Dairy Month: Raw Milk

Since 1937, National Dairy Month in June has encouraged families across the nation to make milk their beverage of choice. In Massachusetts, dairy farms steward 18 percent of agricultural land and account for 14 percent of agricultural sales. However, dairy farms only make up 2 percent of farm business in the Pioneer Valley area. The majority of dairy farms in Massachusetts sell their milk wholesale. In recent years, wholesale prices for dairy have stagnated, creating a devastating gap between the cost of milk production and the amount farmers are getting paid for their milk. This has resulted in severe consequences, especially in Massachusetts where costs, from land and equipment to labor and feed, are higher than they are elsewhere in the county.

Raw milk is an increasingly popular item  being added to grocery lists. One farm that sells raw milk is Robinson Farm. Robinson Farm is a 5th generation diversified dairy farm that has been in operation for over 100 years. Check out the benefits of raw milk and purchase options at the farm!

Raw milk is milk that comes from pastured cows that contains all of the fat that has not been processed in any way. For this reason it is raw and unhomogenized. Raw milk contains many components that kill pathogens and strengthen the immune system, including: lacto-peroxidase, lacto-ferrin, anti-microbial components of blood (leukocytes, B-macrophages, neutrophils, T-lymphocytes, immunoglobulins and antibodies), special carbohydrates (polysaccharides and oligosaccharides), special fats (medium chain fatty acids, phospholipids and spingolipids), complement enzymes, lysozyme, hormones, growth factors, mucins, fibronectin, glycomacropeptide, beneficial bacteria, bifidus factor and B12-binding protein.

Raw milk sales offer an alternative to the wholesale dairy system that most dairy farms sell their milk into. This June brings a great opportunity to incorporate new recipes into your day-to-day cooking. Here is a recipe using raw milk from one of our local dairy farmers!

Cream of the Crop Farm started less than six years ago with an empty house and store. Today, the once empty lot is now a dairy farm and growing creamery.

Cheesy Garlic Pizza Rolls

Dough ingredients:

1/2 cup whole raw milk

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup raw sugar

1 tsp fine sea salt

5 non-GMO eggs

1/4 cup warm water

1 T yeast

Approx 4 cups organic white flour

Directions:

  1. Scald milk, then stir in butter, sugar, and salt. Stir frequently until dissolved.
  2. In a separate large bowl beat eggs together, then add milk mixture to eggs.
  3. Stir warm water and yeast together, then add to egg and milk mixture along with 2 cups of flour. Stir until smooth.
  4. Gradually add remaining flour.
  5. When dough becomes hard to stir, turn it out onto a floured countertop, kneading it for 8 to 10 minutes until elastic and no longer sticky.
  6. Place in a greased bowl and set in a warm place to rise until double. Meanwhile, prepare your filling ingredients.

Filling ingredients:

1/3 cup melted butter

1 T garlic powder

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup grated pepper jack cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

4 oz hot sausage, fried

4 oz pepperoni(or as much as you like)

Assembly:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 10″ by 15″ pan.
  2. Melt butter and stir in garlic powder well.
  3. Punch down dough, then roll into a a 12″ by 24″ rectangle and spread with butter and garlic mixture.
  4. Layer with cheeses and meats, then carefully roll up lengthwise, pinching off end to seal.
  5. Slice into 1″ rounds and place cut side down into greased pan. Cover and let rise until double, then bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

If you desire, you can brush with melted butter when they are finished baking. Serve with marinara sauce.

*Your finished product is only as good as your ingredients. Use fresh raw milk, locally made cheeses, etc, for superior results.

*To add aesthetic appeal, sprinkle extra grated Parmesan cheese on top a few minutes prior to removing from the oven.