For someone starting out wanting to make cheese the easiest type to make is yogurt.
- 1 gallon Milk (whatever % you would like. Skim milk makes a nice fat free yogurt)
- 1 cup of your favorite plain yogurt (must contain a live culture)
- stainless steel pot and lid
- optional: you can add 1 cup powdered milk to make a thicker yogurt
- heating pad
Heat the milk in the pot slowly until it reaches 180 degrees. Heating it up to fast will result in burnt milk on the bottom and an off taste to your yogurt. By heating it to 180 you will kill of anything that might still be alive in the milk and anything that could possibly be living on your pan. After you hit 180 remove the pot from the heat and cover. The milk now needs to drop down to around 115 degrees. This may take a couple hours depending on the pot used. Once the temp has dropped down add in your cup of yogurt and whisk it into the milk. Replace the lid on the pot and set on a smooth counter with the heating pad below it. Turn the pad to low and cover with a bath towel to keep the heat in. Let sit undisturbed for 6-12 hours. If everything turns out like it should you will have a nice batch of yogurt that is ready to eat. For those of you that have never had homemade yogurt it will be thinner then the kind that you buy in the store. Adding in the powdered milk with thicken it to closer to what you are used to.
If you make more yogurt then you can eat you can turn some of it into yogurt cheese aka Labnah. This is one of my favorite treats to make. It is great to use in place of cream cheese (since cream cheese from the store is not really cheese). Take a clean handkerchief and line the inside of a strainer with it. Then slowly pour your yogurt into it. Take up the corners and tie them together and hang it over the sink or a bowl to catch the whey. Let hang over night and voila you have labnah. Use on your favorite type of bagel. This can also be used to substitute for anything that needs cream cheese.