This week, I left the lid on and set the temperature higher, about 190C, which isn't all that hot really. The crust stayed in place, but the cooking process itself was slow. After about 45 minutes, I took the lid off and gave it another 15 minutes. The result was pretty satisfactory.
Remember, this is about 1/4 porridge oats, and I'm still getting a decent rise. I probably should try raising the temperature even more - 200 or 220. If the lid is on the pot, it shouldn't burn. I hope.
My general cheese-making technique has been documented elsewhere - http://www.aspiringluddite.com/Sep11/CheeseDetail.shtml - so I won't repeat the basics. The challenge I've run into over here is finding the right milk. None of my local shops carry unhomogenized. We can get it at the big markets in Ely, so I have a semi-regular supply, but sometimes I just make it with homogenized milk. The cheeses I made for Pól were: homogenized, unhomogenized, homogenized in brine (feta style), unhomogenized with a salt rind, and homogenized with chives from our garden. At least, I think that's what they were. That's close.
The picture above is homogenized with chives again, and unhomogenized with a salt rind.
Working with homogenized milk is sub-optimal, since homogenization is literally the opposite of what the cheese-making process is intended to do - separate things out. It can be done, though, and the results are pretty good. I have to remind myself, however, that the initial hang-to-drain phase needs to be much longer with homogenized milk. Either that, or the initial pressing needs to be very gentle indeed. Otherwise, the whey is cloudy and the cheesecloth gets clogged.
Still, worth doing even so ...
The city of Cambridge gave us a nice holiday gift yesterday. A foot/cycle path between Chaucer Road and Coe Fen had been closed for a couple of weeks for repair and improvement. It's on my usual commuting path, so I've been forced to go a bit out of my way and ride on less picturesque routes. It was supposed to be done by the first of the year, but they finished early!
Isn't it lovely? It's paved now, and wasn't before, and crucially, it has a drain! So, this morning, after rain last night, it wasn't a mudpit. A lovely holiday gift from the council ...
She's in her 'refuge room' at the moment, and we'll be introducing her to Sweeney and vice-versa over the next couple of weeks. She's a tiny little thing, although full grown, and when we made the mistake of leaving the bag of litter in her room, it became a cat toy - though she be little she is fierce.
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