Course curriculum

Make Your Own Cheese

Cheesemaking belongs to all of us. There is no reason to be scared to try it, especially when it comes to cheeses made in under an hour. You do not have to milk your own cow, you don’t need to bleach your kitchen, or wait months for your wheel to age in a cave. You can make traditional, rustic cheeses like this simple Farmers' Cheese and move on with confidence to try your hand at mozzarella, string cheese, goat cheese and so many more. This cheese is directly acidified, meaning we will add an acid, we will not add bacteria or enzymes at this level. This cheese is not fermented, cultured or aged. We will however coagulate milk with acid, discuss which acids to use and why, and we will create delicious wheels with the curd. 


Although cheese is easy to find in any grocery store, fresh cheeses like this are too perishable for them so hardly any shop is willing to carry them. This makes humble, fresh cheeses like this almost invisible to many cheese lovers who would devour them. This is such a shame because they are a big part of our rich cheese ancestry around the world. Thankfully, they are still valued by many cultures, so they are kept alive in other countries and by immigrants in the United States. I grew up with Mexican cheeses much like Farmers’ Cheese so I am delighted that I can make my own.
 
There are countless other benefits to making your own cheese. For one, you know what goes in it. If you have a farm nearby that can provide raw milk, you can even meet the cow (though grocery store milk will work just fine)! You can also add your favorite herbs, spices and even spicy peppers to create personalized flavor combinations you will not find anywhere. Maybe you have a garden, and you want to include your homegrown herbs or sun-dried tomatoes to your wheels. You can do that. You also can use a mineral rich sea salt or flavored finishing salt you enjoy (smoked salt, truffle salt…). Although Farmers’ Cheese is easy to make and quite rustic, you will be hooked at your first taste of warm, freshly salted, homemade curd. Whether you have made cheese before and did not succeed, or this is your first attempt, this class will give you a solid foundation of the basic process.

What you will learn

  • How to select the ingredients and equipment for making Farmers’ Cheese.

  • How to select the milk you use for cheesemaking.

  • How to create curds and whey.

  • How to flavor the milk and curds with herbs, spices and salts.

  • How to create wheels using various forms.

Meet your teacher

Instructor Bio:

Claudia Lucero is the founder and cheesemaker at Urban Cheesecraft. Claudia was raised with fresh Mexican cheeses. Nothing made her happier than visiting the cheese counters in Tijuana, Mexico for a soft queso fresco and then the tortilleria for a steamy corn tortilla. These grocery outings and simple streetside tacos shared with her nana were comfort food bliss! As she followed this appreciation of good food into adulthood, she came upon cheesemaking and dove in deep. Amazed by her new powers she set out to teach others. Since 2009, Claudia and Urban Cheesecraft have been on a mission to enable anyone to make simple, fresh cheeses with confidence and ease right in their own kitchen. Urban Cheesecraft began as an Etsy shop with a trio of DIY cheese kits. It has grown into including dairy-free cheese kits and wholesale partnerships with Williams Sonoma, 1800-Flowers, Whole Foods Market, Uncommon Goods and more. In addition, Claudia leads team-building experiences and classes online as well as in person, and she has written several books; One Hour Cheese, One Hour Dairy-Free Cheese, Instant Pot Cheese and the upcoming, Cooking with Whey. Claudia can be reached via www.urbancheesecraft.com.