Monday, April 25, 2011

Cheese -Cheddaring, firmer Feta and tasting time

I had a bumper cheese making 2 days this weekend. Friday was a new batch of Feta cheese made using yet another recipe as I am still looking to get a firmer texture. This recipe is out of the Idiot’s Guide and the new steps were drying overnight then heavy brining for 6 hours before finally putting in the pickling (a much reduced salt) brine in the jar. It felt a lot firmer block this time so I hope it stays that way.
On Saturday I decided to have a go at proper Cheddar – not the shortcut farmhouse variety I made last year. This one involves Cheddaring or laying the slabs of curd on top of each other and flipping every 15 minutes for 2 hours. I did all of that ok but got distracted in the final step which is  after milling (breaking into small pieces) and salting, maintaining at 100 degrees F (why is it lots of cheese recipes are American so I constantly have to convert gallons, degrees F, ounces etc!). My curd had cooled in the milling process so I heated up the water bath a little bit too much and started to melt the bottom layer of curds! It was starting to look a bit like mozzarella. Oh well . I still put in through the pressing regime and it is looking ok this morning when it came out of the final pressing. It now has to air dry for a few days then I will wax it and age it for several months. You never know, I may have invented a new cheese!

We also cut open the Monterey Jack cheese this weekend. The mountain pepper leaves are a bit too tough to eat but the overall taste was pretty good. It was even better melted.

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