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7 Works 198 Members 4 Reviews

About the Author

Gianaclis Caldwell is an expert cheese and yogurt maker and the author of several books. A regular contributor to Fermentation and Culture magazines, she teaches and consults across the United States. She lives and operates her family's dairy, Pholia Farm, in Rogue River, Oregon.

Works by Gianaclis Caldwell


Common Knowledge

Grants Pass, Oregon, USA
Places of residence
Rogue River, Oregon, USA



I was reading this because I am interested in kefir. The author goes into serious depth about yogurt but only lightly brushes over the processes for kefir. If you are interested in some serious dairy-making this may be the book for you as it moves from simple to complex yogurts and on all the way to soft cheeses. There is a chapter on vegan yogurts- please take the time to read the second review here about the dangers of raw soybeans-, a chapter on just the probiotics and a thorough review of equipment. Perhaps the final 15-20% of the book is devoted to recipes using cultured milks, most of these were unimpressive. This is a book for the serious dairy-maker not the average home cook.

library book read 3/26/2024
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catseyegreen | 2 other reviews | Mar 26, 2024 |
Don't poison yourself

The ARC has two serious mistakes, one dangerous, one simply wrong. The simple mistake is that "sous vide" is translated as "under pressure" when in fact it means "under vacuum". I can't imagine how this mistake happened because the French word for "pressure" is "pression" which is close to English.

The dangerous mistake is in the recipe for soy milk. I wrote to Storey informing them of this mistake and they wrote back saying they were looking into it. But they did not follow up to confirm that they had corrected the error in the final version of the book, so I must drop my rating to a 1 because it presents incorrect information that could be harmful.

Raw soybeans contain several chemicals that are classed as "anti-nutrients" or harmful chemicals. Soy must be processed, usually by heat, to deactivate the anti-nutrients before feeding to animals or people. You can confirm this information by searching on Google Scholar using the words "soybean", "soyabean" and "anti-nutrients".

I was taught to toast the raw beans in a dry skillet till they were very hot (not burned) before processing them. Another heat treatment is to make the milk and then boil it for a while. Either heat treatment will work but it MUST be done. Ms Caldwell's recipe does neither and the poisons are not removed.

Without these mistakes, the book would have ranked high. I have quite a few dairy books including some from university dairy programs and this book compares well because it is so thorough. Sweeteners, textures, various thickening agents, lot of other good information. Well designed data tables and clear photos get the lessons across without fuss. Sources for starter cultures are listed in several places.

Very detailed. Very scientific. Very clear reading. I learned a lot of useful new information about dairy ferments that I like to eat but don't usually make – like kefir. I am also reminded of products I have not seen for a while like the Russian baked milk yogurt called ryazhenka.

There are bits of trivia I could add to the book like being aware that some powdered milk is made to mix with cold water and some with warm, and that Afghan dried yogurt is hard, stinky balls that are very strong tasting (too strong for me) last all through the winter months.

Most of the book is really good, but we can't go around poisoning our readers can we?

I received a review copy of "Homemade Yogurt & Kefir: 71 Recipes for Making & Using Probiotic-Rich Ferments" by Gianaclis Caldwell from Storey Publishing through NetGalley.com.
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Dokfintong | 2 other reviews | May 12, 2020 |
Well this is a book I will keep at the forefront for a long time. First of all, I do not like kefir at all, not at all, so I will not comment on the kefir part of this book but the author does write extensively about kefir and has MANY recipes to try. Now that that's out of the way let's talk about my favorite, yoghurt. I do love yoghurt. The author writes all about how to make yoghurt. First clean your equipment. I like that. I will drag out my yoghurt maker and clean it! Then she talks about the different temperatures of the milk and spores. Maybe I didn't pay good attention to that which is why I will keep the book close. Then the good stuff. How to make stuff and what to put in it like fruit, honey, citrus peel and curry. Curry? This author had many, many different things to add to yoghurt to wake it up and me too to make my breakfast and lunch more interesting. The author also had recipes for different countries yoghurt like Scandinavian, Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, etc. There were also recipes for yoghurt butter and cheeses. Also, almond and coconut milks. Interesting. So I guess this weekend while I whip up some WWII Soda bread from another book I read I will be trying to make some yoghurt and maybe some yoghurt butter to go on my bread. I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this book and partake in this cooking adventure in exchange for a mere review… (more)
BarbaraS2016 | 2 other reviews | Apr 17, 2020 |
I've been making cheeses at home for a little while now, so I've started to get comfortable with the "hows." At this point, though, it's really valuable for me to have picked up this book, as it explains in significant depth, the "whys." Why do we wait certain amounts of time for certain results? Why do we cut curd at certain stages in different cheeses? Why is a "clean break" not the same for every cheese? Why are we always instructed to stir in rennet in a gentle up-and-down motion, rather than just stirring as we're used to stirring anything else?
From the basics of the ions and molecules to the affinage and macroscopic levels, this book will provide you with a wealth of understanding of your cheese making.
The only improvement I wish could be made is in the information on the recipes. The recipes are given only with descriptors, presumably so that the cheese maker doesn't have his or her eyes shut to individual possibilities and creative changes that can be made. However, it would be very helpful to also have a list in each recipe section or individual recipes of types of well-known cheeses which are examples of the given category. Those of us who come from cheese-lacking home and regional traditions benefit greatly from learning about the desired characters of different cheeses, and also how to categorize the ones we are familiar with.
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LeesyLou | Aug 18, 2013 |

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