Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Eggs & Cheese
Contributed by: Connie Stone
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
Heat cowâ€™s milk to 90 degrees or goatâ€™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 cowâ€™s milk, top-stir for 1 minute with the flat underside of the ladoe no more than 1â�„2 inch deep to blend the buttermilk that rises to the surface.) Cover and let set at 90 degrees for cowâ€™s milk or 85 degrees for goatâ€™s milk for 45 minutes, or until the curd gives a clean break.
Cut the curd into 1â�„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 â€œHome Cheese-Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheesesâ€� by Ricki Carroll
(This recipe was contributed as part of a "Cook of the Week" feature.)