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How Do I Make ... ?
Basket Cheese
Basket cheese is a very simple soft cheese that should be eaten fresh. It is a lot easier to make than hard cheese, so if this is your first time, you may want to start here

A large variety of imported cheese is available in China, whilst this country also make over 200 of it's own. You will not find Chinese made cheese in a Guangdong supermarket, and imported ones are extremely expensive, and availability varies.

Recipe Source:
Image: Patricia Bryant Resnick Patricia Bryant Resnick, Mojave, USA  
Websites:
eHow.com  
How to Make Basket Cheese
eHow Contributing Writer
 

Firm basket cheese - Introduction

The first cheeses were made at home for fresh consumption, and basket cheese is one version of this simple food. Basket cheese is named simply after the container it is put in to drain and ripen. Most basket cheese is eaten fresh, soft and unsalted, but you can also salt it lightly and let it set for a longer time to obtain a firmer cheese. Both result in a more or less soft, spreadable cheese.

Cultures all over the world have their own version of this mild cheese. Cream cheese and Italian ricotta are variations on this theme, so is Mexican queso panela or queso de la canasta. India has paneer and Canada has its poutine, made with the unpressed fresh curds. Even yogurt is a form of soft, unripened cheese. Middle Eastern lebne straddles the line between the two. Once you get the knack, you'll be able to keep this delicious spreadable cheese on hand for whenever you want it.
Let's get started:
Things You'll Need::  
   
• Large kettle, at least 6 quarts
• Cooking thermometer
• 1 gallon milk
• 2 tsp. rennet
• 1 tbsp. kosher or sea salt (optional)
• Cheesecloth
• Basket to hold about two quarts
• Small plate, slightly less wide than the basket
• 1 to 2 lb. of weight
(can of tomatoes or any heavy object of the right size)
Image: Basket Cheese
Picture Courtesy: jugalbandi.info/

Method:

Step 1
Heat the milk to lukewarm, between 85 and 90 degrees F. Stir in the rennet. Turn off heat and let set for about 40 minutes.

Step 2
Turn the heat back on low and heat milk again for about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to pull the curds to the side of the pot. Keep gently separating the curds with the spoon for about 10 minutes

Step 3
Line the basket with three to four layers of cheesecloth. Use the spoon to remove the curds from the pot with the slotted spoon and place into the lined basket. Fold the cheesecloth over the top of the basket from all sides to cover.

Step 4
Place the basket and curds in it back into the pan with the whey. Immerse in the whey and press the curds firmly into the basket with your hands.

Step 5
Remove the basket from the whey. Place basket in the sink so it can drain. Set the plate on top of the wrapped cheese. Place the weight on top of the plate. Press this way for 2 hours.

Step 6
Remove the cheese and unwrap it. Turn over, sprinkle with salt to taste, and rewrap. Return, top side down, to the basket and continue pressing for 1 1/2 hours longer. Remove the cheese from the press, remove the cheesecloth, place cheese in a closed container and refrigerate.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Tips & Warnings

• Rinse the cheesecloth well before using.
• Heavier and longer pressing will produce a firmer cheese.
• Try mixing various herbs and flavorings into your finished cheese. Garlic, chopped onion and herbs is a classic.
• This cheese can also be made sweet. Add citrus rind while pressing, then drizzle with honey before serving with fresh fruit.
• Rennet is available in most large supermarkets or over the Internet.
Note: Rennet is not so easy to find in South East China, so click here to learn how to make your own! (Excellent external Link with picture walkthrough).
• Try using this cheese in your favorite cheesecake recipe.
• This cheese is very perishable. Don't try to keep it more than three days.
• The differences between many cheeses are just in the cooking temperature. Use a thermometer to be accurate.

Copyright:
Portions of this page are modifications based on work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

 
Additional Recipes and Information:
Image: Gourmet Sleuth logo Gourmet Sleuth

A brilliant page featuring links to 20 cheese recipes and video walkthrough's. This website also has loads of other recipes and food related information.
 
FANKHAUSER'S CHEESE PAGE
┬ęDavid B. Fankhauser, Ph.D.,
Professor of Biology and Chemistry
University of Cincinnati Clermont College,
Batavia OH 45103
Another fantastic website that links to dozens of cheese recipes - this guy is a real cheese guru!

Dotted in amongst the cheese recipes are also other for diverse things such as root beer. Enjoy!
 
FANKHAUSER'S RENNET PAGE The same website again, this time with a very detailed pictorial about making rennet
(Not for the squeamish or faint-hearted!)
A Junkyard.wordpress.com
This page can take ages to open, and sometimes doesn't. However, keep trying as it is a very valuable addition to all the information that is above.
 
Related Pages:

•  How do I make Cheese (Cheddar)
•  How do I make Butter
 
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.

In addition we personally wish to thank Patricia Bryant Resnick and David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D. for sharing with us all their excellent skills and recipes.
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