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27 August 2013

Farmer's cheese and biscuits/crackers


If you have extra milk in the fridge, or can get some, particularly if it's non-homogenised, or better still, raw milk, this is an easy and quick cheese to make. I used the delicious local Maleny milk. The one I have right now is homogenised, but it still suits my purpose. Both these recipe are quick and easy. The cheese will take you about 30 minutes altogether, but you're only actively working on the cheese for about five minutes. If you have a food processor, the biscuits/crackers will take about ten minutes for the grating, mixing rolling out and cutting. Add another 30 minutes to let the dough rest in the fridge. It's a great snack for the family or when visitors drop by. Served with a cold cordial or ginger beer, it's ideal on a summers day.

The jar is filled with the whey I harvested from the cheese.

Farmer's Cheese - this is a fresh cheese, similar to ricotta 
  • 2 litres/quarts of fresh milk
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt 
  • Lemon juice, about two lemons - you can use ½ cup white vinegar too but I think the taste is better with lemon juice
How to ...
  1. Place the milk and salt into a saucepan over medium heat. When the milk starts forming bubbles around the outside rim, remove it from the heat.
  2. Add the lemon juice and stir. Let it sit for ten minutes.
  3. Line a colander with cheesecloth or loose weave muslin, pour the curdled milk in and let the colander sit over a jug to catch the whey.
  4. Allow it to sit for two hours then gather the cloth around it and squeeze the last of the whey out. Don't throw the whey out, it's wonderful in all kinds of baking. Whey will keep in the fridge in a sterile jar for months.
  5. Store the cheese in the fridge.
Easy Cheese Crackers - this is a modified version of the common recipe for cheese crackers found in many places on the internet.
  • 125 grams grated cheddar cheese
  • 125 grams grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plain/all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
How to ...
  1. Place cheese, butter and flour in the food processor and mix OR rub the butter and cheese into the flour with your fingertips, as you would when making scones. 
  2. Add enough iced water to bring the dough together as a stiff dough - similar to a pastry dough.
  3. Let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out to a thin biscuit and cut with a cookie cutter.
  5. Bake on a baking tray for about 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown. 
  6. Cool on a rack and store in an air-tight jar.
If you want a spicier cracker, you can add chilli powder or paprika to the dough if you like.




The sharp flavour of the biscuits/crackers goes really well with the smooth and creamy cheese. I was going to make up some ginger beer yesterday afternoon too. It's been fermenting for about 10 days on the kitchen bench but I was too tired and put it off another day. It would have been the perfect accompaniment. This is really a delicious snack that contains no added preservatives, or artificial colours or flavours.  I'll write about the ginger beer soon. :- )

38 comments:

  1. That looks great. I just pinned something like that cheese from The Kitchn and I want to do it soon. I'd like to hear more about how to use up the whey - that's a lot! I asked The Kitchn person if the whey is sweet or acidic and she didn't know. Does it replace milk or buttermilk/sour milk in a recipe?

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    Replies
    1. Yes Margo, it replaces milk or buttermilk in any recipe. You can use it in lacto-fermentation as well, and you can drink it.

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  2. Those crackers look wonderful. I was going to make ginger beer for my children, but I am not sure if it has alcohol. As always I enjoy you blog very much.

    Janet from Canada

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    Replies
    1. There is an alcoholic version but the one I make is not alcoholic.

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  3. Thank you for the cracker recipe. What temperature do you set the oven to?
    It is illegal to sell raw milk in Rhode Island, where I live, so I drive to Connecticut to buy it. It is so rich and creamy! I make cheese and also butter, if my daughter doesn't drink it all first!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Around 200C/395F for your oven. They go from cooked to burnt very quickly so keep an eye on them.

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  4. We love farmer cheese but I had no idea is was so simple to make! My daughters and I will have to give it a try!

    Thanks too for the cracker recipe. I love making food from scratch.

    Deanna

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    Replies
    1. It's a great project for you and the girls, Deanna.

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  5. What does the whey get used for? I know you say baking, but what does it go into?
    I make this cheese but just throw the whey down the sink, didn't realise it served any useful purpose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cakes, bread, muffins, whatever. Also great in pancakes, instead of milk.

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  6. Ooo those biscuits look yummy. Gonna make some.

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  7. Oh, wonderful! This is similar to a goat's milk cheese I made recently with apple cider vinegar. Going to try it with lemon juice this time, as you suggest. How did you get yours to mold so nicely? Mine tend to come out too crumbly, but I'm not sure why. Thanks!
    -Jaime

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jaime. I just pressed it into a bowl and let it sit for a while before turning it out. If that doesn't work, you could add some cream, maybe half a cup, to the milk when you heat it and it won't break up as much. Let me know how you go with it. xx

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    2. Made some today with full-cream goat's milk and it worked like a charm! I agree about the lemon juice - definitely a brighter taste than the vinegar - yum!

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    3. That's great, Jaime. I'll remember that if anyone asks about a goat's milk version.

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  8. Oh Rhonda, you answered my prayers. I have been looking for a decent savoury recipe for crackers everywhere! It is the one thing I still have to buy for the kids.Can't wait to try it.

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  9. That looks wonderful. I am definitely going to make those! Thanks Rhonda.

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  10. hi rhonda
    i make this cheese very oft. it's really easy and taste sooooooooo good.
    thanks for sharing the cracker recipe. i will it try.
    have a wonderful week,
    regina

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  11. Wow!, I was looking at UTube videos last night about making farmer's cheese, apparently you can make the real ricotta out of the whey as well, but I think you need lots. I have a plain cracker recipe I use a lot so this cheese one will be nice for a change.

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  12. Yum, yum! I had planned to make a large batch of lebnah to bottle in olive oil this week but I might just have to make this farmers cheese and crackers first!

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  13. Wow! This looks sooooo good!

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  14. Can you used homogenized milk to make this cheese or will it not work? I would love to try making both these recipes they sound yummy

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    Replies
    1. I made this with homogenized milk here in the states, just don't use ultra pasteurized milk.

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  15. Those crackers look so good, I have made the cheese before and it is so much nicer than bought ricotta. My mother -in-law makes a cheese cracker with some rosemary in them, they are really good.

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  16. Fantastic - thank you Rhonda for both recipes! I can't wait to give these a go as I have always wanted to make cheese from scratch. And those crackers look delicious too! Thanks again! Kirsten x

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  17. Serendipty. I haven't made cheese in ages and was thinking yesterday that it was about time I started again. Commented as such to eldest daughter who asked when I was going to make chilli cheese biscuits again. I said I had lost the recipe but could probably work it out. Now I don't have to!

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  18. Crackers look amazing! Going to give them a go, thanks Rhonda.

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  19. Great recipe Rhonda! The kids and I made the crackers after school today and it's the first time I've had success with homemade crackers. They loved them! So did I, they are very "more-ish": I definitely ate more than my fair share!

    Sara

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  20. I plan to make the cheese and crackers very soon. When I saw this post I almost drooled. Thank you Rhonda for sharing so many good ideas here. And I appreciate the recipes as well!
    God bless!

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  21. Hi Betty, it's good to see you here. The crackers are absolutely delicious and teamed with the cheese, it's unbeatable. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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  23. I'll try both of these, how wonderful to be able to end a nice meal with crackers AND cheese that you have made yourself :-)

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  24. I've never made my own cheese. I always thought it was difficult but this looks really simple to do. I'm going to have to give this a go. The crackers look really tasty. I love cheesey biscuits.

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  26. Petal is always talking about the butter and cheese his grandmother made with fresh milk from the cow. Those cheese crackers look so tempting, I think I'll give them a go. Just had to ask ..... Have you seen my good news lately? After six years of battling cancer, his last scans have shown that he has beat it. No sign of cancer in his body. We're stunned and still coming to terms with it. I guess after all this time (and only a couple of months ago we were planning his funeral) we're still a little sceptical. Maa (Sue)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good grief! That's incredible. I hope he recovers well after his jaw surgery. What a terrible time he's been through Sue. I'm so happy for you both.

      Delete
  27. I'm definitely trying this! I wonder how the crackers will do with wholewheat flour? Will let you know when I make them. I've always made yogurt cheese (leben) from my yogurt but that's more like cream cheese. This looks really delish!

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  28. There's nothing better than homemade cheese and crackers, and yours look wonderful. Thanks for the delicious inspiration!

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