Raw Milk – homemade mozzarella, ricotta and lots of other things!

People are divided over raw milk but I am a big fan and I am lucky enough to live near to Lubcloud Organic Dairy who not only sell raw milk but also have chosesn not to homogenise any of their products.  When I was little I had to be quick in the mornings getting to the milk bottles on the doorstep. The birds were wise to the sight of Malcolm, our milkman back on Anglesey, and would peck through the foil lids to get to the cream that had risen to the top of the bottle.  I always used to sneakily pour a glass of that amazing creamy milk before putting it back in the fridge as a reward for being good and bringing the bottles in!

These days milk is homogenised as standard, so the fat is evenly distributed and not only don’t you get that wonderful creamy layer at the top of your pint but you also don’t get those glorious little dots of fat on the inside of your glass.  Personally I think that the taste really suffers as a result of both pasteurisation and homogenisation so it’s no contest for me when it comes to flavour.

tiny dots of loveliness around the inside of the glass

Raw milk from an organic herd really can’t be beaten for flavour so I decided to see how many things I could make from 2 litres of the stuff.  I started with mozzarella…

A quick look around the internet and I found Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s recipe for mozzarella and set to work.

The curds and whey quickly separated once the citric acid and rennet were added and the curds removed and left to drain. I should point out that this really does make your house smell like baby sick and it left me feeling quite dubious that something nice could be made from something that smelt so awful.  Nevertheless the curds were removed with a slotted spoon and left to drain for a bit in a sieve.

I wanted smallish balls of cheese, so the mozzarella curd was thickly sliced, put back into the hot whey then stretched and folded back on itself a few times before being rolled into balls and plunged into ice water.

Mozzarella on whey bread

still can't believe I made mozzarella so easily!

A quick shout out on Twitter for suggestions for the leftover whey brought a resounding call for ricotta.  Another quick look online for a really simple method resulted in me finding this method which seemed by far the easiest.

The remaining whey was strained through a coffee filter and left to drip in the fridge before being turned out onto a board.

I really couldn’t wait to try the ricotta, I wasn’t disappointed. I guess I’m used to bland, mass produced stuff because the flavour really took me by surprise – there was so much of it!  I was now really excited about my bumbling foray into the world of home cheese making.

So now I had my beautiful cheeses I needed some pizza dough to showcase them on.  I made a batch of plain and polenta flour dough using 650ml of the leftover whey.  I hadn’t intended to use polenta flour but I hardly had any other flour so substituted it in and from now on I will always do this as it was amazing!  It was about 1/3 polenta and made for a beautiful golden dough with great texture.  Fingers were crossed whilst the pizzas cooked that the mozzarella behaved as it should…

It worked perfectly! The mozzarella melted and oozed and developed a lovely brown crust and most importantly it tasted wonderful, I was so happy!

I then made a polenta and bread flour whey loaf…

This loaf was eaten almost immediately topped with salsa verde from The Good Fork’s deli box and was seriously good!

So what to do with the rest of the whey? I still had about 2 pints of it left.  Another shout out on Twitter went out.  I was told by @pukkapaki that whey is wonderful for the skin and hair so I made a homemade face pack and added a ladle of whey.

Whey facepack/cleanser or as Glen calls it "that hippy shit in a bowl"

Soothing/moisturising facepack:

  •  porridge oats
  • 1 chamomile tea bag
  • 1 Detox tea bag (milk thistle, dandelion & green tea – tastes like crap but great in a facepack)
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 ladle whey

Just mix them all and add more oats until you get a consistency you like then apply to a clean face and leave on for 10 – 15 minutes then remove with a warm cloth.  I’ve been so impressed with the effect that its had on my skin that I’m also using this as a cleanser morning and night as the porridge oats gently exfoliate the skin.  All of these wonderful beauty tips fall on deaf ears for my fella though who just calls it “that hippy shit in a bowl”.

*Update: from this morning (3 days later)

Glen: I wish you’d stop washing your face with porridge the bits get everywhere.

Me: It’s not porridge its a homemade face pack and cleanser dear.

Glen: It’s porridge with tea bags in it, you are essentially washing your face with breakfast.

Well he does have a point there but my skin is so soft and my rosacea is clearing up so breakfast face-washing will continue!*

I still had some more whey left so I decided to try Carl Legge’s suggestion of using it to lacto ferment vegetables and I gave Kimchee making a go.  It’s still fermenting away though so I’ll do a separate post on this when it’s ready.  The final bit of whey has gone to my chickens as a bit of a treat as it helps keep their eggshells hard and is a good all round tonic for poultry.

So from 2 litres of raw milk (which cost £2.40 delivered to my door) I made the most meltingly wonderful mozzarella, the best ricotta I’ve ever tasted, 2 wonderful pizzas, a loaf of delicious bread, lots of face pack/skin cleanser, Kimchee and a special dinner for the chickens, not bad going really.

*Thanks for all the lovely messages on Twitter/Facebook/here about raw milk, I am updating this post with a list of dairies (cow,sheep,goat) that offer raw milk, if you know any please let me know so I can add them*

Raw Milk Dairies:

East Midlands

Lubcloud Orgainic Dairy (cow) www.lubclouddairy.co.uk

The South East

Ellie’s Dairy (goat) www.elliesdairy.blogspot.co.uk

20 thoughts on “Raw Milk – homemade mozzarella, ricotta and lots of other things!

  1. Isabel says:

    What a great post Hazel…am so on your page on the raw milk issue. I’ve only recently got into it (well, not literally) and am converted! Do you have a recipe for the polenta and bread flour whey loaf…it looks the biz!!

  2. HazyP says:

    Thanks Isabel, hopefully more organic dairies will start to offer raw milk if lots of people ask for it 🙂 I don’t have an exact recipe as I kind of threw everything together and kept running out of flours hence the 3 different types! I really should learn to check I have all the ingredients for something before I get started but it paid off luckily as it turned out really well! I just added more flour until I got a dough consistency I was happy with but here is what I do have (flours are massively approximate unfortunately and you will probably have to add more).

    650ml warm whey
    14g dried yeast
    3 tablespoons Chiltern rapeseed oil
    1 tablespoon caster sugar
    3 big pinches sea salt flakes
    600g strong bread flour
    300g polenta flour
    200g pasta flour

    In a big bowl mix your flours, sugar and salt. Add the yeast and oil to the whey and mix. Pour whey mix into flour, combine then knead until elastic then cover and allow to double in size. Knock back then shape and leave to rise again then slash and bake at 190C until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
    I will have to make it again and this time actually weigh out all the flours that I use!

  3. chilliandchai says:

    I’m dairy free but m happy with goat, raw goat milk is beyond good…. I always thought it was a major faff to make mozzarella, might give it a go now….

  4. HazyP says:

    I love goat’s milk, never tried it raw though, reckon that would be a winner. The mozzarella was so easy and took about 45 minutes to make, definitely a good intro to cheese making 🙂

  5. Isabel says:

    Thanks for the bread recipe Hazel – it looks great; I’ll have a go over the holidays at let you know what happens!
    I bought some raw goat’s milk from Ellie’s Dairy ( http://www.elliesdairy.blogspot.co.uk/) at the Weston Price conference in London a couple of weeks ago. It was stunning, as you say…beyond good! It has a really delicious light texture, with no hint of ‘goat’ – so great for drinks, I’m not a great milk drinker, but could’ve drunk this stuff all day!

  6. Hannah@HomeBaked says:

    I loved reading this post – we need more food writing like this!
    I haven’t found a way to do this within my budget (delivery costs to the north make it too expensive) but I’d love to buy raw milk every week.

  7. chilliandchai says:

    Best goat milk ever is bought over the gate, same day as milked…. can’t beat it! I usually make yoghurt & curd, am now inspired too try moz & ricotta. Thank you!

  8. Lisa says:

    Great post, I’ve been reading quite a bit about raw milk lately and your post has certainly inspired me to go and find some! I love the idea of making our own mozzarella 🙂

  9. bringmemycoffee says:

    I just finished my first batch of raw milk mozz when I realized I’d lots of whey left. A quick search led me to your site (ricotta) and what a happy find!

  10. HazyP says:

    Thank you! How is your mozzarella? I was really surprised how easy it was to make! Haven’t bought any since! 🙂

  11. bringmemycoffee says:

    It was really good- I think I would like to have cooked it just a little less. It’s worth doing again- I get raw milk every week, so I’ll certainly try again next week. The ricotta was amazing!

  12. Caroline says:

    Wow, what an easy to follow and well set out recipe. I work at Hook and Son raw milk dairy (www.hookandson.co.uk) and I would love to add this to our ‘customer recipe’ section with your permission? We have many customers who ring up to tell us what they have made with our milk and how much better they feel on raw milk. We have many customers who are following the GAPS diet that has developed from Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ (see http://www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-up-reviews/gut-and-psychology-syndrome for a review) . Improving our gut flora by taking raw milk seems to be a building block of good health in so many ways, I find it quite humbling.

  13. HazyP says:

    Hi Caroline, yes of course please do add it, just include a link back to the recipe. I have just returned from a trip to Italy where I visited several Grana Padano producers. They use raw milk in their cheese production and their aged cheese is recommended for the elderly, children and athletes because of it’s gentle digestibility and is suitable for lactose intolerant people too. Pasteurisation removes so many wonderful qualities from milk.

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