) or cheese salt Instructions
1. Heat the milk in a nonreactive 10-quart stockpot set in a 98°F water bath over low heat. Bring the milk to 88°F over 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. 2. Sprinkle the starter over the milk and let it rehydrate for 5 minutes. Mix well using a whisk in an up-and-down motion. Cover and maintain 88°F, letting the milk ripen for 45 minutes. Add the annatto, if using, and gently whisk in for 1 minute. Add the calcium chloride and gently whisk in for 1 minute, and then incorporate the rennet in the same way. Cover and let sit, maintaining 88°F for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the curds give a clean break. 3. Still maintaining 88°F, cut the curds into 1/2-inch pieces and let sit for 5 minutes. Over low heat, slowly bring the curds to 102°F over 40 minutes. Stir continuously to keep the curds from matting together; they will release whey, firm up slightly, and shrink to the size of peanuts. 4. Once the curds are at 102°F, turn off the heat, maintain the temperature, and let the curds rest undisturbed for 30 minutes; they will sink to the bottom. 5. Place a strainer over a bowl or bucket large enough to capture the whey. Line it with damp butter muslin and ladle the curds into it. Let drain for 10 minutes, or until the whey stops dripping. Reserve one-third of the whey and return it to the pot. 6. Return the whey in the pot to 102°F. Place the curds in a colander, set the colander over the pot, and cover. Carefully maintaining the 102°F temperature of the whey, wait 10 minutes for the curds to melt into a slab. Flip the slab of curds, and repeat every 15 minutes for 1 hour. The curds should maintain a 95°F to 100°F temperature from the heated whey below and continue to expel whey into the pot. After 1 hour, the curds will look shiny and white, like poached chicken. 7. Transfer the warm slab of curds to a cutting board and cut into 2 by 1/2-inch strips, like French fries. Place the warm strips in a bowl and cover completely with the brew. Soak for 45 minutes. Drain and discard the brew. Sprinkle the salt over the curds and gently toss to mix. 8. Line an 8-inch tomme mold with damp cheesecloth. Pack the drained curds into the mold, cover with the cloth tails, set the follower on top, and press at 8 pounds for 1 hour. Remove the cheese from the mold, unwrap, flip, and redress, then press at 10 pounds for 12 hours. 9. Remove the cheese from the mold and cloth and pat dry. Air-dry on a cheese mat at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, or until the surface is dry to the touch. 10. Wax the cheese (see page 28) and ripen at 50°F to 55°F and 85 percent humidity for 4 to 6 weeks, flipping the cheese daily for even ripening.
“Whether you're a fervent cheese fan, skilled fromage maker or dabbler in wholesome, handcrafted foods, it's definitely worth picking up a copy of Artisan Cheese Making at Home.”
—Zester Daily, 10/25/11
“With her handsome new book, Artisan Cheesemaking at Home, Mary Karlin has raised the stakes for urban homesteaders.”
—San Francisco Chronicle, 10/23/11
Top customer reviews
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When I bought this book, I was under the asumption that it was targeted toward a beginner cheese maker. I have read all of the introductory material and glanced through nearly all recipes. Please consider my review from this perspective.
First thing I will say is that I love this book! I feel it is very well done and hosts some great cheese pictures (Always a huge plus for me)! I knew it was going to be well worth it when I saw that Peter Reinhart (Author of "The Bread Baker's Apprentice", my favorite bread book) wrote the forward.
I feel that the instruction is clear and this author has done a great job of thinking about the weird little "common sense" things which tend to get left out of cheese making books. Stuff like recommending that you sanitize you equipment in bleach then dry on a rack on top of a cookie sheet before starting your cheese making session. To some this may be assumed, but if you have never worked food service- proper sanitation may not be second nature to you.
Another thing I really appreciate is the author's presentation of equipment and ingredients. All items are explained in good detail. I was very impressed with the fact that she included a chart with many of the most common cheese starter cultures, what they are used for, and which vendors carry them. I will be photo copying this chart and laminating it to keep with my equipment (big +1 there!).
The pictures, as I mentioned, are very nice.
Now, the recipes. There are a handful of books out there with more cheese recipes than there are in this one. However, this author seems to have gone for depth instead of breadth. That is to say that the recipes chosen (which does not comprise a small list by any means) are very interesting and compelling to try (I cant wait to make the saffron infused manchego!!).
In the spirit of this being a learning book, the author has chosen to organize recipes by level of advancement. Simple cheeses such as paneer come first while more challenging ones such as cheddar appear later. I personally really like this in a beginning cheese making book.
So in summary, I strongly recommend this book to those new to cheese making. I think this book is very well done. The greatest strength of this book is undoubtedly the organization of the material, the pictures are a nice bonus. This book will now be my standard recommended Beginner-Intermediate book.
Artisan Cheesemaking at Home is a book of nuance, that may not be appreciated until you have been making cheese for a while. While other books tell you to add starter culture this book gets you into the varieties of starter cultures and how much they can influence the flavor and quality of your cheese. It has recipes for some very difficult cheeses that will challenge you and if you can make them give you a feeling of satisfaction that is hard to describe.
In addition to recipes she gives you the basics to begin to experiment with developing your own cheese. If you have been making cheese for a while you know that each cheese no matter what recipe you use is its own cheese. That is the beauty of home made artisan cheese. You can never make the same one twice. Too many variables influence the outcome. She gets you to understand that and encourages you to take some chances with your own ideas.
This is just a great book for anyone who wants to become a better cheese maker.
At the same time, I got Gianaclis Caldwell's book "Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking" (can you tell I like to thoroughly research a subject?). While I am sure that Ms. Caldwell's book will also be helpful, I find the book is organized in a way that is counter-intuitive for a beginning cheesemaker like me. Ms. Karlin's book is much easier to for me to read and understand.
By the way, previous reviewers mentioned mistakes and corrections in this book, and the need to go to Karlin's website to obtain the corrections list. I did print out the corrections list, but after comparing it to the book, I discovered that the current edition of the book has already been corrected.
It list and describes every single cheese term including all cultures and rennet's and milks and equipment needed.
Very helpful and well worth the money. Some cheeses I have tried in the past but failed, now i know why and they are coming out picture perfect now!