This month’s Forging Fromage focus is ricotta salata – the pressed, salted and dried variety of ricotta cheese. Thus, before I could make ricotta salata I had to make ricotta. Ever since I bought Dan Leader’s “Local Breads” I’ve been fancying the ricotta bread recipe from this book. So I thought I’d just make a double batch of ricotta to have enough for the bread AND the ricotta salata.
Instead of the water and milk called for in the bread recipe I just took the whey from making the ricotta. Both the ricotta as well as the ricotta bread were delicious!
Ricotta made with buttermilk
(adapted from The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley)
Yield: 1 pound
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 4 cups cultured buttermilk
- Combine the milk and buttermilk in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and heat it until it reaches 180 degrees F. Stir occasionally. When it reaches 180 degrees, remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes to allow the curds to form. Do not stir or the ricotta will have a grainy, thin texture.
- Line a colander with a butter muslin. Pour or ladle the curds into the colander carefully and let drain for 1-2 hours, depending on how dry you want your ricotta.
- When the ricotta has drained, transfer it to a bowl, break it up, and stir. Add salt to taste. Use right away, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week.
(adapted from “Local Breads” by Dan Leader)
- 7,1 oz water, tepid (I used whey from making the ricotta)
- 2,5 oz milk, tepid (I used whey from making the ricotta)
- 1,5 tsp instant yeast
- 17,6 oz AP flour
- 1,1 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 5,3 oz whole-milk ricotta, room temperature
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Mix all the ingredients together and knead on medium speed for about 10 minutes, until it is supple, smooth and very elastic.
- Ferment the dough until it has doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each piece into a round. Place the loaves smooth side up on 2 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper. Cover and let proof until they have nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Put the rounds in the oven, and create some steam by pouring 1 cup boiling water on the bottom of the oven or by spritzing the walls with water.
- Bake until the rounds are honey gold, 20 to 25 minutes.