The mystery of the cheesemaking world has been exposed. In her newest book, Mastering Basic Cheesemaking, artisan cheesemaker Gianaclis Caldwell demystifies and simplifies the whole process. This book is my new #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to learn to make cheese.
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This is basically cheesemaking school in a book. Gianaclis starts by explaining the “fundamentals of making cheese” in 39 pages. This information will serve you well through your cheesemaking adventures. Then in 19 lessons, she takes you, step by step, from the most basic acid-ripened, fresh cheeses through rennet-coagulated cheeses to the more complicated, cultured, aged cheeses. This book will be useful to anyone who wants to make cheese, regardless of whether they have their own milking animals or not.
One of the many things that sets this book apart from the others is that it’s 8 1/2 by 11 inches. It packs a ton of info into a relatively thin book that will easily lay open on your counter. There is nothing worse than a small, thick book that won’t stay open when you’re trying to follow directions! There is also a lined page for notes at the end of most chapters.
Gianaclis recommends that you keep a cheese journal. I wholeheartedly agree! My learning curve with cheese would have been so much easier if I had started writing down everything from the beginning. It took me five years to learn to make a predictably good chevre because I wasn’t keeping track of what I was doing from one batch to the next.
What kind of cheese can you learn to make?
Instructions are included for ricotta, mascarpone, paneer, quark, chevre, cream cheese, cottage cheese, feta, gouda, colby, parmesan, and several types of cheddar, as well as buttermilk, sour cream, creme fraiche, buttermilk, ghee, kefir, and yogurt.
At the end of the book, Gianaclis gives you an excellent list of references where you can continue your education.
If you want to learn to make cheese but don’t have the time or money to travel to a cheesemaking class, this is the book for you.