When Athe gives you milk…

Sad though it is, I haven’t been able to resist making use of the milk price war currently being waged in Australian supermarkets.  Making use of litres of milk at a go is no easy task.  However, India has provided the answer in the form of paneer.

Paneer is a acid-set cheese made by boiling and then acidifying (adding lemon juice to) milk.  It’s no harder than that.  The resulting curds are strained and pressed (though you can wash them in fresh water too).

I used a few internet recipes, to make mine.

A big saucepanm, strainer lined with tea towel, 1l milk, lemon juice.

First, I gathered the saucepan, strainer lined with tea-towel, milk and lemon juice.

 

Heating milk always looks the same

Then, I brought the milk to the boil while stirring constantly, pausing only  to take a photo.

 

Normally, this would be bad!

Then, I gradually added the lemon juice until it curdled, while stirring gently.

 

I strained the curds through the strainer, and placed a pyrex dish full of water on it to press out excess water and give it a firm consistency.

 

150g from just over a litre of milk, and the juice of just under one lemon

The yield from just over 1L milk and a lemon was 150g.  This cost $1.50

 

It was unwilling to fry up nicely, crumbling a bit in the pan, but even in the cheapo butter chicken sauce it was very tasty.

 

The most exciting part for me is the by-product.  I was nervous to feed the protein rich whey to the chooks because everything I read tells me citrus is bad for them.  However, it makes the most amazing dough.  Even the waste heat is used because you can use the whey as it’s cooling down from the boil.  I gradually beat bread flour into approx 400mL whey, adding seeds, oil, salt, sugar and yeast at the thick batter stage.

 

The dough was amazing – glossy and almost non-stick – and the texture of the bread was really moist and elastic.  Don’t let the shape trick you; it rose really well but I have to make flattish bread because I do it on the stove and under the grill because the oven’s broken.

This made two decent loaves but one got eaten quite quickly!

Hopefully, the milk war won’t leave us with higher prices in the long term, because I hope to be doing this again and again.

(Edited to fix formatting)

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alice on March 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    It’s funny that you’ve just made paneer because I’m doing an evening Indian cooking course, and I just made it there too! I was inspired by your blog and decided to make some more and try using the whey to make bread. I had quite a lot of whey so in turn had quite a lot of bread! It tasted nice but I forgot to put salt in it. I’ve sliced the remaining loaf and put it in the freezer to use as needed. I also wanted to let you know that our cooking teacher said you can also add things to the milk as it’s heating, such as bay leaves, saffron or anything you like really. We removed the bay leaves just before we added the acid (we used vinegar) and the flavour was really nice. He also recommended storing the paneer uncut into a salty brine for up to a week. We turned our paneer into Mattar Paneer. Yum!

    Reply

  2. […] the pan/grill version still (which is working better and better!).  This uses the recipe from the paneer […]

    Reply

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