Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alpine Style Tomme

Tried a new cheese over the weekend - this recipe is from my new cheese book Artisan Cheese Making at Home. Alpine style is a pressed cow's milk cheese made in the French, Swiss, Italian or Austrian alps under various names. Tomme is meant to refer to a cheese aged with a textured rind however I decided to wax it anyway so that I don't have to spend the next few months keeping the rind clean of mould.

The process is much the same as many of the pressed cheeses I have made before. Warm the milk, add starter culture ( this cheese had both mesophilic and thermophilic starter as the curd gets cooked a bit), add rennet and the cut the curd. After resting the cut curd for a short while, it is then heated first to 95. degrees F then to 100 degrees F (my American book is all in Fahrenheit so lucky my thermometer does both C and F!) . The curd is then drained for a while before going into the mould for pressing. The cheese then gets pressed over about 3 hours with gradually increasing weights.
After air drying overnight, the cheese can either be dry salted for a few days or floated in an almost saturated brine solution for 8 hours. After drying off, it is then ready for putting in the cave, except this is where I cheated and waxed it as well.

And just to keep me on my toes, I made a batch of fetta at the same time.

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