The folks from Lark Crafts have been so kind to me. They sent me the first two books from their Homemade Living Series a few months ago, and they recently sent me two more. Today I’ll tell you about Home Dairy

…I’ll tell you about Keeping Bees in my next post.

I’ve really got quite the girl crush on the author of all four books in this series: Ashley English. I love her blog and her posts over on Design Sponge, and she’s done a fabulous job once again with this book. In Home Dairy, she shows how easy it can be to transform “a few gallons of milk and some friendly bacterial cultures into a veritable feast of dairy products”.

Ashley is very thorough about explaining all aspects of home dairy making here: from how to select milk to cultures to equipment, this book has it all. I have been dabbling in these types of projects on and off for years, but reading this book really motivated me to get back into making my own dairy products.

Because I am able to buy excellent quality raw milk from a nearby farm, I decided to start with one of the beginner’s cheeses: mozzarella.

raw milkfresh mozzarella

It might surprise you to learn that mozzarella is easy to make at home, but it truly is. All you need is raw milk (if not raw, then you need milk that has not been ultra pasteurized), citric acid powder, rennet, water, and salt. And it only takes about 30 minutes. See what I mean? Easy. And being able to make your own mozzarella is, well, it’s cool. My kids were so excited about it. I didn’t get a picture of the finished product- “the ball of mozz”- because my family just wanted to eat it; every now and then I don’t have it in me to hold them off while I shoot my pictures. But it came out really well.

My mozzarella was just a tad “rubbery” because I used the microwave method for warming my curds: next time, I will do it with the heated whey (Ashley explains both methods in the book). I used it in a gluten-free pasta dish with my home cured bacon and watercress and it was delicious, but of course there are so many ways to use fresh mozzarella. I’ll be making it again and again, since my family really can’t get enough.

If you are someone who enjoys making things at home so you have control over your ingredients and ensure that your food is the healthiest it can be, I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s terrific, and I can’t wait to make just about every recipe.


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  1. 1

    Mildred — April 11, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    Good Article!! good book!! I will try to find it. I come from a Swiss background family, they made cheese (my grandpa) in Uruguay! but never passed the craft :(
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2

    Kelly Wilson — April 11, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    Thanks!! I am going to order this book plus a couple of other she has written.

  3. 3

    Kimmy @ Lighter and Local — April 11, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    Ooh – I’m putting this book, along with Ratio, on my wish list. The only cheese I’ve done at home so far is Ricotta and it far outweighed anything I have ever bought. So creamy. I didn’t realize mozzarella was this easy.

  4. 4

    marla — April 11, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    Winnie, thanks for sharing this book with us. Sounds like a lot of info I would like to know more about. Your photos are always so refreshing!

  5. 5

    Jackie — April 12, 2011 @ 1:45 am

    This is something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that it’s much loved in your home! I’m not sure where to find raw milk here, though – I might have to trek out to a farm. I’ll do some research, because I really want to make my own cheeses!

    Thanks Winnie =)

    Jax x

  6. 6

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — April 12, 2011 @ 3:58 am

    Thanks for sharing the book with us, I love to experiment making things from scratch and making my own mozzarella sounds like fun!

  7. 7

    Penny — April 12, 2011 @ 6:47 am

    I was raised on a farm and we made all our own products like cheese from milk right from the cows. All of us were very healthy and had few illnesses like colds, etc.

    Today raw milk is hard to come by because of laws, but with a little searching you can usually find a farmer who will accommodate you.


  8. 8

    Merut — April 12, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

    I tried three times. It could be because I couldn’t find milk that was not ultra-pasteurized. :-( Maybe a fourth times a charm?!

  9. 9

    Laura W — April 12, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    I’ve been thinking about making homemade mozz for a while, and your post is re-motivating me! Where do you buy your raw milk? And where did you get the citric acid powder and rennet? (I know I have an online source bookmarked around here somewhere…)

  10. 10

    sarah, simply cooked — April 16, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    This is the second review of Home Dairy I have seen and I want it more than ever! Thanks for the encouragement… :)

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    Heather at FarmgirlGourmet — May 3, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    This is awesome Winnie! I just “stumbled” and saw this post. I make Ricotta all of the time, but have hesitated on exploring other cheeses….this is the push I needed!

    Thanks a billion!

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    Healthy Green Kitchen Becoming a beekeeper — July 24, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

    […] Ashley English, author of three books I love including the recently reviewed Home Dairy, just came out with a new book on beekeeping. It’s called Homemade Living: Keeping Bees with […]