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Mastering Basic Cheesemaking

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I - Prep Pep TalkChapter 1: Why Make Cheese?Most cheese lovers know that fancy, delicious cheeses can be experienced at a variety of places - from a cheese plate at a restaurant to the cheese case at any major grocery store, but increasingly people are learning the pleasure in making equally fine cheeses at home - and sharing the results with impressed friends and family. In this chapter we'll talk about the re-emergence of the craft of milk fermentation and cheesemaking. I'll also cover a bit of the history of at home cheesemaking in the western world from its humble origins in the farmhouse to its en vogue position in high rise lofts and urban dwellings today.Chapter 2: Milk and More: Understanding IngredientsChapter 2 covers every ingredient needed to make cheese, including how to source the needed ingredients, how to choose milk - including differences between goat, sheep, and cow milk , and alternatives for situations when ideal ingredients cannot be found.Chapter 3: Renneting and Ripening: Steps and TechniquesSimple explanations and helpful photographs of techniques and methods are included in this chapter to help the reader quickly grasp the skills that they will need to combine and convert the ingredients from the last chapter into successful cheeses. Without going into deep science, I'll give some easy to understand and implement methods for cheesemaking success - and troubleshooting when things don't go just right.Chapter 4: Pots and Presses: The Cheesemaker's Tool KitMost of the tools needed to make cheese at home can be found in the average kitchen. In this chapter, I'll cover how to choose and use these tools and those that must be sourced elsewhere. I'll also cover how to improvise and find some creative solutions to some home cheesemaking challenges - including properly aging of cheese without a handy cellar or fancy cave. Part II - In the Cheese KitchenChapter 5: Quick and Simple The first chapter in part two starts the reader off making the most simple and instantaneous of cheeses - cheeses that will make the reader immediately feel both pride and proficiency. The first, exciting lessons in milk chemistry are learned by combining milk, heat, and acid to create such classics as whole milk ricotta, mascarpone, and paneer.Chapter 6: Fermented Milk and CreamThe next skill in cheesemaking is the use of bacteria to ferment milk. In this chapter the reader will make several simple, yet delicious and practical cultured milks and learn how the same bacteria that occur naturally in milk and nature can work to reimagine plain milk into entirely new products. Chapter 6 classics include: Cultured buttermilk; cultured butter and true buttermilk; kefir and kefir cheese; yogurt and yogurt cheese; and sour cream and creme fraiche. Chapter 7: Culture, Time, and a Touch of RennetBuilding on the experience and fun of the last chapter, this section adds the element of thickening the milk by both using bacteria and a touch of coagulant to create spreadable and tender cheeses. The reader will make simple whole milk cheeses such as quark, chevre, and fromage blanc; creamier cousins like cream cheese and Neufchatel ; and their first cheese with curds, American style cottage cheese. Chapter 8: Relying on RennetNow the reader will graduate to a group of classics that will take them to a new level of accomplishment and satisfaction - coagulant curdled, sweet curd cheeses. Classic recipes include: Mozzarella - quick set and medium set; farmer's cheese; Greek feta; and a bonus recipe for making delectable burrata. Chapter 9: Your First Aged CheesesMoving up to the next level of complexity, this chapter introduces the first cheeses meant to be aged - providing both new possibilities for flavor as well as skills. In chapter 9 we'll learn how to make and age cheddar, gouda, Colby, and parmesan. Bonus recipes include my original "Monkey Cheese" and whey ricotta. Chapter 10: Red, White, and Blue Ripened CheesesTaking it to the ultimate level of home cheesemaking, Chapter 10 gives the reader a foundational course in making the most complex of cheeses - those that depend on molds and special bacteria to transform them into some of the most prized cheeses in the world. Classic recipes include white mold aged baby Brie, blue mold streaked Roquefort, and red surface ripened Reblechon.Part III - Final TouchesChapter 11: Taking it to the Next LevelWe finish the book with a comforting and thoughtful chapter meant to inspire the reader to continue forward with their cheesy adventure - either through advancing their cheesemaking skills or enhancing their cheese enjoying experiences. For those wishing to go beyond the basics, I'll provide a glimpse of the skills, techniques, and science that must be embraced when moving to the next level. AppendixResourcesReading GlossaryIndex

Promotional Information

Features offered to Mother Earth News, Cheese Connoisseur, Culture: The Word on CheeseExcerpts offered to Mother Earth News, Mother Earth Living, GRIT, Acres USA, Hobby Farm, Food Tank and Slow Food USA Promoted on author's blog https://gianacliscaldwell.wordpress.com/ Advertising in Mother Earth News and Hobby FarmsPromotion through American Cheese SocietyPublicity and promotion in conjunction with the author's speaking engagements and workshopsGalleys on Edelweiss

About the Author

Gianaclis Caldwell is the head cheesemaker and owner of Pholia Farm, a licensed dairy well-known for its artisan, aged raw milk cheeses, and for its educational offerings including beginner to advanced cheesemaking courses. She also serves on the American Cheese Society regulatory and academic committee. Gianaclis is the author of several books including Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking, The Small-Scale Cheese Business, and The Small-Scale Dairy. She often writes and photographs for in culture: the word on cheese and other publications, and she blogs at gianacliscaldwell.wordpress.com.


Gianaclis has taken the craft of cheesemaking and has molded it into another beautiful tome for cheese lovers. Her straightforward recipes will guide you through the exciting processes of crafting different cheeses, starting with the easiest then progressing to the more advanced recipes. She also shares some extra tips here and there to make the endeavor all the more successful. Whether you plan to make cheese or not! Mastering Basic Cheesemaking will help you under- stand how the myriad of cheese styles can all begin with one simple ingredient -- milk. Should you attempt to give it a whirl, this book will be like having her right there beside you as you create your first cheese. -- MAX MCCALMAN, ACS CCP(TM), author of numerous books on cheese including Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maitre Fromager. If only I'd known..." words that kept repeating in my mind as I read Mastering Basic Cheesemaking. This is the book I longed for years ago when I embarked on my own cheesemaking journey. Not just another how-to, this beginner's book is designed to teach. The reader is seamlessly led through a progression of recipes intended to bring about a true understanding of what is happening in the vat. This book is all about success! I love it. -- KIRSTEN K. SHOCKEY, author of Fermented Vegetables: Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes & Pastes. Over the last few years, Gianaclis Caldwell has written pretty much every book you need to start a small-scale artisan cheese business. With Mastering Basic Cheesemaking, she turns her attention to home cheesemaking and creates another must-have title. Writing in a way that demystifies the process and makes it accessible to everyone, Caldwell takes the reader logically through many dif- ferent styles of cheese. This is the kind of book where you don't realize how much you are learning until you get to the end and eat your creations. If you can use a cookbook, this book will show you how to make some great cheese... and also teach you how you did it. -- GORDON EDGAR, author of Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge, Cheddar: A Journey to the Heart of America's Most Iconic Cheese and cheese buyer for Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco since 1994.

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