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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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FARMHOUSE CHEDDAR
Eggs & Cheese
Contributed by: Connie Stone
Ingredients:
  • 2 gallons whole milk
  • 1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter or 4 oz. prepared mesophilic starter
  • 1â�„2 tsp. liquid rennet (or 1â�„2 rennet tablet), diluted in 1â�„4 cool, unchlorinated water
  • 1 TBS cheese salt
  • Cheese wax
Heat cow’s milk to 90 degrees or goat’s milk to 85 degrees. Add starter and stir thoroughly. Cover and allow milk to ripen for 45 minutes.
Add diluted rennet and stir gently with an up-and-down motion for 1 minute. (If using farm-fresh cow’s milk, top-stir for 1 minute with the flat underside of the ladoe no more than 1�2 inch deep to blend the buttermilk that rises to the surface.) Cover and let set at 90 degrees for cow’s milk or 85 degrees for goat’s milk for 45 minutes, or until the curd gives a clean break.
Cut the curd into 1�2-inch cubes.
Place the pot in a sink of hot water and slowly heat the curds to 100 degrees, increasing temperature by no more than 2 degrees every 5 minutes. This should take 30 minutes. Stir gently to keep the curds from matting. The curds will shrink noticeably in size as the heating and stirring continue. The yellowish whey will grow in quantity as the curds shrink.
Cover container and let the curds set for 5 minutes. Pour curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander. Tie the corners of cheesecloth into a knot and hang bag to drain for 1 hour. Do not hang in a drafty spot; curds should remain warm.
Place drained curds into a bowl and break them up gently into walnut-sized pieces. Mix in salt.
Firmly pack curds into a 2-pound mold wth cheesecloth, then neatly fold cheesecloth over the top. Apply 10 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes.
Remove the cheese from the mold and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Turn over the cheese, re-dress it and press at 20 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes.
Repeat the process but press at 50 pounds pressure for 12 hours.
Remove the cheese from the mold and carefully peel away the cheesecloth. Air-dry the cheese at room temperature on a wooden board until a nice rind has developed and the surface is quite dry. This can take 2-4 days, depending on the weather. Turn cheese several times a day.
Coat cheese with cheese wax.
Let cheese age for at least one month.
Notes: Skim milk may be used, but the yield will be lower and the cheese drier. If adding lipase, which makes the cheese soft, a bit more rennet should be added.
Yields 2 pounds.

from “Home Cheese-Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses� by Ricki Carroll
(This recipe was contributed as part of a "Cook of the Week" feature.)

 
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