My blog email inbox is clogged daily with PR pitches, recipe contests, and review opportunities.  I am pretty quick to delete the majority of them because that’s not why I’m here and I know that’s not why you are here.  However, every once in a while an offer will catch my eye.  That happened recently when I had my finger hovering over ‘delete’ and then reread the title – One Hour Cheese by Claudia Lucero.  Hello?!  As someone who adores cheese and loves making everything from scratch, this seemed right up my alley. This book recently launched and to celebrate its release, myself along with several other awesome bloggers are doing a blog tour with our reviews of the book.  I’m very excited to be kicking off the tour!  I also have to give huge props to the author Claudia Lucero.  She is a really inspiring person who took something that she was interested in and passionate about  and turned it into a business venture by making it accessible to regular people.  Learn more about her here in this video or in her Etsy shop.

I have minimal experience with cheese making (only ricotta, but that’s so easy I don’t really count it.)  Last summer I was absolutely determined to make homemade mozzarella from scratch.  I tried but failed, and it was very disheartening.  I felt really unsure of where to go from there since that recipe was from a usually trusted source (I know now though, it was definitely my mistake and not a fault of the recipe.)  Anyway, I read the premise of this book and knew it was precisely what I needed to get more practice with cheese making.  It includes very clear instructions (a must!) and step-by-step photos of the entire process for every single cheese.  There is also a very thorough introduction detailing the different ingredients and equipment needed. And in case you were thinking homemade cheese needs a bunch of special equipment or supplies, think again. I only needed one specialty item for this recipe.  Everything else was already in my kitchen.

The book includes recipes for 16 different cheeses as well as excellent follow up recipes for what you can do with the lovely cheese you just made.  I’ve talked before about how I like to determine the percentage of recipes I truly want to try as a measure of a cookbook’s worth.  I can tell you with complete honesty that I want to try every.single.recipe in this book.  I had the hardest time deciding which recipe to try first but eventually landed on this triple pepper jack because I just can’t resist a good spicy cheese. (The brown butter burrata was a very close second though.)  I have every intention of trying all of them!

I’m telling you, I was nervous.  I didn’t want another failure like last summer.  Thankfully this recipe was a resounding success and we were amazed with the results.  It is so, so good!  Ben and I both just kept looking at it like – did I really just make legit cheese?  And yes, it truly took less than an hour to make.  So fun!  Cheese making may very well become another routine weekend activity in our house along with bread baking.  Oh yes, that would be very nice indeed.

So, are you interested in winning your own copy of One Hour Cheese?  If so, head on over to the giveaway page to enter!

Full disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of One Hour Cheese for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

  • Yield about 12-16 oz. cheese


1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup water, divided
1½ tsp. citric acid
¼ tablet rennet
1 gallon whole milk, not ultra-pasteurized*
1 cup low-fat yogurt (I used greek yogurt)*
2 tbsp. diced pickled jalapeño peppers
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt


  • 01

    Place the ½ cup of water in a small bowl. Stir in the citric acid and set aside. In a separate dish, dissolve the rennet in the ¼ cup of water and set aside.

  • 02

    Combine the milk and yogurt in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Whisk to blend well.  Whisk in the citric acid mixture.  Continue to heat, stirring frequently.  Carefully monitor the temperature until the mixture reaches 90˚ F.  Make sure you take the temperature in multiple places in the pot since some areas will be hotter than others.

  • 03

    Once the mixture reaches 90˚ F, stir in the rennet solution in 20 quick strokes to ensure even mixing. Continue to heat without stirring until the mixture reaches 105˚ F.  You will see the curds beginning to form.

  • 04

    Once the milk reaches 105˚ F, reduce the heat to low to maintain that temperature.  Very gently stir the curds in the pot until the texture is similar to scrambled egg rather than soft yogurt.

  • 05

    Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to scoop the curds into a microwave-safe bowl. Drain off any excess whey into the pot, holding the curds back in the bowl.

  • 06

    Microwave the curds for 1 minute on high. Fold the mixture over on itself five times to help evenly distribute the heat. Drain off the whey that has been released.  Microwave 30 more seconds.  Immediately drain off the whey that is released.

  • 07

    Sprinkle the jalapeños, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt onto the curds.

  • 08

    Fold the curds over the peppers about 10 times to mix them in evenly.

  • 09

    Microwave for one last 30 second interval. There should not be much whey at this point. Fold and knead the curds to distribute the heat evenly. (If the curds are too hot to handle, consider wearing clean kitchen gloves to do this.) Eventually a smooth, springy mass will form (this may take up to 30 folds depending on the milk used and the temperature.)

  • 10

    Line a loaf pan or other dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Pack the smooth curd mixture into the pan.  Transfer to the freezer for about 10 minutes to set before unmolding.

  • 11

    *Lower fat milk may be used, but the texture will be slightly firmer.

    The yogurt is added for a tangier flavor but can be omitted if you prefer.