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Homemade cheese. Basic kits and ingredients

Who don’t like cheese? It’s delicious and nourishing base of sandwich. Important ingredient of many cakes or just tasty snack. American authority of culinary art, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher wrote in her book, that cheese has always been a food that both sophisticated and simple humans love. So, efforts towards to produce homemade cheese seems to be much more worthy than anything. Let’s look to couple of main rules and learn together how to make cheese.

 

 

 

Ingredients

 

In France or Germany one person eat 25 kg cheese through the year. Many of them making their own product as crafters. We have to recognize, which ingredients we will need. Animals give milk, milk give cheese. Look like simple equation? Not, if we enumerate all animals, which give milk - goat, cow, sheep, water buffalo, yak or camel. Each type of milk has different percentage of fat, protein, lactose. All these elements have impact on density or acidity. In the end on aroma and flavor, of course. What else? In recipe we should include bacteria culture. It’s important to remember add a few grams and also salt. All in all it’s a few main steps in the process of production cheese. We get knowledge how to make cheddar cheese.

 

 

Curdling

 

Use fresh milk to make cheese and pour to the big pot. In curdling process milk is separated to solid curds and liquid whey. How it works? You have to acidify the milk. Direct acidification require add cultures or living bacteria. Sprinkle that all over the top. This help milk change to the cheese. Heat milk slowly and stir all the time until desired temperature (32°C) has been reached. Apart from bacteria, you need also a enzyme taken from the stomachs of young calves. Sounds disgusting? In many stores you can get liquid rennet. And you have to remember to add it! It’s most important ingredient responsible for completing the process of cheese curdling. After resting half an hour, a mass appears, so milk has curdled.

 

Pre-cheesing

 

In case of cheddar cheese is worth to add annatto. It’s kind of orange dye used for coloring. This gives the cheese creamier looking and consistency too. A few drop is enough. The pieces of broken gel mass will be smaller as they are stirred. Protein work inside the milk. Cut the separated curd into cubes and chunks with a knife in vertical and horizontal way. The size to which you cut the curds will effect the amount of moisture retained in your final cheese. Let the curds heal for six minutes.

 

Stir and form

 

Now it’s time to cook and stir again along almost one hour and slowly increase temperature, but not more than 39°C. Influence of annatto is visible. Water has yellow color. Cheddaring process is starting now and it takes further 40 minutes. When this time will elapse, gently drain off the whey to the cotton cheesecloth. Your cheese has better consistency now. It help give the whey a shape.

 

 

Cut the curd in half while it’s in the pot. You received same sort of curd size as they  do in the traditional cheddar making process. Flip it quickly over each half and rest for 10 minutes. You will see a fair bit of whey has come out. Repeat action and wait next 45 minutes. During this time it absorbs salt and loses moisture. Transfer that into your cheese mold. It’s useful kit to consolidate and form curds and give a final shape. Fold the cloth over, pop the follower on top and screw that down to the pressure for the initial pressing. Apply the right amount of weight onto your follower, for example 11 kg. Keep it for one hour. Make sure it can drain freely. A fair bit of whey’s coming off still, creamy at first, but then it goes clear.

 

Ripening

 

During fermentation cheese affects dough and aroma. As the cheese ripens, the protein is broken down into a easily digestible form. When you turn over the cheese, it may not formed properly, so do it gentle. Tight it all up and press 22 kg for half a day. Cheddar need really heavy pressure, to close those cubes of curd together. Next day it should have well shape. It’s all smooth all the way around and already got the salt in it. Dry cheddar for 2 to 3 days and remember to turn twice daily. After this period cheese starts to yellow up.

 

 

Last step is to wax the cheese. Cut two squares of cotton material and one rectangle which is going to be your circumference. Trim that all off. Cheesecloth can stick to it. Keep cheddar in cold space (more or less 10°C) for next three months. It’s minimum maturation time. That’s all! Bon appetit folks.

 

 

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