Below you’ll learn how to make cheese at home quickly and with very little effort. We have been making one batch almost every week for many years and it has become second nature. You just need the best milk you can find, the juiciest lemons in the market and you are ready to start making cheese in a totally natural way.
Delicious and versatile, this white cheese recipe is the simplest way of making cheese at home. To give you a rough idea, the consistency you get reminds you of cottage cheese, Indian chenna/paneer or Italian fresh ricotta.
The good news is that in order to make your own cheese you don’t need any special equipment or hard-to-find ingredients.
- A milk boiler or other sauce pan.
- A colander
- A wooden spoon
- A cheese cloth or muslin cloth
- A bit of kitchen twine or string
- A large bowl to put the colander in — optional
- A lemon squeezer
Yields about 3/4 pound of fresh homemade cheese
- 2 quart or 2 liter whole milk
- A long dash or roughly 4 to 5 tablespoons freshly pressed lemon juice – Only experience can teach you the right amount. The lemons shouldn’t be too ripe either.
The cheese making process
- Pour the milk in the pot that allows room for boiling. Heat it to a rolling boil over medium heat. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking.
- In the meantime, squeeze the lemon juice.
- When the milk boils, remove it from the heat. Immediately but slowly add the lemon juice to the milk. Another option is first to pour the hot milk into a different clean pot and then add the lemon juice. We usually choose the second option.
- While you add the lemon juice, gently move the wooden spoon through the hot milk in one direction. After some seconds, you should see the milk splitting into lumps of curd and watery whey. These curds are your homemade cheese.
- Cover the pot and set aside for 2 hours or longer. This allows the curds to settle properly. If you are in a hurry reduce the time to 30 minutes but it’s not recommended.
- When the curds have settled, line a colander with a cheesecloth or muslin. If your cheese cloth looks very thin, cover the colander with two or more layers.
- Place the colander in the sink, or in a large bowl if you intend to collect the whey. Slowly pour the curdled milk into the colander.
- When all the liquid is drained off, gather the corners of the cheesecloth together to form a bag. Tie this sack containing the cheese curds with a kitchen twine or any other piece of string.
- Hang the bag with the cheese curds over the sink or a bowl to let any remaining liquid whey drip off. A kitchen cabinet knob is generally suitable to suspend the bag with the fresh homemade cheese. Just look around your kitchen and see where it would be most convenient to hang the cheese bag.
- Leave for 3 hours or longer. When you have more experience you’ll realize that in winter you need more time than in the summer.
Your “homemade cheese” is now ready for eating or refrigerating. It keeps well and appetizing in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, even 5 days.
Experiment with different times to see which works best for your climate. And if your kitchen is small and you have trouble finding a suitable place to hang the cheese bag, here’s a secret…
I know someone from the Eastern Mediterranean who makes homemade cheese in large amounts at home and he hangs the large cloth with the curds in the shower over the bathtub!!!
Ideas for eating the cheese you just made
- Eat with bread sprinkled with olive oil and some olive for breakfast…
- Put it in a sandwich with tomato slices…
- Eat with some honey…
We hope that with these step by step instructions on how to make cheese at home we have encouraged you to give it a try. It’s fun!
Do you have other ideas for eating your homemade cheese? Do you know other recipes for making cheese at home? Tell us about it in the comment section below. Or contact us if you want us to publish your cheese making recipe with a photo.