Cheddar the most famous cheeses in the world: It got its name during the XII. century after the village of Cheddar. They aged the cheese in nearby caves, where constant humidity and temperature created the perfect environment. The cheesemaking technique is unique too, cheddaring, which also got its name after the village. Nowadays it is manufactured allover the world. In the UK Cheddar is still sometimes made from raw milk, to this day.
- 10 litres of milk, 30 litres if you are more experienced
- 1 capsule Yobiotik Cheddar culture - for every 10 litres
- 2 ml natural rennet - for every 10 litres
- 1 capsule lysozyme enzyme -for every 10 litres
- iodine free salt (cheese salt)
If you don't have your own cow, make sure to get your milk from a trustworthy humane farm for high quality milk :D
The milk must be fresh, whole, have a rich taste.
The heavier the cheese, the easier the ageing will be.
So be brave and you a lot of milk!
Pour the milk into a got pot. Start heating, occasionally stir it.
Dissolve the culture (1 capsule / 10 litres of milk) in some lukewarm water.
When the milk reaches 30 °C add the culture.
Let it sit under a lid for 40-45 minutes.
It's important, that the milk stays on 30 °C during this process, so the bacteria can multiply properly.
At the 20-25 minute mark, to prevent butyric acid related puffing, add lysozyme enzyme that you have pre-dissolved.
At 30 °C, add 2-2,2 ml natural rennet (for every 10 litres of milk) and stir thoroughly.
If you do it too fast and the milk starts to whirlpool, stop, slow down, so you don't break the coagulation.
Cover with a lid an let it sit for 45-50 minutes. Keep the milk at 30 °C while doing so.
3. CUTTING THE CURD:
If the milk coagulated and is firm, cut it to 2 cm wide curds, with a cheese harp or curd knife, under 8-10 minutes, so it doesn't get cold.
Make sure to cut the curds to even sizes.
4. HEATING THE CURD "CHEDDARING":
Start heating the curds while gently stirring. Set you stove to a temperature that makes the curds heat up to 38-39 °C over 25-30 minutes, on my stove that's the 4th setting out of 9.
Keep it on this temperature while stirring for another 15-20 minutes. Watch out for the curds sticking to each other.
The next step is „cheddaring”. This is the distinguishing step of making cheddar cheese. It's a lot of fun in my opinion.
Put the curd into a perforated container lined with a wet cheesecloth.
I recommend using a perforated GN container or a big cheese mould.
Put it above a pot of warm water (35-37 °C), so the curds are kept warm by the steam.
After 15-20 the curds will firm up, stick together. Open the cheesecloth and cut the curd block to 4 pieces.
Place two of them on each other, and put them back in the steam.
After 10-15 minutes flip them, then cut every piece in half and layer them on each other.
This increases the height, weight, and the speed acid production.
After another 10-15 minutes, cut them in half again than place them on each other.
The cheese sours, shrink, compresses, becomes firmer during this process.
Cut them to 2x2x2 cm cubes, and add 2% (by weight) iodine free salt. Mix well.
You must work quick, so the cheese cubes stay warm and won't dry out!
After salting, put the cubes into a cheese mould lined with a warm wet cheesecloth.
Try to pack them as densely as possible, and work as fast as you can, so they won't get cold. At this point the cheese will still have a rough texture.
It's hard to imagine how that will become a cheese, but don't worry, it is how it should be.
Before the shaping save some whey and keep it warm, after every flipping pour some of it onto the cheese. Put the follower on the mould and weigh it down with twice the weight of the cheese. Increase the weight with every flip, so the cheese pieces stick together.
First flip the cheese after 10-15 minutes, and increase the weigh to 3x. Do the second flip after 20-25 minutes, the weight at this point should be 5x.
After 30-40 minutes flip again and increase the weight to 10x.
This is the final weight, but you still have to flip the cheese 2-3 times.
After 2-3 hour there still could be some air between the pieces, but it should start to come together.
It's important to keep the cheese warm, so the cubes can stick together. The room's temperature should be about 23-24 °C.
The pressing time is 20-24 hours.
Day 1: rub the surface of the cheese with dry iodine free salt.
Day 2: repeat the salting and flip the cheese.
The next step is 1-2 days of drying at 16-18 °C, in a not too humid room.
„Peasant Cheddar”: Cut circles, slightly larger than the size of the cheese, out of some thin cloth (like gauze).
Soak them in some warm water, and stretch them onto the top and bottom of the cheese. Wrap the sides too.
After that cover the surface with butter, or oil.
Age your cheddar in a 12-13 °C room, with a humidity of 85%.
For 8-10 weeks flip it once a day. Some patches of mould will appear.
During the next 1-2 month flip it less frequently. Only 2 times a week.
When the mould dries out, and a rustic surface develops, the cheese has ripened! :)
This type of ageing is a bit dangerous, since the mould can easily infect the other cheeses.
I respect the traditions, but in my opinion it is safer to age the cheese covered in wax.
After salting dry the cheese, and cover it with cheese wax.
Flip the cheese every day during the ageing. I think it tastes just as good this way too!
Ideal environment: 12-14°C, 80-85% humidity.
Depending on the size of the cheese, the ageing can be 8-12 month.
Pay extra attention to the temperature of the cheese pieces during cheddaring.
Cold pieces won't stick together, and while flipping the cheese will fall apart.
Using whey about 40 °C warm during pressing should help to keep everything warm.
Good luck and happy cheesemaking! :D