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Beyaz Peynir
Traditional turkish beyaz peynir (translation White cheese)

Ingredients
6 lt. whole milk, Calcium cloride(0.02%), Mesophilic and thermophilic starters in ratio 1:2 (1-2%), Rennet, Cheese salt

1. heat the milk to 30-32C (in summer) 34-35C (in Winter) . Add CaCl2 and starters and let set covered ½ hrs.
2. Add the diluted rennet at the same temperature, so that the curd is ready to cut in 90 Min.
3. Cut the curd into 1 inch cubes. And allow the curds to set 10 Min.
4. Pour the curds and the whey in a cheesecloth lined in the cheese mold (take a rectangular mold not cylindrical) and press the cheese starting with light weight (same weight as the mass of curd , than enlarge that to 2.5kg.) for 4 to 6 hours.
5. Cut the curd first horizontal, than vertical twice on the half, so that you get 4 pieces of curd. (2x top and 2X bottom)
6. Place the cut curd undisturbed in a sterile brine solution (16%) and let set 4-5 hours.
7. take a plastic rectangular pot (Maybe the same size of the mold) and spread a thin layer of flake salt on the ground. Place 2 bottom layers of the cheese on this layer. Spread another thin layer on the first cheese blocks and put the 2 top blocks of the cheese on that. Finally spread an additional thin layer of salt on the whole mass.
8. Let the cheese set 2 to 4 days in that pot, top covered with a thin cheesecloth against drying, and allow the preripening or acidification at room temperature.
9. Notice that the cheese looses more whey in this time, due the act of the salt.
10. After 4 days (maybe earlier) the Ph value drops to 4.9 . Now prepare a 5% brine solution to cover the mass and fill the pot until flowing out. Put a clean light weight on the cheese, against floating , close the pot with an airtight cover and age the cheese 3-6 months at 3-4degreesC .

Beyaz Peynir is a wet semisoft white cheese in own brine, has a typical salty-sour taste with a fine flavor. It should be washed before serving with water. Together with sweet melon Beyaz Peynir is an indispensible food on the RAKI-Table (turkish traditional spirits).

Many thanks go to Dr. Ceyhun Cilasun for this wonderful Turkish recipe.

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