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by Annalisa Brown (follow)
Easy (2874)      Vegetarian (1517)      Cheese (387)     
I love cheese; all types of cheese from fetta, mozzarella, brie, jarlsberg to roquefort and soft washed rinds. I’ve had this lingering passion to learn how to make cheese and have always fancied myself roaming through the Societe Des Caves De Roquefort, the world’s most famous cheese caves, red wine in hand, tinkling away making and eating cheese perfection.

I recently took steps into my own hands and enrolled in a cheese making workshop. Although a far cry from those French caves, I did learn how to make the most fresh and purest of ricotta, yoghurt and labneh.

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of trying labneh it has a similar consistency to cream cheese but tastes so decadently rich and smooth. Labheh can be spread on crackers, used as a topping on vegetables and in soups.

Labneh - yoghurt cheese - served with crackers

Although I’m far from making any living as an artisan cheese-maker being able to make and eat your own cheese is the greatest satisfaction. You can make the yoghurt from scratch to make the labneh as I did or instead buy pot-set yoghurt.

Preparation Time: 24 hours
Cooking Time: Nil
Makes: 250g

500g Yoghurt
1 Teaspoon fine sea salt

Line a colander with muslin cloth and place a second bowl underneath to catch the whey.

Mix the yoghurt with the salt then spoon into the muslin lined colander. Tie the corners of the muslin together and leave to drain until the cloth has stopped dripping.

Spoon yoghurt into a muslin-lined colander

Draining time
8 hours (for a soft spread or dip)
24 hours (for a cream cheese like spread)

Leave the yoghurt to drain, for a cream like consistency leave for 24-hours

In summer, drain in the fridge or in a cool, clean place.

In winter, hang from the sink.

Wet the muslin before spooning the yoghurt in, as it will make the cheese come off easier.

Salt helps to release the whey and breaks down the enzymes, resulting in a smoother cheese.

Labneh has a neutral flavour and can therefore be flavoured with anything sweet or savoury.

Stored in a plastic contain, the labneh should keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Alternatively, you can store in a glass jar covered in oil with herbs and it should keep for up to 2 months.

Labneh - yoghurt cheese

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