Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Great Burrata Cheese Adventure

After our winery tours some of the our slowbowler group signed up for a "Burrata cheese making class".

All the ingredients and tools needed for cheese making were neatly laid out.

Having a very clean and sterile setting is most desirable.

Here is our instructor, Alan, giving us background on burrata cheese making.

The two Mike's paid close attention to all the details. Making cheese has alot of components which are scientific in nature. These two guys seemed to love all the details. (Me, not so much).

You need to add citric acid to the milk to stimulate the curdling.

There were other ingredients to be added at specific times like lipase mixed with water. Temperatures needed to be monitored carefully (we left that up to the men!) And there was stirring involved and watching the time for resting periods.

The milk begins to curdle and you use this ladle in an up and down motion to help with the curdling.

At a specific temperature and after a resting period you cut the curds in one inch squares.

Now you need to drain off the whey (all the watery parts from the cheese).

Things were really busy for the men at this point because we had more than one batch of cheese being made...again timing, temperature and rest periods are critical in getting just the right consistency. My husband was really into this process. I could see we would have cheese making in our future.

You need to buy good cheesecloth to drain the whey from the curds. Don't buy the cheesecloth that they sell at your local grocer. We were told it would not work.

Now alot of squeezing goes on to get rid of all the liquid. First with the cheesecloth

Then with your hands. (Dont' worry Alan made sure we all washed our hands well.)

Once you are satisfied that all the water has been removed the fun begins...

You will begin to stretch and pull the cheese like taffy.

Deborah volunteered for this.

You can see the consistency begins to look like the mozarella you are used to seeing.

Then we all joined in to pull off segments to make little bite size balls. You can either fill it with the cream filling (we used marscapone) or just make a little ball to serve.

This was lots of fun. We were getting close to the eating part.

Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. The name "burrata" means "buttered" in Italian.

Burrata starts out much like mozzarella and many other cheeses, with rennet used to curdle the warm milk. But then, unlike other cheeses, fresh mozzarella curds are plunged into hot whey or lightly salted water, kneaded and pulled to develop the familiar stretchy strings (pasta filata), then shaped in whatever form is desired.
When making Burrata, the still-hot cheese is formed into a pouch, which is then filled with scraps of leftover mozzarella and topped off with fresh cream (panna) before closing. -Wikipedia

We then devoured the finished product with all our friends. You can choose to dip the burrata in good olive oil, a variety of flavored salts or you can just eat it alone, it has a wonderful flavor just as it is. Lots of ways to serve it.
It was a great workshop. Shannon thank you for arranging this class for us. A true wonderful learning experience. We'll be making cheese in our home for sure.

When the Burrata is sliced open, its panna (cream) flows out. The cheese has a rich, buttery flavor, and retains its fresh milkiness. It is best when eaten within 24 hours, and is considered past its prime after 48 hours. The flavour and different textures of the inside and outside make it go well with salad, prosciutto crudo, crusty bread, fresh tomatoes with olive oil and cracked black pepper, or pasta. It can be served fresh on a cutting board with a huge knife. -wikipedia

"Blessed are the cheesemakers." -Monty Python

Wallace: "Gromit, that's it! Cheese! We'll go somewhere where there's cheese! "
[Looks at "Cheese Holidays" magazine, then out window] - From A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit
*Special thanks again to my slowtrav peeps for sharing their photos with me. Especially Palmabella who documents things so well with her camera. Gazie mille!

1 comment:

Eden said...

Funny, I jsut saw Martha's post which is about the Burrata class too!

I did the same today... Yours and Martha's have better documentation and photos...

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