Sunday, January 3, 2010

Goat Milk Cheese - Provolone

Provolone is one of the cheeses I experimented with making this past fall.   I had requests from friends to make this cheese.  So I gave it a try.  Here are the results ....

Provolone is an Italian pasta filata, pulled type, of cheese.  Tradition dates it back to Roman times where it was smoked and ripened.  Provolone is Italian for "large oval" or "large sphere".  It's made sort of like mozzarella, but with ripened milk instead of sweet milk and is firmer when it's done. (I'll add posts with photos of making the cheese when I have lots of milk again this spring.)

Here is a photo of one of the hand formed balls of Provolone that I made.



 Goat Milk Provolone


After draining the whey from the curds, the cheese is heated to around 130* and stretches easily. You kneed it like bread dough and pull it like taffy ... then form it into balls or logs while it is hot and soft ... then drop it into cold water to be sure it holds its shape.  You put the cheeses in a brine solution for about 12 hours and then pat them dry.  This is when the Provolone cheese should be put in a cool smoker for several hours before aging.  But, I don't have my smoker ready yet ... so I wrapped them in cheese paper and put them in the fridge/cooler at around 48* to ripen.  The cheese paper keeps them from drying out and still allows them to breath.

Here is a photo of the cheeses aging/ripening in the large fridge out in the cheese processing room.  You can see the Provolone cheeses in the front ... wrapped in their cheese paper.  All cheeses made with raw milk need to be aged at least 60 days to be sure they are safe to eat.


Cheeses Aging in the Fridge

When Tonia (from The Simple Life) and her daughters came over a few days ago ... we opened one of the Provolone cheeses to taste it. (We tasted LOTS of cheese that day!)

The Provolone was pretty good ... but not one of my favorites.  It is a firm cheese and a little salty (from being in the brine).  I don't think I would enjoy eating it just by itself ... like I do with some of the other cheeses ... but it would be wonderful grated and used in cooking.  I think I'll try some melted on crusty bread with some butter, garlic, and maybe some basil.  I think that would be delicious!  Mummm.....




10 comments:

Mrs. Bee said...

ooooo...I luv provolone on a homemade salami sandwich...we usually make homemade salamis and sausage throught the year and when we are blessed with a pig liver, we make homemade liverwaust....mmm...must make some connections to see if there are any available :) I will let you know if we make some of it and if you like it , I would be glad to send you some when we make it. I did just remember that we have some venison in the freeze to make salamis from....must ask TrapperDude when he gets home if we have everything we need to make some. Are you opposed to eating venison???

Brenda said...

Mrs. Bee - Venison salami sounds wonderful! I'll bet that would go great with the provolone ... or the cheddar ... or the pepper jack .... Oh, the possibilities! I am so glad this fall's cheeses are ready for eating!

~Tonia said...

That would be good with the Pepper jack!! I think Kyla and Kara ate most of it themselves. I cant wait to make the Mozzarella with the 4H kids!

Ms Cowboy--Dawnnell Holmes said...

Okay, Brenda--I may need to come over and pick your brain for awhile. Our next endeavor is to add a cheese plant to the milk barn and get a handful more Jerseys! But, I won't be getting any more Jerseys until my milk machine is up and running! Four is my limit to milk by hand! I did have some friends from church give me a bucket milker, but it needs new hoses and such.
Looks like you're having fun with all the cheeses--we'll have to try them out!

Brenda said...

Hey Dawnnell - As much as I enjoyed milking by hand ... you know the warmth of the goat or cow and peaceful rhythm of the milk hitting the milk bucket ... I do SO much enjoy milking by machine in the remodeled milk parlor! I'm sure you'll enjoy it when you get yours set up too!

You'll have to come over for a visit when the goats are milking again and I'm making cheese again this spring!

Feral Female said...

Mmmmm provolone is one of my favorite cheese`s and yours looks great!! I surely do wish I lived closer so that I could drop in and watch how you make your cheeses. =)

Barbara said...

Very Cool! Making your own cheese is something I eventually want to do.

OurCrazyFarm said...

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog! I have been enjoying your blog too:) My husband is a cheesemaker by trade, so besides that and the goats, your sight has been very inspiring! I look forward to coming back! Terri

Brenda said...

Welcome, Terri. What does your husband do as a cheese maker? Becoming an artisan cheese maker is what I've chosen as the direction for my life. I would love to hear about his point of view.

Lisa Medley said...

Hey girl, I just saw your photo on Dawnnell's comment roll and found your blog! Cool! Hope you are well. I see Tonia is a fan too. I just met her when she commented on my blog. It's a small world. If you'd like to see my blog and our life in the big cedars you can at medley3.blogspot.com

take care!