How to Make Homemade Cheese from Powdered Milk

How to Make Homemade Cheese from Powdered Milk

How to Make Homemade Cheese from Powdered Milk

Introduction

Making homemade cheese from powdered milk is easy, inexpensive, and rewarding. With just a few basic ingredients and tools, you can create delicious fresh cheeses right in your own kitchen.

Benefits of Making Powdered Milk Cheese

There are several benefits to making homemade cheese from powdered milk:

  • Cost savings – Powdered milk is an affordable alternative to fresh milk for cheesemaking. You can make gourmet cheeses at a fraction of the price of buying them.

  • Customize flavors – You can control the ingredients to customize your cheese with herbs, peppers, or other mix-ins.

  • Learn a new skill – The process teaches beginners basic cheesemaking techniques like culturing, separating curds and whey, salting, and aging.

  • Preservative-free – Cheese made from powdered milk has no preservatives or additives like store-bought varieties.

  • Long shelf life – Most powdered milk cheese will keep for several weeks refrigerated. Harder aged cheeses will last for months.

Required Ingredients

You only need a few basic supplies:

  • Powdered milk – Look for instant dry milk or milk powder, not a premade blend for reconstituting.

  • Culture – Usually mesophilic or direct-set cultures designed for cheese.

  • Rennet – Most recipes call for liquid vegetarian rennet.

  • Salt – Standard table salt works well.

  • Flavorings (optional) – Herbs, pepper, spices, etc.

Equipment Needed

The basic equipment for making powdered milk cheese includes:

  • Pot – A heavy pot for heating and cooking the milk. Stainless steel or enamel work best.

  • Thermometer – Crucial for monitoring the milk’s temperature at each step.

  • Ladle – For scooping curds. Use stainless steel or plastic to avoid reactions.

  • Knife – A long sturdy knife for slicing curd.

  • Molds – Reusable plastic molds or cheesecloth for shaping cheese.

  • Press (optional) – A mechanical press can help shape harder cheeses.

  • Aging container – Aging box, lidded tub, or cheese paper.

Basic Steps

Here is an overview of the basic process:

1. Prepare the Milk

  • Heat powdered milk and water to form a reconstituted milk.

  • Bring to the temperature specified in the recipe (usually 90F/32C).

2. Add Culture

  • Sprinkle culture over milk’s surface and let sit for 1 hour.

  • This helps ripen the milk by lowering pH.

3. Add Rennet

  • Stir in liquid rennet to cause the milk to coagulate and separate into curds.

  • Let sit undisturbed until a clean break is achieved in the curd.

4. Cut and Cook Curds

  • Use a knife to slice curds into cubes to expel whey.

  • Gently heat and stir curds to firm them up.

5. Drain and Salt Curds

  • Pour curds into a draining container and let whey drain off.

  • Mix in salt once whey is drained.

6. Shape, Press, and Age

  • Press curds into a mold to form a wheel or block shape.

  • Age for 1-3 weeks to develop flavor.

Making Queso Blanco

Queso blanco is a simple fresh cheese that’s perfect for beginners. Follow this basic method:

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts powdered milk
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon mesophilic culture
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Reconstitute milk by whisking powdered milk into water. Heat to 90F.

  2. Culture: Sprinkle culture over milk’s surface. Let sit 1 hour.

  3. Add rennet: Stir in rennet and let sit 30 minutes until curd forms.

  4. Cut curd: Use a knife to cut curd into 1-inch cubes.

  5. Heat and stir curds very gently to 95F. Hold for 30 minutes.

  6. Drain: Pour curds into a colander and drain off whey.

  7. Salt: Mix in 2 teaspoons salt once whey is drained.

  8. Shape: Form curds into a ball or log shape. Enjoy fresh or store refrigerated.

With just a few easy steps, you can make delicious homemade queso blanco from powdered milk! Adjust the technique to create other cheeses like mozzarella, paneer, or ricotta.