How to make Labneh cheese at home

I bet Kate Hudson never did a cheese column during her time as Andie Anderson of Composure Magazine. I get that losing a guy in 10 days is probably better for the big screen than watching whey separate from curds but after 24 hours, not 240, you have cheese and not.. not a man. It’s much more productive. Although I must admit when my boyfriend returned from his holiday to find me in his kitchen making cheese, I’m pretty sure he started to reevaluate my sanity. In fact his exact words were “yeah, this cheese thing is pretty extraordinary”. Which it is, it’s not very normal to find people making cheese in their boyfriend’s flats. Brownies, cakes, pies – sure, that’s allowed but apparently household cheese production is a little out of left field. While he struggled with the idea of cheese making as my new hobby, I struggled with the realisation of how easy it was to make. In fact, I think I’m going to make a new sort of cheese every week. Genuinely, the hardest part of the process was finding muslin, which wasn’t hard at all because there’s a kitchen shop about 500m away. Then once you have your muslin or cheesecloth, all you need to do is dump some Greek yoghurt in it with a bit of salt, let it hang out for a day and hey presto you have delicious cheese that is almost impossible to find in local supermarkets. Next time I’m going to try ricotta as not only is it my favourite cheese at the moment but it’s apparently also incredibly simple to make and having had homemade ricotta before I know that the shop stuff doesn’t measure up to it at all. Over the next few days I’m going to be posting recipes for the labneh including another reproduction of my favourite restaurant labneh dish. Oh and also, I accidentally bought 0% fat Greek yoghurt and I was surprised that it worked perfectly well so apparently fat free labneh is a totally viable option.

Ingredients

1kg Greek yoghurt (regular or fat-free)

1 tsp salt

Method:

  • Get a 1m piece of muslin or cheesecloth and double it over.
  • Mix the yoghurt and salt together then place in the centre of the cheesecloth.
  • Tie up the cheesecloth around an object that you can suspend e.g. a wooden spoon (I used a hammer). Then suspend the yoghurt over a bowl and leave for 24 hours.
  • Alternatively, place the doubled cheese cloth over a colander or sieve, put the yoghurt and the salt mixture in the lined colander/sieve and rest that over a deep bowl. Leave for 24 hours.
  • If your room is hot, then put the yoghurt and bowl in the fridge but room temperature will be fine otherwise.
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