Since the 1870s, a small community of Circassians — Sunni Muslims from the northwestern Balkans — have resided in the Galilee. This cheese, from farmer and chef Hedai Offaim, is inspired by Circassian culinary traditions. If making cheese is new to you, this simple recipe is a good place to start. Be sure to procure a candy or instant-read thermometer, two yards of cheesecloth, and a two cup wicker basket or plastic mold before you start cooking.
- 1 gallon whole goat milk, not ultra-pasteurized
- 2 cups plain goat yogurt
- ½ cup white vinegar
- Kosher salt, to taste
- A candy or instant-read thermometer
- 2 yards cheesecloth, folded into an 18-inch square 4 layers thick
- 2-cup wicker basket or plastic mold
- Heat the milk in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring frequently so that the bottom doesn’t scald, until it reaches 160°F, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Whisk in the yogurt and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the milk mixture reaches 190°F, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar. Let the milk mixture sit undisturbed to let the proteins coagulate into curds, separate from the yellow watery whey and rise to the surface, 5 to 7 minutes.