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Synopsis

From the editors of Hobby Farm Homes, Cheese It! provides a detailed introductory guide for making cheese at home, from easy-to-make soft cheeses like mozzarella, goat cheese, and cottage cheese to more challenging cheeses like Monterey Jack, parmesan, and aged gouda. Author Cole Dawson tackles four dozen different kinds of cheese, beginning with making butter, ghee, and sour cream from scratch and progressing to soft unripe cheeses such as paneer, chèvre, ricotta, and feta. International in its scope, each subsequent chapter tackles different kinds of cheeses, the tricks to success, and examples and recipes for each.

The chapter on unripe cheeses is followed by stretched curds, incorporating the brine bath to make mozzarella, asadero, provolone, and scamorza. Pressing and aging semi-hard cheese yield traditional Cheddar and variations, such as sage derby and goat Cheddar, plus Cantal, Monterey Jack, Cotswold, Caerphilly, and Caciotta. The process of washing curds to reduce the acidic level is the key creating cheeses like Colby, Gouda, and Edam, while washing rinds along with proper aging are the secrets to muenster, brick, raclette, Taleggio, and Tilsit. Using bacteria in cheese is key to making bloomy rinds, such as the triple-cream delights Camembert and Brie, and molded cheese, such as gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton.

Ideal for new cheese makers, the book begins with chapters explaining the science involved in the process as well as safety precautions, basic skills, and the equipment that is required to begin making cheese in the kitchen. A total of 75 recipes includes delicious options to incorporate homemade cheeses, such as feta in spanakopita, mascarpone in tiramisu, mozzarella in polenta pizza, and chicken á la gorgonzola.

As the author emphasizes the importance of record keeping (so you can repeat your successes and not your “oopses”), the book concludes with a sample cheese diary so the cheese maker can account for timing, pressure, temperatures, and so forth. Finally, there is a very useful 5-page glossary of terms, a resource section for cheese-making supplies and websites, and a detailed 7-page index.

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