Friday, August 5, 2011

Making Farmhouse Cheddar

Let the Cheese Making Commence:
Although I have dabbled in making soft cheeses (such as mozzarella) in the various hotels and restaurants that I have worked in I have never really had the opportunity to make different types of cheeses, more specifically hard cheese. That's about to change.

So how do you make cheese you ask, well take a look below at this friendly diagram.

I purchased my cheese making supplies from the Cheese Queen , also know as Ricki Carrol who owns New England Cheesemaking Supply, Inc in South Deerfield, MA.  I learned about the Cheese Queen while reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver.

So here is what I bought and had shipped to my mailbox for a little over $40.00
Deluxe Basic Cheese Making Set Item #:G3 

This Deluxe cheese making set contains Ricki's Basic Cheese Making Kit, 1pound of Red Wax and a Natural Bristle Brush, everything you need to make a variety of delicious cheeses. (Farmhouse Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, Cottage Cheese, Gouda, Parmesan and Feta)

CONTENTS: Basket Mold, Vegetable Rennet Tablets,  Mesophilic DS Starter, Thermophilic DS Starter, Mini Budget Thermometer, 1/2oz. Calcium Chloride , 1 yd Re-usable Cheesecloth, Recipe Booklet, Red Cheese Wax, Natural Bristle Brush 

The following are the details (and pictures) of my Farmhouse Cheddar .

To age my cheese I will be using an old wine cooler that I have in my basement.  The wine cooler works well because I can adjust the temperature to between 52-55 degrees, the ideal cheese ripening temperature.

Since I live in Rhode Island where raw milk sales are illegal I will be using pasteurized store bought milk.  I do however plan on purchasing raw milk in Massachusetts the next time I make cheese.
Take one gallon and 3.5 quarts of 1% milk, add 1 pint of heavy cream in a large pot, add one pack of Mesophilic DS Starter and place the pot into a hot water bath in the sink.
 Heat the milk to 90 degrees and let sit for 30 minutes, add 1/2 rennet table and let sit for an additional 30 minutes.
 Cut the curd and slowly bring the curd up to 100 degrees while gently stirring.
 Drain the curd for an hour.
 The curd becomes a ball.
 Press the curd with 10 pounds for an hour.
 Press the curd for 20 pounds for 2 days
 After the two days, take the curd out of the mold and air dry for 3-5 days.
 Coat the cheese with cheese wax.
    Place in the cooler to age for two months.  Check back around Halloween  to see how the cheese comes out, or maybe I will give Farmhouse Cheddar Treats to the Trick-or Treaters...
    Until I Blog Again: Eat Cheese, Live Life and Be Safe