How to make cheese

So many folks stumble upon this site when googling “cheesemaking class” or “cheesemaking supplies”. What gets me is that you really don’t need a class to start…and all you really need as far as supplies goes is a cheesecloth. So…I give to you my recipe for Lebanese yogurt and subsequently…yogurt cheese.

1 quart milk, preferably whole milk (you can use goat or sheep here too)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (this is a starter…if you are lucky…you can get one from your great aunt Mellie who says her starter has been passed around for over 20 years….that must be some good starter!)

Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to rise and bubbles form around the edges; then allow milk to cool to the point at which you can insert your little finger and count to ten (110 degrees F if you don’t trust your my grandmother’s method.)

Pour into an earthenware jar with a tight-fitting lid. Stir in the yogurt until thoroughly mixed; then place in a warm spot away from drafts.

Cover with a wool blanket to keep warm. Or if you have an oven…like most folks do these days…place container in an oven heated to 150 degrees F. After five minutes, turn the heat off, and let the container sit for 6 hours undisturbed; then uncover and remove from oven, and refrigerate until the following day.

Remove about 2 tablespoons of yogurt and place in a small, covered glass jar; then store in refrigerator. This will be your starter (or rawba) for the next yogurt preparation (be nice…and share it with your cousins like we did). Cover the remaining yogurt and keep in refrigerator.

From here you can make yogurt ‘cheese’. Just take some of your fresh yogurt…put it in a big cheese cloth…tie it up and hang it over your sink to drain over night….next day…cheese!  We call it labna.  You can make it into little balls…put it in a ball jar…cover with olive oil…throw in some spices if you want…and voila…cheese balls!


4 thoughts on “How to make cheese

  1. Wonderful to see you writing about yogurt cheese. We like it so much we wrote a cookbook and guide to expand its uses. I hope you will allow us to share our enthusiasm: Yogurt cheese (or YoChee as we call it) is a wonderful versatile ingredient you can make at home to improve your own yogurt. Simply by draining it. It has substantial health, taste and cooking benefits (a creamy food which is low or no fat plus high protein and calcium). I hope you will take a look at,” Eat Well the YoChee Way” our guide and cookbook to this important food. We even paid to have yogurt cheese analyzed in a lab for nutritional content. The book really increases the use of yogurt cheese to main courses, soups, sauces, desserts, and much more. (Nutritional content included). Inexpensive durable drainers ($9. – 17.) make it easy and clean. Our website contains a free yogurt cheese how – to slide show, nutrition information and free recipes.

  2. I have been making the cheese from yogurt, I get a nice big container of organic yogurt and keep it draining for a couple of days. It is awsome, we eat it with home made plum jam or as a spread on bread with garlic and herbs. I came on this site just to check that what I am doing is how others do it, I sort of made up my technic.

  3. Thank you for the yogurt cheese tip! I was looking into how to make cheese since I have the cultures and make yogurt already, do you know if it is possible to make another kind or fresh cheese or ricotta with cultures? Thank you!

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