Servings: Two poundsPrep Time: 2 hours Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours
2 gallons pasteurized whole milk*
1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter
1/4 teaspoon rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool water
2 tablespoons cheese salt
*If using store-bought milk, or if you have trouble setting a curd with your fresh milk, add 1 teaspoon calcium chloride directly to the milk in Step 1, before adding the starter.
1. Heat the milk to 90-degrees F. Add the starter and mix thoroughly.
2. Add the diluted rennet and stir with an up-and-down motion for one minute.
3. Allow to set for 30-45 minutes, or until the curd gives a clean break.
4. Cut the curd into 1/4-inch cubes.
5. Over the next 20 minutes, gradually increase the temperature to 95-degrees, stirring gently every few minutes to keep the curds from matting.
6. Let the curds set, undisturbed, for five minutes.
7. Drain off the whey.
8. Add the salt and maintain the curds at 95-degrees for 30 minutes longer.
If you plan to add anything to the cheese (such as onions, peppers, herbs, etc), prepare your additives now. When adding peppers, I add anywhere from 1/2 cup to a cup. How much you put in is up to you. Because this is a fresh pressed cheese, not aged, you can freely use fresh additives.
I don’t usually add the salt right away, by the way. I wait till later in Step 8 (almost till time to put the curds in the mold) to add the salt, and I usually add a little bit more, like 2 1/2 tablespoons. Salt measurements in cheese recipes can be pretty conservative. Experiment to find out how much you like. It’s your cheese! If I’m adding onions, peppers, etc, I mix it in right before putting the curds in the mold.
9. Line a mold with cheesecloth and fill with the curds.
10. Press at 35 pounds of pressure for six hours.
Remove the cheese from the mold and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Yield: Two pounds.
Submitted by: suzanne-mcminn on October 24, 2012