Dehydrating Cheese Slices
By Joseph Parish
My family likes to indulge in a treat of cheese slices served with a tasty selection of sliced homemade bread. The problem is when we purchase the cheese in bulk from our local SAMís Club it is frequently too much for us to finish. As a result of that we waste a good portion of the product. To counteract this problem I decided to dehydrate the remainder for use in other foods at a later date.
After a little thought and effort I realized that the process was not entirely different from other drying procedures which I have done in the past. To start out, I took the cheese and sliced it into extremely thin individual layers. I soon discovered that the thinner I sliced the cheese the quicker it dehydrated. When slicing it try to obtain slices of equal thickness in order to allow the cheese to dehydrate evenly.
When placing your single layers of cheese on your dehydrator plates leave sufficient room between the various slices so that they do not touch one another. If you are dehydrating any sort of soft cheeses such as ricotta or perhaps cottage cheese than line your food dehydrator tray with a piece of plastic wrap. Next spread a thin layer of your chosen soft cheese atop the plastic wrap.
While the dehydrating process is taking place turn the cheese slices over hourly blotting up any grease which may have appeared from the cheese itself. Continue to dry the slices of cheese in your food dehydrator until they are completely dry. After the cheese has dried entirely it will exhibit a firm, hard texture while taking on a dark type color. Above all ensure that the cheese is totally dry throughout prior to removing it from your dehydrator.
When finished dehydrating the cheese set it aside for a spell so that it can properly cool down after which you should place the dried slices into a kitchen food processor and ground to a fine powder. Store the cheese powder in a well sealed airtight container. I usually place it into a common canning jar along with an oxygen absorber and place the lid on it. Within a short period of time the lid will pop in and the can well be sufficiently sealed.
Several neat little tricks you can do with this technique are to make your own flavor of pasta cheese. Carefully dehydrate and blend together one or if you so desire several kinds of cheese in combination to create your own individual powdered cheese blend. If you discover that your cheese has absorbed moisture while being stored, if it smells bad or has developed an undesirable appearance you should discard it immediately
There you have it all in a nutshell, the simple and easy way to dehydrate cheese. Now you are bound to become the envy of all your survivalist friends.
Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish