Project 16: Draining the wheyApril 20, 2011
When we last visited our future cheese it looked like this:
We let it sit for close to 24 hours and it got nice and gloopy (technical term). The next step was to strain it. We usually use a double layer of cheesecloth in a metal strainer, but for some reason this batch lost a little bit too much cheese with the whey. I switched to clean dishtowels for the rest of the batch, like so:
We had four strainers going in total. The two on the stove were over bowls so we could keep some whey. The other two were in the sink.
Straining the cheese at this point is very important. You’ll want your fromage blanc to get as dry as possible before you turn it into cheese Pascha because eventually you’ll want it to hold its shape. Drain it like this for as long as you can.
After about 12 hours it looked like this:
The cheese lost a serious amount of whey! The half gallon jar you see there was from the bowl on the left. We figured that was enough and dumped the rest.
The texture of the cheese at this point was like a good whipped cream or a very soft cream cheese. Because it had lost so much volume, and because I wanted it to be drier, I combined all four strainers into one and drained for another 12 hours. This time I weighted it down so it would drain more (sorry, no photos).
Check back tomorrow as I add the ingredients to turn this plain cheese into cheese Pascha.