Making Gorgonzola is a real challenge! Complex technology, long ripening leads to one of the most interesting cheese poems in the world. This type of almost runny, creamy spreadable cheese is rare in the world of blue-molded cheeses, and the taste... The taste is a real heavenly miracle! In the majority of blue cheeses, mold settles in the cavities that form between the cold cheese nuggets.
How does the noble mold find cave and life-giving oxygen in the soft gorgonzola? Through some sophisticated technological steps. Gorgonzola is made from fat-rich, fresh cow's milk, its piquant pungent aromas are mainly derived from the decomposition of fats. In the northern territory of Italy, shepherds have been making similar cheese since the 1200s. The only way to guess about the method of making it is that the milk was slept in sacks in caves with blue mold air. Once the cheese is successfully finished, celebrate it and add a delicious champagne! The taste of blue cheese and the taste of champagne conjure up real harmony, as a well-deserved gift. The recipe is written for 30 litres of milk, because it is a long way to success. As long as it has been made, it will disappear so soon ... you'll be really proud of it!
- 30 litres of raw cow's milk
- 2 capsules of blue cheese culture and 1 capsule of Brie cheese culture per 30 litres of milk
- 15 ml of natural rennet per 30 litres of milk
- 3 kg cheese mould
- longer bladed knife, or curd slicer
YEAST PREPARATION: Even the first step is not ordinary, because in the evening of the day before making cheese, you need to mix a yeasty liquid. The yeast mixed into the cheese milk will open the small holes and gaps between the soft curd layers. The thinly cut layers are separated here and there. Oxygen reaches the resulting gaps by punching holes on the cheese.
- 2 dl of water
- 7-8 g dried baker's yeast (instant yeast)
- 1 small spoon of sugar
I measure out this mixture in a jar and mix it well. Closed, I let the yeasts return to themselves at room temperature.
1. CULTURING: I heat the raw milk 36-37 °C-ra. The pre-dissolved blue cheese and brie cultures are thoroughly mixed in the milk. I put 2 small spoons of the yeast solution into the warm milk. (that's 4 grams for 30 litres) I cover the peduncle and let the cheese milk ripen for 20-25 minutes.
2. INOCULATION OF MILK: I inoculate 30 litres of milk with 15 ml of natural rennet. I stir it vigorously and then stop the milk's rotation with a ladle so that the milk can coagulate nicely evenly. I also cover the dish now so that the milk does not cool even during clotting. Half an hour of clotting follows.
3. VERTICAL CUTTING OF CURD I.: First, with a long-bladed knife or curd slicer, I cut the curd into vertical columns measuring 4x4 cm. It should be cut to a good size, so that it is just a couple of moves. I cover the pot and let the curd rest for 15 minutes.
VERTICAL CUTTING OF CURD II.: At the next cut, I halve each column, cut it in half, so that I have 2x2 cm columns. In this case, whey excretion is already beautifully visible. Whey begins to leak evenly along the cuts. In a covered container, I continue to rest the curd for 10 minutes.
4. CUTTING AND LAYERING OF CURDS: We have reached a very important step. Now let's make the place for the blue-mold in the cheese being prepared. We will cut horizontal layers from the vertically cutted curd columns. For this work, the thin "plate", or cheese shovel shown in the pictures, is best suited. The first step is to prepare a perforated GN dish, moisten the cheesecloth with warm water and line it with it. I'm trying to split quite thin layers of 0.5 cm to 1 cm with the shovel. As soon as I cut off the thin layer of clot, I immediately move it to the cloth-lined container, where the whey can later drain out of it. I place the curd layers on top of each other in 8-10 minutes. I cover the curd that has been placed up in layers so that it does not cool down.
5. DRIPPING: I let the curd rest for half an hour, while the whey is constantly leaving it.
6. FORMATTING: Next comes the formatting. Again, with the thin plate (cheese shovel), I slide it into the cheese mould in thin layers of 1-1.5 cm. You have to work quickly, but you also have the subtleties of the movements. The 3 kg cheese mold worked for me, which is a taller mould, but other moulds may also be suitable. The mould should be full, because a lot of whey will still leave the curd, so the cheese will significantly lose its height. The size of the original cheese is mostly a disc with a diameter of 25–30 cm and a height of 15–20 cm, the mass of 6 to 12 kilograms. My cheese will be smaller than this, but it will still develop a beautiful veins and delicious piquant flavors.
7. FLIPPING THE CHEESE: Since the cheese dough is soft, you will have to wait a bit with the flipping. I leave 20-25 minutes to compact, solidify the cheese. Then, with a careful movement, I turn the cheese over in the cheese mould. I take care that the very soft cheese does not break. If I make a larger cheese, then at the first turning I do not take the cheese out of the mould, but just cover it upside down on a cheese mat. This is also very exciting, because the pattern of the cheese mat is drawn on the surface of the cheese. On the day of making cheese, I turn the cheese over 4x-5x.
8. PRE-RIPENING IN THE COLD: The next day, the 2nd day of cheesemaking, I start with a translation and then put the cheese in a 4°C fridge for 8 hours. This type of pre-ripening helps to create a creamy consistency. It slows down acidification, promotes whey retention, ultimately leads to a creamier consistency. In this case, the cheese is still in the cheese mould. When the 8 hours have passed, I take it out of the fridge and take it back to the warm workshop at 22-23 °C. I turn the cheese over 1x-2x. I let the mesophilic bacteria continue to acidify my cheese until the next morning at room temperature.
9. SALTING CHEESE: Third day, next comes the salting of cheese. Still in the mould. I sprinkle bigeye salt on top. It is important not to rub the cheese, as it will make the cheese surface hard. The large-grained salt dissolves slowly, it will not be quickly crusty, so even excess whey can be well let out by the cheese. I salt it both in the morning and in the evening. On the fourth day, I repeat the salting. The cheese remains at 22-23 °C throughout.
10. COLD RIPENING: On the fifth day, I take it out of the mould, put it in a larger ripener box and put it back in the fridge again, to 4 °C. It is important that it is in a closed box, because already at this time 100% humidity is needed. You need a box about 3x larger than the one in which the cheese can fit, because in addition to moisture. Air also plays an important role in the formation of mold. Meanwhile, I turn the cheese every 2 days.
11. NEEDLING OF CHEESE: When the blue mold appears on the rind of the cheese, I start punching holes in it. This will be about the 15th day of preparation. I insert holes in the cheese dough from the top of the cheese so that I don't pierce the cheese completely. Holes are located at a distance of about 2 cm from each other. To do this, you can use a thicker knitting needle or a stainless stick. (6 mm knitting needle) I turn the cheese over and do the same from the other side. Needling is an important part of making cheeses that ripen with blue mold, because air is needed to multiply mold. This is how the beautiful marbled mold veins can form. After 10 days, I will again pierce the needle in the same holes, from both sides of the cheese. With it, I clean the holes and also spread mold on the surface of the holes. At this time, it is enough just to turn the cheese every 5-7 days.
12. MATURATION OF CHEESE: On the 30-35th day, I wrap it in aluminum foil and age it in a place of 4 °C (in a closed ripening box, on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator) for 2-3 months. I turn it around once a week.
HAPPY, JOYFUL CHEESEMAKING!