Monday, August 2, 2010

August Cheesy Challenges - Colby and Cultured Butter!

Happy August everyone! Can you believe that summer is winding down?
We have two cheesy challenges this month, or dairy challenges I should say. One long term project - Colby Cheese and one short-term challenge - Cultured Butter!
It's going to be a fantastic and dairy-licious month, Heather has set up a thumbnail linky for all your cheesy challenges for August here.
Recipes are below, use the ones we provide or your own. Happy Cheesing!

Colby Cheese
Glengarry Cheesemaking
Batch size: 12 litres (milk)
Expected yield: 1.2 kg
Milk source: Whole milk, raw or pasteurized
Production time: 2 and ¾ hours

Warm milk to 30 degreesC.

Add ¼ tsp of annatto cheese colorant diluted in ¼ cup of cool water to the milk. Mix in well using the top and bottom stir technique.

Add 200 ml prepared mesophilic starter culture or ½ tsp of powdered culture directly into the milk pre-mixed in a little milk from the cheese pot. Mix in well.

Allow the milk to ripen for 1 hour at 30 C, using the warm water bath to ensure constant temperature.

Add 1 tsp of liquid rennet diluted in ¼ cup of cool water mixing well into the milk using the top and bottom stir technique. Maintain temperature at 30C during renneting. The milk should set in 30-45 minutes.

Test the curd for a clean break, then proceed to cut the curd into ½ inch cubes. Stir gently while reducing the curds and at the same time proceed to cook the curds over the next 40 minutes to reach a temperature of 40C. Stir during the entire cooking process to avoid matting of the curds. The curds will reduce in size to the equivalent of half a peanut. Once the final cook temperature has been achieved, hold the curds at this temperature for 15 minutes.

Proceed to "wash" the curds by removing whey until you have reach the levels of the curds. Replace the whey with warm tap water at the same temperature as the whey (40C). Stir the curds gently so that they float freely in the whey/water mixture. Hold them in the diluted whet for another 15 minutes.

Allow the curds to settle to the bottom of the pot and then drain them in a cheesecloth lined colander. Drain for approximately 5 minutes.

Transfer the drained curd to a lined hoop press and press moderately for 1 hr.

Remove the cheese from the press and dress the entire cheese with cheesecloth. Press firmly for 12 hrs or overnight.

Remove the cheese from the press and float it in heavy brine for 24 hrs. Heavy brine consist of 6 cup of coarse salt in 4 litres of boiling water.

Remove the cheese from the brining pail and air dry at room temperature until the cheese rind feels dry.

Coat the cheese with cream wax and transfer it to a ripening area for at least 4 weeks. Hard wax this cheese approximately 2 weeks after production date. This cheese will not get excessively sharp if ripened longer. Ideal ripening conditions are 10-12 C with relative humidity of 75-90%.

This is a wonderful grating and melting cheese and it combines well with other cheeses to create nice blend flavors. It is a very good cheese for beginners to make as it can be eaten soon after production. The flavor is related to the taste of a mild cheddar.

And for our second dairy adventure this month, we are joining in with Gaarp in making Cultured Butter! If you are on Facebook, you can also join in the cultured butter party here.
Cultured Butter
  • One quart heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup whole milk yogurt (make sure whatever you use doesn’t contain any gums or stabilizers)
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Mix the cream and yogurt in a clean glass or ceramic bowl. Avoid plastic, which can harbor bacteria in any scratches or imperfections. Cover and let rest for 12 -18 hours, until the mixture has thickened slightly and tastes somewhat tangy. If your room is cool (i.e., less than the mid-70s), it may take longer to culture.
  2. Once the mixture has cultured, cool it slightly by placing in the refrigerator for an hour or so, or by submerging the bowl in a sinkful of ice water for a minute or two. The ideal temperature is around 60° F.
  3. Prepare a bowl of ice water, which you will use to clean the butter.
  4. Put the cream mixture in a mixing bowl. If using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high until stiff peaks form, then reduce the speed to low. Watch closely at this point, as the cream mixture will soon break, separating into butter and buttermilk. If you have a splash guard on your mixer, you might want to use it so you don’t have buttermilk flying everywhere. Once the mixture breaks, turn off the mixer.
  5. Pour the buttermilk into a clean container. You can use this just as you would commercial buttermilk for drinking or baking. If you aren’t going to use it within a week or so, it can be frozen and used later for baking.
  6. Press the butter with a spatula, spoon, or your hand to remove as much buttermilk as possible.
  7. Pour water from the bowl of ice water over the butter to cover. Rinse the butter by kneading it under the water, then dump off the water. Continue to add water and rinse until the water you pour off is clear. It is necessary to remove all the residual buttermilk in order to keep the butter from spoiling too quickly.
  8. Once the butter has been cleaned thoroughly, knead it on the counter for a minute. If you want to salt the butter, press the butter out on the counter, sprinkle lightly with salt, then knead it in. To store the butter, you can press it into ramekins or, as I prefer, roll it into logs. Cover the ramekins or wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap. If you make two butter rolls, you can freeze one for later use.
Yields two cups buttermilk and about 12 ounces butter.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

AUGUST '10 ...what did you forge this month!?

This is the place folks! 

Have you attempted, made, and blogged any of the current or past Forging Fromage challenges?  If so, simply add the perma-link to your post from August at the bottom of this post.  We'll round 'em all up at the beginning of September and then get cheesy all over again!

  Forge On, cheesy ones!

*Please leave a comment once you've added your link...we don't want to miss anyone!

This linky list is now closed.

Rounding up the CHEESE ...forged in July!

Hello Forgers!!!  I don't know about you, but July seemed to fly by for me....zooooom!  We had three current challenges on the board, and of course forging any of the past cheesy challenges is always encouraged!  I am so excited to welcome a new forger to the line-up this month, too!  Let's not waste any more time...I'm excited to share all of the wonderful cheesiness we forged in July!

First up we have Andreas from Delta Kitchen forging Yogurt Cheese!  He strained his yogurt overnight and then stirred in a bunch of finely chopped chives to spread on his Whey Bread (which he made with the whey that resulted from making the yogurt cheese!!)...a perfect food for a summer day!

Next up is ap269 from Family & Food & Other Things...a first time forger (with us) this month...welcome!  She forged both one of our past challenges and one of our current ones.  First up she brings us her Paneer, saying "I’ve never heard of Paneer before – it is a fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine. This cheese was really easy to make. It reminded me a lot of making tofu. You just curdle heated milk with lemon juice or other food acid."  And I, for one, am totally intrigued by the idea of making my own tofu...hmmm.

Ap269 also brings us her Yogurt Cheese this month and then "used the yogurt cheese for making muhammara which is a roasted red bell pepper & walnut dip".  YUM!  She then served it up with some homemade Turkish flatbread.

Next up we have Alicia of Foodycat, who brought us both Yogurt Cheese AND Gouda...rolled into one fantastic, cheesy post!  FC started off by saying "Now, yoghurt cheese, or labneh, is just about as easy as a cheese can get. You take a pot of yoghurt, drain it until it is really thick and then eat it. Seriously, that is all there is to it. No cultures, no thermometers, no weights. Just a bit of time and a bit of gravity."  So true!  She then proceeded to use it in a salad, marinate it, use it to stuff name it!

FC's gouda also turned out fabulously in the baby gouda mold that she purchased just for this challenge.  Despite challenges posed by weighting and wiping away mold, in the end she thought "It was really good. It was very pale in colour - South African gouda tends to be a lot yellower than mine turned out; I think they add annato colouring - but the texture was a perfect sliceable, fine-grained hard cheese, and the flavour was just spot on. Very gratifying!" Nice.

Now, we have Rebecca of Grongar Blog who bringing us her Yogurt Cheese.  Rebecca used Goat Milk Yogurt (awesome!) to make her yogurt cheese and let it hang overnight tied onto the faucet in her sink.  "The resulting cheese was tangy and goaty, soft and spreadable, delicious spread on bread. It even made a respectable dip for tortilla chips. I imagine if I had added some onion, it would have almost made a home-made french onion potato chip dip!"  Sounds mighty tempting, if I do say so myself!

Rebecca's Gouda is nothing short of beautiful!  Seriously, I am super impressed with her wheel of cheese...I want to hang a picture of it in my kitchen!  She pressed it in a mold that she bought on eBay and then "or the next 25 days, we turned it daily, and rubbed all the surfaces with a salt water solution. From time to time, a tiny amount of blue/green mold appeared on the rind — just a few spots — but we rubbed that away with the salt water and the mold never progressed beyond that."  How exciting...and gratifying!

Next up is my cheesing-partner-in-crime, Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies and her Gouda.  A bit frustrated by the fact that she didn't have a flat-bottomed mold... "I realized the hard way that I really needed to start pressing my cheese in something with a flat bottom - because every time I had to flip this one over and re-press it, it got a little crumbly with the reshaping. Ultimately that gave mine a porous texture, and I would like to try it again with a different mould, but the flavour was mature and very tasty nonetheless" ...she did NOT let that stop her!  She forged on and made a major-tasty looking cheese...she added mustard seeds to hers...mmmmm.  And not one to be easily deterred...she went out and MADE w/ the help of her handy hubby herself some molds!! Be on the lookout for them in her Cheddar-ing post! 

And I (Heather) of girlichef am bringing up the rear with my Yogurt Cheese.  Okay, it may be simple...but I am completely enamoured by it!  It's like cream cheese...only can be used in place of cream cheese (which I've actually made before, but probably won't again since this is the easiest thing on earth to make)'s fabulous shmeared on a bagel or a sammie...YUM!  If you're wondering why I'm taking the easy road and sticking with the simple cheeses, it's because we're a bit low on funds right now since I'm not longer (regularly) working.  I haven't been able to replace my cultures, but I'll catch up one of these days and include those in future round-ups...that's the beauty of being able to link up any of the past challenges during any given month!!!  Oh. You weren't wondering.  Well, there ya go, anyway ;-)

Everybody did an absolutely amazing job...I am sooooo impressed!  Also, I want to thank everybody who forged this month for continuing to fuel my fire for Cheese, Glorious Cheese!!!  I look forward to seeing what everybody forges next month!  And if you are new here or haven't yet joined in...what are you waiting for!?  We'd love to forge with you!

***Natashya & I have decided to add a monthly post that will contain the LINKY for you to add your link from any cheese you forged during the current month.  It will follow this post later on today...and will always be accessible from the sidebar via one click!  Watch for Natashya's next challenge...coming soon!!