|Cheese Number 15|
Such it was with my first taste of Cheese #15. It had aged about 20 months, so it was sharp. It was a good looking cheese and melted beautifully. Where we found it to be really tasty, was grated on a fresh lettuce salad. Yum!
I decided this recipe is a keeper, so the other day I gave it another try. It's a washed curd cheese, which was a new-to-me technique for this cheese.
The most common way to make cheese is to heat the curds and whey together to about 105° F / 40° C. This "cooks" the curds. More whey is released and the curds become firmer.
"Washing" the curd is a technique where the whey is drained off and replaced with warm water (water that is the same temperature as the whey). The curds are heated in that water instead of the whey. Colby and Gouda are washed curd cheeses, and if aged only a couple of months, are very mild.
So here's the original recipe, with one change noted.
- 1.5 gallon whole, raw goat milk
- 2 cups yogurt whey (I used mozzarella whey this time)
Mix the milk and whey. Slowly heat to about 90° F / 32° C. Then add
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet to 1/4 cup filtered water
Add to the milk mixture and stir very well. Let sit 30 minutes or until clean break (when a knife can slice cleanly through the curds). Cube curds with a knife and let sit another 10 minutes.
Drain whey. Place curds in 90° F / 32° C water and heat on low until temperature reaches about 105° F / 40° C. The curds must be gently stirred as they heat to keep them from settling and clumping at the bottom of the pot.
Turn off heat and let sit for about an hour. I stir occasionally.
After an hour, drain the water. Add
- 1.5 tsp salt (I used canning salt, but sea salt is good too)
Mix the salt and curds by hand. Pack the curds in a cheese mold lined with lightweight cotton muslin. Place in press. I start with a light pressure for 30 minutes. Then I remove and unwrap the cheese, turn it over, re-wrap and put it back in the press for 30 minutes with a little more pressure. I do this about three or four times, gradually increasing the pressure each time.
The next morning, weigh the cheese if you wish, and place on a rack to air dry. I cover mine with a cotton cloth. Turn it frequently and check for mold. (Remove any mold with a clean rag dipped in vinegar and then salt). When the surface is completely dry (has developed its "rind"), it can be weighed, waxed, and stored.
|Cheese #15, take 2. It's ready to wax.|
It's recommended that washed curd cheeses age for at least 12 weeks.
- The original cheese #15 recipe called for yogurt whey. I haven't made yogurt in awhile, so I used mozzarella whey. This is a milder whey, so it will make a difference with the cheese.
- Whole milk makes a better tasting cheese than skim milk
- Salt can be done to taste. A teaspoon and a half of seemed like a lot, but the salt in cheese is like in pickles, not noticed unless it isn't there.
Washed curd cheeses are meant to be mild, but after a year and a half, Cheese #15 was quite sharp. Even so, it was tasty, but I plan to try this one sooner than that.
UPDATE: I cut open this cheese on Feb. 2, 2015, obviously not trying it sooner as I originally planned. Nevertheless, it was excellent. Sharp but pleasant flavored. To read all about it, click here.
Cheese #15, Another Keeper of a Recipe © June 2013