Cookbook:Aged cheese preparation (English style)
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|Aged cheese preparation (English style)|
|Servings||1 or more|
- 5 gallons (18.9 litres) unpasteurized cow's milk (If pasteurized milk is used, for every 5 gallons of milk add 1 quart (ca. 1 litre) of cultured buttermilk to restore the enzymes needed for coagulation)
- commercial rennet (or vegetable rennet)
- lukewarm water
- Gently heat milk and bring it to blood temperature (80 °F (27 °C))
- Take 1½ tsp commercial rennet and put into ¼ C of lukewarm water. Mix and then add to milk. Stir for 1 minute.
- Let it rest (covered) for one hour and a half, preferably near a fire where it can stay warm (not drafty).
- Maintain temperature of (80 °F (27 °C)) while milk is left to coagulate under a gentle heat.
- When it reaches the right consistency, it is stirred, and then one separates the curds from the whey.
- Cut the curds (in a crisscross configuration) with a long and flat wooden stick, so as to release the whey from the milk (separate the liquid part of the milk from the solid part of the milk). Do not remove curds from pot.
- Cover-up once again and let rest for 1 hour to one hour and a half. Gently stir again, and then slowly heat it all again to 100 °F (38 °C) (If heated too fast, the heat will create a film or thin skin on the curds and the cheese will not age properly but remain wet).
- Break-up the curds very slowly with one's hands. Strain in fine mesh cloth, separating the curds from the whey.
- Squeeze out excess water. Open-up meshing and break apart the curds and add salt (2 to 3 T)
- Put curds into a wooden press (vice) lined with a mesh-like cloth, after first lining the molds with butter. Press so that it extracts more of the whey from the butter.
- Leave in mold-like press for 2 or 3 days. (In the interim, flip it over). Take out of press and leave it to age for a minimum of 60 days.
- When stored on shelves, sprinkle the bottom of the shelf with salt. Set the cheese down while turned upside down. They must be turned over every day to allow for complete drying. The longer that it ages, the drier and sharper the cheeses become.
Never use ultra-pasteurized milk.
- The dried Bull Thistle flower (Cirsium vulgare) can be used for vegetable rennet in cheesemaking, but only with goat or sheep milk. Its dried flower is soaked in water, strained and added to the milk. First, the milk is heated to a proper temperature (80 °F (27 °C)), and process repeated above.
- For cow's milk, the florets of Lady's Bedstraw, also known as Yellow Bedstraw (Galium verum), can be used instead of rennet. The flowers are soaked in lukewarm water and then added to milk that has been brought to blood temperature (80 °F (27 °C)), while stirring and then eventually covered and allowed to sit.
- Whenever a calf rennet is used, a small piece about the size of a US 50-cent piece is cut off of the inner-stomach lining of a calf that has never yet been weaned, tied with a string and soaked in water overnight to release its enzymes. This water is then poured into the milk, heated to blood temperature, etc.