Giants. Still not as good as what I used to buy from an Italian store years ago while going to college, but one day I hope to reach that. I still haven't been able to get my hands on a good recipe for yogurt or buttermilk for a decent starter (which makes the cheese tasty by providing friendly bacteria).
The first cheese I ever made was Whole Milk Ricotta. It was really simple. Much simpler than I could have imagined. Ricotta actually means cooked twice. Traditionally Ricotta is made from the whey that is a byproduct from making other cheeses.
I have found that the best and sweetest Ricotta is made from the whey after making Mozzarella.
Add a teaspoon of Citric Acid (dissolved into 1/4 cup of cold water ) or the juice from one Lemon (also mixed into 1/4 cup of cold water) to a gallon of milk.
Heat up your milk between 180 and 190, try to do it as slowly as your pot, using only Stainless Steel, and your stove will allow.
I use Raw Cow's Milk, but if you use store bought milk you have to also add another ingredient because the milk is pasteurized and that totally changes milk. In fact if you want to read up on Raw Milk go here.
Turn it off.
Watch as the Ricotta starts to float to the top. Don't stir it, it makes for a touch not smooth Ricotta. If you are heading the milk slowly, it won't burn so you don't have to worry.
After twenty minutes start to spoon it out onto either;
A) A cut in half, cleaned very well with bleach pillow case
B) Butter Muslin
Which ever you use make sure that it's draped over a steam basket sitting atop of a stockpot.
This whey cannot be used for cheese, but can be added to soup or bread.
Tie it up (this picture below isn't Ricotta) and hang it from a cabinet knob as I do or any other place that seems good to you.
Make sure to place something under it to catch the whey.
Let it drip for an hour or until it's the consistency that you like.
Well, unfortunately it all got eaten up pretty quickly and the excitement of eating homemade cheese got the best of me... I totally forgot to take pictures.
There's always next time. =D ..............
Here's Next Time (Not from the same batch of Cheese nor from Whole Milk, but instead this was made from whey left over from making Mozzarella)
I now make this cheese every week or two and use it in crepes with Apricot Jam. It's really yummy!