Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Cheddar Experiment

About 2 months ago I made a wheel of cheddar. It was starting to look very dry so in fear that our cheese was ruining we cut it open.
The directions I found were "Old World".  It did not use wax but instead I mummy wrapped the cheese with cheese cloth.    I put a layer on the top and bottom and coated it with olive oil and then I wrapped a strip around the edge of it.  It was then put in my daughters basement to age. 

Cheddar wrapped in cheesecloth

Lipase is the stuff that you add to cows milk to make the cheese sharpen as it ages.  The more you add the sharper it will get.  Goats milk on the other hand is naturally high in lipase so I did not add any.  After only 2 months we had what could definately be deemed as a medium cheddar.  It was not far from being sharp...  The instructions had said to age it 6-24 months depending on the sharpness desired.

It took me many hours to make this cheese.  I had 3 hours alone invested in the "cheddaring" process.  This is where I allowed the curd mass to matt together then I sliced it and stacked the slices on top of each other.  I kept it warm and turned and stacked ever 15 minutes for 2 hours.  It is my understanding that this process allows the production of lactic acid.  That high lactic acid content is what makes Cheddar different than Colby.

Because the cheese had no wax the rind dried.  Even though we kept olive oil on it I still ended up with about 1/2 inch of dried rind that was un-useable.
You can see the dark hard rind all the way around

After cutting off the rind though a very yummy inside was exposed.  It has a nice texture which is kind of crumbly.  It was absolutely delicious.  I just hate the idea that so much of it went to the dogs.  Although they were definately not displeased with the idea.
Wonderful on crackers

So lessons learned:
  1. If I decide to invest another whole day to make cheddar then I will definately just wax it to age. 
  2. You do not have to age cheese made with goats milk nearly as long as cows milk cheese in order to obtain a sharp taste. 
  3. Must build a bigger cheese press so that I can make larger wheels of this one.
  4. Do not tell your family of cheese lovers that they can eat as much as they want or a 4 pound wheel will be gone in only a few minutes!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! nice end result. Could you finely grate, like parm, the rine? I'd hate to give my girls (dogs) something that looks and taste so good. It falls into the same category as having to thin the baby carrots. Nice job!