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Making Flakey Farmhouse Cheddar: Homemade Cheese

By: Everett S
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farmhouse cheddar post imageDespite being part of the “simple living” lifestyle – like most things involved in living a simple life, making cheese is anything but “simple”.

I am teaching a cheesemaking class next week and wanted to get up the instructions in case anyone needed to print them out.

So here they are…

What You Will Need:

Ø Pot capable of holding 2 gallons of milk

Ø 1 packet of direct-set mesophillic starter

Ø ½ rennet tablet diluted in ¼ cup of cool, filtered water

Ø 1 tablespoon of cheese salt

Ø Cheese wax

Ø Cheese press

Instructions:

First Steps…

  1. Heat milk to 90 degrees, stirring slowly to keep from scorching
  2. Turn off heat and add the mesophillic starter packet and stir in thoroughly
  3. Cover the milk and allow to sit for 45 minutes
    45 Minutes Later…
  4. Check to see if curd is ready to be cut. You should be able to get a knife to slice into it and give a clean break. If not, wait for another 20 minutes and try again.
  5. Cut the curd into ½ inch cubes by slicing in a grid pattern
  6. Place the pot in a sink full of hot water and slowly head the curds to 100 degrees
    • Increase the temperature by no more than 2 degrees every 5 minutes.
    • This will take about 30 minutes. You can add hot or cold water to the sink to adjust temperature.
    • Stir gently to keep the kurds from matting and to equally distribute heat
    • The yellowish liquid (whey) will grow in quantity as the curds shrink
  7. Cover the container and let the curds set for 5 minutes
  8. Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander
  9. Tie the corners of the cheesecloth into a knot and hang the bag from the faucet for 1 hour to drain.
    1 Hour Later…
  10. Place the drained curds into a bowl and break them up gently with your hands.
  11. Once the curds are broken into walnut-sized pieces, gently work in the salt.
  12. Firmly pack the curds into a cheese mold lined with cheese cloth and fold the cheesecloth neatly over the top (trim cloth if necessary to keep neat).
  13. Apply 10 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes.
  14. Remove the cheese from the mold and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Turn over the cheese, re-dress it, and press at 20 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes.
  15. Remove the cheese from the mold, gently peel away the cheesecloth, turn over the cheese, re-dress it and press again at 50 pounds of pressure for 12 hours.
    12 Hours Later… (AKA Day 2)
  16. Remove the cheese from the mold and gently peel away the cheesecloth, trying not to rip open the cheese wheel.
  17. Air dry the cheese at room temperature on a wooden board until a nice rind has formed on the surface and the surface is dry. This should take about 2 days in Denver air, but could take as long as 4 days if more humid.
    • Turn the cheese several times each day
      2-4 Days Later…
  18. Cool cheese in a refrigerator for two hours. Melt the cheese wax (I use a pie pan floating in a larger pan of gently boiling water) and wax the cheese.
  19. Put cheese in a cool, dark place to age for at least 4 weeks.
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Category: Food, How-To, The Transplants, Videos

Comments (2)

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  1. [...] Simple” Flakey Farmhouse Cheddar – with 2-4 days of upfront prep and at least four weeks until it’s edible, don’t know so much about the “simple” part of it. Still, one we’re willing to try. [...]

  2. Jim says:

    You don’t say when the rennet goes in. From other cheddar recipes I’ve read, I’d bet it should be part of step 2.

    Just thought you’d like to know.

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