Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Cheesemaking Christmas

I had a week off from work between Christmas and New Years, and when I wasn't out doing things with the family and mother-in-law (who was visiting from California), I was making cheese.  I made 4 types of cheeses during the week.  All the cheese's I made were ones I had made before but I have been trying to make at least each cheeses twice to make sure I am getting the hang of it.  The cheeses I made was Mozzarella, Farmhouse Cheddar, Jarlseberg, and a Saffron infused Manchego.  Also in the past month I made some Brie and some Cheese Curds but I will blog on those later.

The first cheese that I made was a farmhouse cheddar.  For Christmas I sent my dad a fake order form where he could order a cheese from me.  The cheese he picked was the Farmhouse cheddar, he likes cheddar and he picked this one since it has a short agin period so he could try it sooner.  For this recipe I followed a great book  " Artisan Cheese Making at Home" by Mary Karlin and you can see my previous attempt at this cheese here.

So the ingredients you I used:
  • 2 Gallons Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Mesophillic Culture
  • 1/2 calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cool water
  • 1/2 tsp rennett in 1/4 cup cool water
  • Kosher Salt
for this recipe you can also see I did not have liquid annatto so I tried to used some achiote powder which comes from annatto but as you can see it did not work.

Following are some typical pictures of heating the milk, then cutting the curds in order to drain more whey out of them

The book said the curds should be done when you can take a group of them in your hands and put soem pressure on tehm and form a solid mass that can easily be pushed back apart.  As you can see it was able to do that.

After draining the whey from the curds I started pressing them.  I like the press I have but as you can see it is a little hard to know how much weight I am using since the only way you can judge the weight is by seeing how much you have compressed the spring.  So I decided to try using some household items the gave me the proper weight.


This is the cheese after I pressed it, next I waxed my cheese.

Here is a picture of the final cheese, I will give an update when I cut into the cheese.  I will cut it in half and send it to my dad (he only gets 1lb) I will keep the rest.  It was age down in my cheese fridge for 1 month then it will get sent out, I am excited to try this cheese and hopefully my dad will like it.

Next I made a Jarlsberg, the same recipe I used here, the difference is I made my first cheese with 3 gallons of milk.  It doesn't take any more time to make a 5 lb cheese then it does a 2 lb cheese, but I can only fit 3 gallons of milk in my pots.  I for some reason did not take many pictures of this cheese but when I take it out of the fridge to move to a 65 degree enviorment I will take a picture of it.

Here are the pictures I did take, one thing that I followed different then last recipe was I ran out of calcium chloride and did not have time to get any more, plus I did not wax this Jarlsberg in hope I will have a little more eyelet movement.

I am also excited to try this cheese in 2 months.  Hopefully it will have a little better shape and eyelet formation.  I will post an update when I am done tell you how it tastes.  I am really looking foward to having some Grilled Cheese Sandwhich with this cheese.

So the last cheese I made was Saffron infused Manchego and I found the recipe from the same "Artisan Cheese Making at Home".  I lived in Spain for two years and had always enjoyed cooking with saffron.  I would make Paella with it but I think was a lot cheaper and easier to find in Spain.  So to find it I went to a store in Northern Cincinnati called Jungle Jims which is a really great store and has almost any food you could imagine, from a lot a different countries.

Here is a picture of the saffron, this little container cost $10

I followed basically the same recipe I did before except for adding the saffron, you can go here to find my other Manchego.  One reminder is this isn't technically Manchego because it is made with cows milk and not Sheep milk.  The paprika I will use with some olive oil when it's aged a little while.

Here you can see the saffron start to color the milk a little bit.

This is the cheese before I put it in a water bath.  After aging a few days it has turned even more orangish.

So there you have it, my cheese adventure over Christmas.  I was quite happy that I made three different cheese in one week.  And that not even including the Mozzarella and Ricotta I made while my mother-in-law was visiting.  I was really excited because she has been the first person I have shown to make Mozzarella.  Here is a picture of their first mozzarella.

So now I have 4 cheeses in my fridge that are being aged.  These three I just talked about and the Parm I started several months agon (only 4 months left before I get to try it).  I will take a picture of my little fridge sometime to show all the cheeses.  I will be able to try the Manchego first in one more week.  Hopefully some of you who read this blog will get to try some of the cheese I send to Utah for my dad. 

1 comment:

The Nicholes said...

Dad is really excited to get the cheese!!!