Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gouda AND Goat's Milk Feta...2 new cheesy adventures!

Yes, you heard me right...we are announcing 2 new adventures!  We talked it over a bit and decided that we were ready to move on to a more intermediate level in our forging.  Making fresh cheese was was a great introduction and learning experience...but, we're ready to try our hands at something new and challenging and honestly, a bit scarey!  Wait.  You say you're just building up the courage to start cheesemaking?  You haven't taken the plunge and joined in any of our beginning forging yet?  Don't freak out!  We're still going to have a monthly beginner/fresh/easier cheesier (okay, not cheesier, just felt right) adventure, as well!  Since intermediate level cheeses can require more time to finish, we thought we'd make those "due dates" individual to each cheese while still having a simpler monthly challenge!  By the way, have you checked out our adventures in Halloumi!?

Shall we begin with our "harder" cheese?  Okey dokey...I'd like to give a warm welcome to one of my personal favorites...Gouda!  This is a recipe that I found on the internet...the one I'm going to have a go at.  Feel free to use this or any other Gouda recipe you wish.  I'm hoping I actually get the opportunity to smoke it, as well...ahhhhh, smoked I love thee...dream of thee...  "Gouda is a yellowish Dutch cheese named after the city of Gouda. The cheese is made from cow's milk that is cultured and heated up until the curds separate from the whey."*

Gouda (a semi-hard cheese) DUE: JULY 30
found at gourmetsleuth

1 gallon Milk
4 oz. 1/8 tsp.* Mesophilic Starter Culture  *see comment section!!
1/4 tab rennet (or 1/4 tsp liquid rennet)
Warm the milk to 85 F (29.5 C).

Add 4 oz of mesophilic starter culture and mix thoroughly with a whisk, the culture must be uniform throughout the milk.

Dissolve 1/4 tab rennet into 3-4 tablespoons COOL water. Hot water will DESTROY the rennet enzymes.

Slowly pour the rennet into the milk stirring constantly with a whisk.

Stir for at least 5 minutes.

Allow the milk to set for 1-2 hours until a firm curd is set and a clean break can be obtained when the curd is cut.

With a long knife, cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes.

Allow the curds to sit for 10 minutes to firm up.

Slowly raise the temperature of the milk to 102 F (39 C). It should take as long as 45 minutes to reach this temperature. During this time, gently stir the curds every few minutes so they don’t mat together.

Once the curds reach 102 F (39 C), allow the curds to settle, then carefully remove 3 cups of whey from the top surface.

Replace the lost whey with 3 cups of 102 F (39 C) water.

Cook the curds at 102 F (39 C) for another 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes remove 3 cups of whey and replace with 102 F (39 C) water.

At the end of the process, you will have removed whey three times.

Drain the whey by pouring through a cheesecloth lined colander.

Carefully place the drained curds into your cheesecloth lined mold.

Press the cheese at about 20 lbs. (9 kg) for 45 minutes.

Remove the cheese from the press and flip it.

Press the cheese at about 40 lbs. (18 kg) for 3 hours.

Remove the cheese from the press, careful it is still very soft.

Float the cheese in a COLD brine solution** for 3 hours. Be certain to flip the cheese over every 45 minutes or so to ensure even rind development.

Pat dry the cheese, you will notice the outer surface has begun to harden.

Place the cheese in your refrigerator to age for 25 days. You will need to flip the cheese over every day or it will dry unevenly.

-If too thick a rind begins to develop, place an overturned bowl on top of the cheese, or place it in a covered container. However, continue to turn the cheese daily and do not wrap it in plastic.

-Inspect daily for mold. Should mold develop on the cheese surface, simply remove it using a paper towel dipped in white vinegar.

-At the end of 25 days you can age it further by waxing it or you may use it immediately.

-If you wax the cheese, continue to flip the cheese every 3 days or so.

Dissolve 1.5 cups of salt into one quart warm water.
Cool the brine in your freezer, some salt will precipitate out.
To use the solution, simply place it in a bowl and place your cheese into it.
After you are done with the brine, you can store it in a container in your freezer.
With each new cheese, you will need to add additional salt so that the solution is saturated.
The solution is saturated with salt when no additional salt can be dissolved no matter how long you stir.

That doesn't sound so bad.  Does it!?  I  hope you join us in taking this next step...but if not (or in addition to), our second adventure will be Goat's Milk Feta...again, use this or any recipe you choose... "Feta is a classic curd cheese in brine whose tradition dates back to Greece thousands of years ago. It is traditionally made exclusively from goat's and sheep's milk, but cow's milk varieties are readily available in some areas."*

Goat's Milk Feta (a fresh cheese) Due: June 29
from The Home Creamery
yield: ~1 lb.

1 gallon goat's milk
1/4 c. cultured buttermilk
1/2 tsp. liquid rennet
1/4 c. cool water (55-60 degrees F)
coarse salt

1. Warm the milk to 88 degrees F over low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.  Check the temp. with a thermometer.  Stir in the buttermilk.  Cover and let stand for 1 hour.  Remove the pot from heat.

2.  In a small cup, dissolve the rennet in the water.  Add this mixture to the milk and stir for 30 seconds.  Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour longer to coagulate.

3.  Using a knife, cut the curds into 1" cubes.  Stir gently for 15 minutes, keeping curds at 88 degrees F. 

4.  Pour the curds carefully into a butter muslin-lines colander, tie together the ends of the muslin to make a bag, and hang in a cool room or in the refrigerator to drain for 4-6 hours.

5.  Remove the cheese from the muslin, slice the cheese ball in half, and lay the slabs of cheese in a dish that can be covered.  Sprinkle all the surfaces with coarse salt, cover, and allow to set at room temp for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, salt all the surfaces again and let the cheese rest for 2 hours.

6.  Place the cheese in a covered dish and refrigerate up to 2 weeks of freeze for future use.


*Source: CrosswordEase


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Halloumi Round-Up!

We came, we saw, we halloumi-ed!
Three of us took the challenge this month, and what a challenge it was!

This cheese called for more ingenuity than the previous cheesy challenges - gaps in the recipe and the need to construct shaping, weighting, and draining methods at home meant that we were forced to think on our feet.

And think we did! Each of us came up with creative ways to form our halloumi and each of us had great success! Click on each name to read their full halloumi adventures on their blogsites.

Heather of Girlichef used foil-wrapped dumbbells to weight her cheese, and created a mould out of a colander for shaping.

And ended up with this beautiful fried halloumi with chili oil to share with her family.


Foodycat also used barbell weights to press her halloumi, after a wild adventure procuring cheese making supplies. She also created this ingenious draining mat.

Her results were tender, salty halloumi - perfect for pairing with pasta.

And over at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, I frightened said puppies by creating a falling tower of bricks to press my cheese. After the first mishap the pups were ushered into the back bedrooms for their own safety. Cheese making can be dangerous business.

And I made some delicious fried halloumi with harissa and roasted red peppers. Yum!
From reading their posts, I gather mine was dryer than Foodycat's or Girlichef's. I'm not sure why, but with cheese making results can vary.
So, are you inspired to take a cheesy challenge? The next fabulous cheese dare will be posted tomorrow.

Stay cheesy!