1. No, but I see no reason not to, if you really want to. Unless...maybe the reason this method works is that the curds are weighted and shaped while still hot. I really don't know.Thank you very much for the extra instructions. I'll try it your way next time.
Just two questions, if you wouldn't mind, please:
- do you rinse the curds?
- after draining the curds through the cheesecloth, do you twist it up to squeeze some water out of it before shaping it into a block.
2. No, just draining removes most of the unnecessary whey and the weight on top of it will squeeze out any remaining. I guess I forgot to mention that the plate you place the paneer on under the weight needs to have sides high enough to catch this liquid. It really isn't much, though.
A thought: might paneer get crumbly because too much liquid is squeezed out? Oh, the things I never thought of. I never squeezed because it was hot, but not squeezing might be one of the answers.