This Cheddar Cheese Recipe will get both your taste buds and your cheese-making ambition fired up.
MAIN STORY:Making Homemade Cheese
2 gallons whole, non-homogenized, filtered, pasteurized cow’s milk (I use Natrel Organic)
1⁄2 teaspoon mesophilic starter, or 4 tablespoons fresh starter
1 teaspoon liquid, or 1⁄4 tablet rennet crushed and diluted in water
1⁄2 teaspoon calcium chloride diluted in water
2 tablespoons non-iodized salt
Optional flavoring (garlic, dried tomato and basil, or anything you wish!)
In double boiler, heat milk to 85°F. Stir in starter. Remove pot from heat, cover and allow to sit for 1 hour.
Heat mixture to 85°; add rennet and mix gently. Add calcium chloride and mix gently. Let sit for 1 hour at 85°.
Test curds by cutting with a knife; be sure there’s a clean break. Using double boiler, increase mixture temperature to 100° over 30 to 40 minutes. Gently turn curds occasionally with slotted spoon for another 30 minutes.
Line colander with cheese cloth and drain curds for 15 to 20 minutes. (Collect the whey, if you want, for use in bread or muffin baking.)
Cut curds into slices. Pour curds back in double boiler. Let sit for 2 hours with water in double boiler at 100°.
Add salt and any flavoring, if desired. Mix gently.
Line press with cheese cloth.
Pour curds into press, cover and apply pressure.
Drain whey as necessary and turn every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Then turn every 12 hours for 36 hours.
Place on drying rack and turn every 12 hours for 3 days. (A rind should form.) Brush wax on cheese. Allow to dry. Brush with second coat of wax. Allow to age in cool room (50 degrees) for up to 45 days, if you can wait.
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