Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cheese Adventures

With little to do in the garden, I have turned my mind back to cheap milk and what to do with it.  I have been able to access 50c/litre raw milk (thank you, you know who you are), and I have been making cheese at home.  
This is Brie draining in the hoops.
Brie growing mould under a plastic bag

This is Feta waiting for it's brine solution

Most processes for cheese start out much the same, pasteurise the milk, let it cool to about 32C, add culture and rennet, for Brie you also add penicillin to make the mould, and let curds form.  Cut the curd up.  Then it changes depending on the cheese.  Either keeping the curds warm and stirring, or letting it cool naturally, and not stirring.  The size of the curds changes also.  For Mozarella, there is then a heating process where you pour hot water over the curds and stretch/melt them.  Others are pressed, or drained carefully (like Brie).  

I have used recipes off the net in the past, and while we were in the Barossa Valley a few weeks ago I bought a cheesemaking book from a cheese shop, "Udder Delights", in Hahndorf.  It explains the processes in an easy to access way, with not too much difficulty, and I am going to try a White Wensleydale next!  

My Brie rounds are now in the wine cellar (they like 11-14 degrees), growing their fluffy white mould in a humid environment (wrapped in a plastic bag), and they smell amazing!  I wish Blogger had smellovision.  

I am really enjoying this diversion into cheese, it has been so exciting.