Cheese It! Start making cheese at home today
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The chapter on unripe cheeses is followed by stretched curds, incorporating the brine bath to make mozzarella, asadero, provolone, and scamorza. Pressing and aging semi-hard cheese yield traditional Cheddar and variations, such as sage derby and goat Cheddar, plus Cantal, Monterey Jack, Cotswold, Caerphilly, and Caciotta. The process of washing curds to reduce the acidic level is the key creating cheeses like Colby, Gouda, and Edam, while washing rinds along with proper aging are the secrets to muenster, brick, raclette, Taleggio, and Tilsit. Using bacteria in cheese is key to making bloomy rinds, such as the triple-cream delights Camembert and Brie, and molded cheese, such as gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton.
Ideal for new cheese makers, the book begins with chapters explaining the science involved in the process as well as safety precautions, basic skills, and the equipment that is required to begin making cheese in the kitchen. A total of 75 recipes includes delicious options to incorporate homemade cheeses, such as feta in spanakopita, mascarpone in tiramisu, mozzarella in polenta pizza, and chicken á la gorgonzola.
As the author emphasizes the importance of record keeping (so you can repeat your successes and not your “oopses”), the book concludes with a sample cheese diary so the cheese maker can account for timing, pressure, temperatures, and so forth. Finally, there is a very useful 5-page glossary of terms, a resource section for cheese-making supplies and websites, and a detailed 7-page index.
molds for Emmental to tiny Crottin cups. You can make your own by choosing a food-grade plastic container and punching holes into the bottom and sides. Followers are flat disks that fit inside the molds and press the curds evenly when weight is applied. A follower needs to be slightly smaller in diameter than the mold. You can improvise with wooden followers; plastic followers tend to split. pH testing equipment. As described in chapter 3, the three options for testing milk acidity are: (1) pH
pressure (5 to 10 pounds) for 15 minutes. 9. Remove the cheese from the press and the cloth from the cheese. Turn it over and rewrap it. Press at medium pressure (10 to 20 pounds) for 12 hours or overnight. 10. Transfer the unwrapped cheese to a brine bath for 12 hours, turning once after 6 hours. 11. Remove the cheese from the brine bath, pat it dry, and place it on a cheese mat and rack. Let the cheese dry at room temperature for 24 hours, turning it over several times. 12. Place the cheese
still stand—Creamery Lane or Cheese Hill—even if they are long gone. During long winters, when the herd’s milk supply dwindled, creamery cheese generated much-needed income. As family farms disappeared across the landscape, consolidation became an economic necessity. Vermont’s Cabot Creamery is a prime example. In 1919, ninety-four Vermont farmers pooled their resources and paid five dollars per cow. Today, Cabot has 1,274 member farms in New England and upstate New York and sells a ton of its
cheese wrap and store it in the fridge. Gorgonzola Like Roquefort, Gorgonzola was originally cured in caves—caves of the Valsassina Valley near Milan. While Roquefort—made with sheep’s milk—is crumbly and salty, Lombardy’s most famous cheese—made with cow’s milk—is creamy and sweet. Gorgonzola dolce is the familiar version, aged 6 months. A sharper, piccante version is aged at least a year and is washed with brine to encourage the growth of surface bacteria and a powerful aroma.
cattle like open spaces, abundant vegetation, and temperate climates, so they adapted well to their new home, giving milk that was rich with high moisture content and large fat globules that rose to the surface as cream—in other words, this milk was ideal for cheese making. On the farm, milking occurred twice a day, and cheeses were a mixture of the morning milk and that of the previous evening. Today’s commercial cows are bred to produce huge quantities of milk—three times as much as the