How to make Cheddar Cheese
How to make Cheddar Cheese Today we’re going to be making cloth banded cheddar, a traditional English cheese from the Somerset area I believe. Now, we’re going to be following tradition by cloth banding the cheddar, We’re not going to be waxing it, which actually increases the flavor of the cheese. So we’re going to smother on the outside of the cheese some cheesecloth and we’re going to put that all over the cheese, and then we’re going to smother it in coconut oil. Traditionally it’s lard, but I don’t have any lard handy, but I have found that coconut oil is a good substitute. Anyway, on with the cheese. The ingredients are 10 liters of full cream milk, an eighth of a teaspoon of Mesophilic culture 2.5 ml or half a teaspoon of calcium chloride 2.5 ml or half a teaspoon of liquid rennet, 12 drops of Annatto and one and a half tablespoons of cheese salt, some cheesecloth, make sure it’s an old one, but a clean one, and some lard or coconut oil for banding. So going to heat our milk up now. I’m using a double boiler and we’re going to bring it up to the target temperature. The target temperature for this cheese is 31 degrees celsius or 88 Fahrenheit Now once at that target temperature, we’re going to add our mesophilic culture. I’m going to sprinkle that all over the top. And we’re gonna let that rehydrate for a little bit. And then I’m going to stir it in gently. I’m going to put the lid on and we’re going to allow the milk to acidify or ripen for 40 minutes. So 40 minutes later, going to start adding all of the other ingredients. So make sure you add these while you’re stirring, so firstly the annatto and this gives the cheese a creamier looking consistency or color. So give that a good stir through.
Now we’re gonna add in the calcium chloride. Keep stirring, and then we’re going to add in the rennet. Which is coming up soon. Notice that I’m not whipping the milk into a frenzy, we’re just stirring that gently so we’re not aerating the milk. So here’s the rennet. We’re just going to pour that in now while we’re stirring and just stir for no longer than one minute. And before you pop the lid on making sure the milk has stopped moving. So what we’re going to do is check for a clean break after 40 minutes, now in this first instance. it was a bit of a sloppy break. It wasn’t as neat as I thought it could be, so I left that for another 10 minutes. and then I checked it off-camera, and it was fine after the full 50 minutes. So cut the curd into 1.25 centimeter or half-inch cubes. Just using my trusty curd cutter there and then finishing off the vertical cuts with a knife. One way and then the other. There we go. Now we’re going to let the curds heal for 5 minutes. So 5 minutes later, I just start stirring. I’m going to put the heat back on but we’re going to slowly increase the temperature to 39 degrees Celsius over the period of 40 minutes. So here it is 40 minutes later. You see the curds about baked bean size.
See the annatto starting to kick in there. You can see everything’s going quite yellow. So we’re going to start he’d daring process now. Firstly, we allow the curds to settle to the bottom for 40 minutes. And then once the 40 minutes has elapsed, we’re just going to gently drain off the whey. You could keep this for whey ricotta, but I’ve already got one in the fridge. There’s only so much ricotta you can eat. There you go, comes out in one big slab, now that’s what you’re aiming for. Now we’re going to drain that just gently a little bit and then we’re going to pop that back into the pot because we need to keep the curds warm whilst we’re daring. So we’re going to cut the cord while it’s in the pot. Just going to cut the curd mass in half, which gives you an approximate, same sort of curd size as they do in the traditional cheddar making process. So I’m going to flip over each half for… just quickly there if I can stop the pot from moving, there we go… So just flip it over, and then I’ll let it rest for 10 minutes. Now I’m going to transfer this back to the double boiler just to make sure that we can maintain that target temperature of 39 celsius, 102 Fahrenheit It does seep out a fair bit of whey, but that’s no big deal, just make sure it’s covered, so no dust or fluff gets in there. Now we’re going to do that for 10 minutes. So 10 minutes are elapsed, you can see a fair bit of whey has come out. Ok so just tip over… sorry turn over each slab, and you can see that the curds are shrinking all the time during this process. So pop the lid back on and wait for another 10 minutes. So 10 minutes is elapsed again. So just turn over each half again. Pretty easy this he’d to dare, isn’t it! Here we go pop the lid back on. Then one more time, this final cheddaring turn is for 15 minutes this time, so let’s flip it over.
How to make Cheddar Cheese There we go, pop the lid back on. So that’s 45 minutes ch cheddaring time in total. So you can see that’s how much whey is collected on the bottom of the pot, Then we’re just going to drain that whey out now. I’m just going to plonk the slabs into the cheesecloth-lined colander, then whatever other bits are sitting in the bottom, it’s not much. It’s all good. Well, so I’m just going to transfer that to a chopping board because we need to cut it down into small fingers of curd. So about half an inch, which is 1.25 centimeters, and then cut that in half. normally in the cheddar factory there’s this big machine it’s like a shredder, that does all this for you. But seeing as we’re at home. We have to improvise. So I’ll just cut it into cubes now. Okay, we’re going to mill this now. So we’re just going to break this, each cube in half, as you can see there I’ve started, and I’ll show you the finishing off of the process. For those wondering that is an LED light that is in the way. I couldn’t look through the little viewer. But you can see the process. We’re just cutting each of those in half. We’ve got chunks of curds, so we’re going to add in our one and a half tablespoons of salt, and I’m just going to mill that through. We just transfer that into our cheesecloth-lined cheese basket. I’m using a 165 mm basket there, which takes up to 10 liters of milk, or the curds made from 10 liters of milk no problems at all, So just fold the cloth over and pop the follower on top, and I’m going to screw that down to the pressure for the initial pressing. How to make Cheddar Cheese Now if you haven’t got a cheese press like this one, just apply the right amount of weight onto your follower. So we’re going to do it at 11 kilos or 24 lbs for one hour, this is just to form the cheese initially, you’ll see it will have quite a few gaps in the cheese. Just make sure it can drain freely, a fair bit of whey’s coming off still, creamy at first, but then it goes clear. Okay, so an hour has elapsed and we’re going to take it out and turn it over. just be gentle because it may not have formed properly.
How to make Cheddar Cheese Still there, a few holes, but now we’re going to tighten it all up. So we’re going to press really heavily, 22 kilos or 50 lbs for 12 hours, just make sure you keep the pressure on, if you’ve got a spring-type like this one, you’re going to have to retighten the spring, probably about every 6 hours. So really heavy pressure for cheddar, to make sure that all those cubes of curd knit together closely. So here I am in my work clothes the next morning, taking the cheese out of the press. So it’s formed very well. And you can see that there’s no mechanical holes or anything like that. It’s all smooth all the way around. And we just get a cheese board and mat, pop that on there. Now I don’t need to bring it, it’s already got the salt in it, remembering from the milling stage. Now we’re going to air dry that for 2 to 3 days. And there it is after one day, and there it is after two days. It starts to yellow up. Now, we’re going to cloth band this now. We’re not going to wax the cheese, I’m going to use the traditional method, so I cut two squares and then one rectangle which is going to be your circumference, There we go. Don’t mind the hair cut. Ok, so that wraps around the circumference, Ok trim that all off, lovely. So we coat it with either lard or coconut oil, so I’m using coconut oil here. And you just give it an initial coating so that the cheesecloth can stick to it. So then you smooth that down as well, just by dabbing your hand in the bowl there and just wiping it all over the cloth, pretty easy to do really. So you trim any excess, you just need it neat on top and bottom as well. So just make sure you’ve got that all there. Ok, so. So that’s all done now, I put the top and bottom layer on, just trimming that off, smoothing it down with the coconut oil, the liquid coconut oil. So lovely and smooth so nothing can get in. So we’re going to mature that at 10 degrees celsius or 50 Fahrenheit for 3 months minimum.