On Saturday, I took part in a marathon cheese making session. I started at 1230 and finally finished at 2100! I didn’t realise that it took so long to make a more complex cheese.
I used 7 litres of commercial homebrand full cream milk and had no problems this time getting the curds to set. You should have seen the smile on my face when I tested the curd for firmness after the allotted time. After one failure last week, I was a bit dubious of my future as an amateur cheese maker. Happy days are here now. Never, ever use UHT milk to make cheese except for Ricotta.
The recipe had so many steps, but easy enough to follow. It just took a long time. After I finally go to drain the curds after two hours of stirring every 10 minutes, I had to tie up the cheesecloth and then break the cheese up every 15 minutes for another 2 hours. I am not sure what this was all about, but I didn’t question the method and just got on with it. Finally it was time to test out the new cheese press, and I gave the honour to Ben. He used all his muscles to squeeze out the remainder of the whey. I left the cheese in the press for an hour, and now have to dry the cheese for two days before waxing it. It will be mature in about 2-3 months.
Here is the nearly final product before waxing. It is starting to yellow and get a crust as it dries. It weighs 750 grams.
Notice the green bits in the middle. That is a layer of sage leaves, which I hope will impart a wonderful flavour throughout the wheel. I still haven’t had any luck finding a local dairy, so might have to look a bit further afield. It would be good to get the milk as fresh as I can get it. I dare say it would make a wonderful cheese.
So if you have a lot of time on your hands, you could try this type of cheese out. I think I will make a quick batch of feta during the week. At least I know that it only takes 3.5 hours to make that type of cheese! My marinated Feta is just divine, and I have to make some more.