Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Farmhouse Cheddar Recipe

I have mentioned that I have been making loads of cheese lately and that I would post the recipes that I have been using and liking. This is one of them that I found and have modified for 1 gallon of milk vs. 4 gallons. I just don't have the capacity to do that much at once. So here is the recipe for farmhouse cheddar:

Farmhouse Cheddar:
1 gallon milk
1/4 tsp Rennet*
1/4 Buttermilk**

*I use the liquid rennet. Junket rennet is not the same thing but can be used in a pinch. I have found that for every 1/4 tsp. of liquid rennet I would need to use 1 tablet of the junket rennet.

**Make sure this is real cultured buttermilk with live active cultures. You may just have to experiment with brands to find one that will work right. I tried two brands before finding one that was the right stuff. I found that some even said cultured buttermilk, but the cultures were not active and would not acidify the milk.

1) Warm milk slowly in warm water bath to 86*F. Stir periodically.

2) Add Culture. Allow to ripen for 45 minutes.

3) Add 3/4 tsp Rennet diluted in 1/4 Cup of cool water. Mix into milk.
4) Allow the milk to set for 30-45 minutes until a firm curd forms. Test the curd for the 'clean break'
Cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes. Let rest for 5 minutes.

5) Cook the curds to 102*F over a period of 40 minutes, stirring them gently during this time in order to reduce their size to that of half a peanut. I use a large whisk.

6) Hold the curds at 102*F for an additional 30 minutes stirring occasionally to keep curds from matting.

7) Allow curds to settle to bottom of the pot just prior to draining.

8)Drain the curds into a colander (pre-warmed with very hot water). Reserve 1/3 of the whey and pour back into the cheese pot. Set colander of curds on the top of the cheese pot. This is called "cheddaring" which textures the cheese.

9) Drain curds for 60 minutes keeping them warm by covering with cheesecloth and pot lid.

10)Maintain temp of the warm whey with minimal heat under the pot if needed.

11)Invert the cheese every 20 minutes and re-cover with cloth and lid.

12) Cut the cheese slab into curds with a knife or pastry cutter. Add 1-2 Tbl. of course salt. Curds can be eaten fresh or continue to pressing.

13) Press at 20lb for 30 min.
Invert and Press at 30lb for 30 min.
Invert and Press at 40lb for 1 hour
Invert and Press at 50lb for 12-15 hour.

14) Air dry for a few days to develop a rind.

15) You can wax and ripen for 2-3 months or refrigerate and eat.

I love this recipe and have had the best success with it. While other recipes I have had failures this has proven true time and again. Blessings.


Brenda said...

In your recipe there is no step 8, 10, or 11. Since I have never made cheese before, I was wondering if there are additional steps missing from the recipe.

I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your Lord and your life with us.

Kat said...

I updated it. I had combined steps and not numbered them out. Thanks for pointing this out. Blessings, Kat

Unknown said...

Hi I don't know if you will get this as this post is a little bit old. I was wondering is your cultured buttermilk store-bought kept in the refrigerator and then just poured into your mixture. Or do you have to buy the buttermilk and let it sit outside of the refrigerator for about eight hours to kind of curdle/get more acidity and culture before you pour it in?

Kat said...

For the buttermilk, I strongly suggest purchasing an already live cultured buttermilk from the store or purchasing buttermilk cultures from a cheese supply and culturing your own. Either way you want to know what cultures are being used. Just letting the milk sit and curdle is leaving it up to whatever bacteria you have in the air...good or bad. Yucky bacteria might make an ok buttermilk, but when allowed to really reproduce and grow in a cheese can make a really yucky cheese. Thanks for stopping by my blog and welcome. Blessings, Kat