Recipe: Cheese – Gouda-type

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Start the buttermilk off the night before – it could need 24 hours to be ready for use.

Timings: 1st evening - start the culture

2nd day - start cheese making at 1pm and finish at 5:30pm

3rd day – brine the cheese and store



Ingredients:-

  • 1 off carton of Cultured Buttermilk – 285ml
  • 2 off large bottles of Whole Milk – 4.5 litres
  • 30 shakes of Vegeren rennet
  • Sterilised cheesecloth
  • 300g salt

Method:-

    • The night before take the buttermilk carton from the fridge and un-stick the lid. Leave at 20degC overnight until the buttermilk gets the consistency of yoghurt.
      • Put milk in a very large pan and heat slowly to 31 degC
      • Add the whole carton of buttermilk
      • Stir and bring back to 31 degC then leave for 45 minutes keeping at 29 to 31 degC
      • Take off a bowl of milk and shake in about 30 shakes (you get large drops) of Vegeren. Quickly stir and drizzle into the milk stirring continuously for 1 minute with a whisk.
      • Leave to stand for 45 minutes maintaining temperature at 29 to 31 degC until a clean break is achieved. You can start testing after 20 minutes. A clean break is when a cut doesn’t heal but fills with green whey.
        • When a clean break is achieved cut down and across to form ½ inch columns of curd. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
        • Stir gently and intermittently for 20 minutes to keep the curds apart.
        • Then let the curds rest for 10 minutes and they should sink to the bottom.
          • Remove 1.5 litres of whey with a spoon – put a sieve on top of the curds to get clean whey.
          • Add back 1.5 litres of water at 55 degC and test that the mixture has a temperature of 38 degC. Gently apply heat if needed.
          • Stir gently and intermittently for 30 minutes breaking any large lumps of curd.
          • Then leave to settle for 5 minutes.
            • Drain off whey until curds are only just covered.
            • Apply first gentle press. Use the inner pan of the spaghetti pan and two-thirds-fill one of the milk bottles to use as a weight.
            • Remove weight and drain off the whey.
              • Warm a mould to use as a mould and line with cheesecloth. This should be bottomless or have hole to allow the liquid to drain off but I used the small saucepan as a mould and put a milk pan inside – this was only just tall enough to press down and really needs something on top of the cheese first.
              • Put the cheese into the cheesecloth and press down by hand.
              • Put a weight of about 2kg (I could only use the mortar and one milk bottle filled with water) onto the top and leave for 15 minutes.
                • Drain off any liquid and turn the cheese.
                  • I added an extra step because my pan did not allow the liquid to drain and repeated the lighter weight for 15 minutes before turning again.
                  • After the second press I found a cake ring that was a little too wide but used this with a medium saucepan plus weights of about 8kg for two lots of 15 minutes.
                    • It now needs a weight of about 5kg for 1 hour.
                    • Turn the cheese for a second time and now use a weight of 7.5kg overnight (12 to 16 hours).
                    • Make a saturated brine by dissolving 300g of salt in 1 litre of boiling water. Allow to cool to room temperature and add half a teaspoon of vinegar before use. The recipe says salt should come out of solution as it cools to show it is saturated but I did not find this so maybe a bit more salt next time.
                    • Place cheese in saturated brine for 5 hours. Turn the cheese every hour or so.
                      • Place the cheese on a drying mat in 50-60°F/10-15°C and 85-90% humidity.
                      • After a few days the cheese should be dry to touch and then it can be waxed. Or it can continue to be aged with a natural rind.
                      • If natural rind and unwanted moulds appear on rind, clean with a low 2-3% brine and cloth or disposable paper towel. After cheese hardens, a brush can be used with brine.
                      • Turn cheese and replace mat if moist initially every 2 days then every week and eventually every month if age that long.
                      • Consume after 2 weeks to several years, flavour changes with age.

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