There are lots of different cheeses that can be made, each variety has slightly different variations but the basic process is essentially the same.
See below for the basic process;
- Milk is soured or acidified, this can be done in a number of ways depending on which recipe you are using, either by adding lemon juice, white vinegar or letting specific bacterial cultures work their magic on the milk and produce lactic acid. The souring process causes separation of the milk and you get curds (the solid part) and whey (the liquid).
- Rennet may be added, depending on which cheese you are making, to help develop a stronger curd. A stronger curd is needed for hard and more structured cheeses like halloumi. Your recipe will let you know how much and it is added after your acid or bacterial culture.
- Curds are separated from the whey, using some sort of a strainer, keep the curds as this will become your cheese.
- Add salt to the curds for preservation and flavour.
- Here is where more differentiation will happen, you will press the curds to remove all moisture if you are making a hard cheese, put it into a mould to drain and make a soft/medium cheese, or eat it straight away for some!
This is a very basic overview of how to make cheese, if you want to give it a go we recommend using a kit to make sure you have the specialty ingredients and follow a recipe so you can produce a delicious cheese!