by Kathy Laurie
2 gallons pasteurized whole cow’s milk
1/4 tsp. Farmhouse culture – MA4001
1/4 tsp. Aroma B
1/2 tsp. calcium chloride diluted in ¼ cup cool non-chlorinated water
1/2 tsp. rennet diluted in ¼ cup cool non-chlorinated water
cheese salt for brine
Stainless steel pot
Dial top thermometer
Stainless perforated ladle or spoon
Measuring spoons for ¼ and ½ tsp.
2 small glass bowls
Cheesecloth for cheese
8” Tomme mold with follower
Knife for cutting curds
Cheese press and weights
Draining tray and cheese mat
- Heat the milk slowly to 90° over about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat.
- Sprinkle the MA4001 and Aroma B over the milk. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes to rehydrate. Then stir thoroughly using an up and down motion at least 20 times.
- Cover and allow milk to ripen for 45 minutes, maintaining 90°.
- Add the calcium chloride solution and stir the same way.
- Make sure the temperature is still 90°. If it has dropped, now is the time to heat briefly as necessary.
- Add the rennet solution and stir gently in the same up an down motion. Cover and let sit45-60 minutes, or until the curds give a clean break.
- Cut curds into 1/2 inch cubes and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Turn on low heat. Gently and slowly stir the curds constantly and warm them to 95°. This should take 25-30 minutes. Do not heat them too quickly. It should take the entire time to reach 95°. You will notice the curds firming up and expelling whey. Turn off the heat.
- Cover and let sit for 45 minutes. Now the curds will have expelled even more whey.
- Ladle off whey down to the top of the curds.
- Line the sanitized cheese mold with cheesecloth and fill it with curds. Let it drain for a few minutes. Fold a corner of the cheesecloth over the curds and put on the follower.
- Press at 10 pounds for 30 minutes.
- Take the cheese out of the mold, take off the cheesecloth and turn over.Put the cheesecloth back on and press again at 15 pounds for about 12 hours. I like to time it so this happens overnight.
- Make a brine using cheese salt and non-chlorinated cold water. Chill. Use the proportion of 2 pounds of cheese salt to one gallon of water. You probably won’t need that much brine so cut it down depending on the size container you a reusing but keep the salt to water ratio the same.
- Soak the cheese for 24 hours either in your cheese “cave” or in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf (usually the warmest). Turn once.
- Remove the cheese from the brine and pat dry. Dry on a cheese mat at room temperature for 24 hours, turning occasionally until dry to the touch.
- Now you have a choice! Either put in a ripening box and ripen at 55° and 85-90% humidity for at least 2 weeks, turning daily or you can either wax or vacuum seal it, also turning daily. If you choose to wax or vacuum seal, there will be no development of a natural rind but you also will not have any mold to deal with. If you don’t have a “cave”, either age in a wine frig or in the bottom drawer of your refrigerator which is usually the warmest place in the frig. If you do this, allow a longer aging period for the colder temperature will slow the ripening.
- Enjoy your cheese! I like to cut it in half at this time and eat half. The other half I vacuum seal again and continue to age. This way you can taste it as a young cheese and also as a more mature cheese and decide which you prefer.