Thursday, 11 March 2010
4 gallons whole milk, 2 cups cultured buttermilk, 4 junket tablets, 4 T salt. You will also need a very large kettle, some cheese cloth and a cheese press. Actually, if you don't have a press, the curds are delicious to eat.
Pour the 4 gal. milk in the large kettle, add the buttermilk and 4 junket tablets dissolved in a little water. Heat to 86 degrees. Let set one hour. Cut in 1/2 inch squares and heat to 102 degrees.
Let set another hour. You are to pour off the whey, but I find it easier to scoop out the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander, due to how big and heavy the kettle is. So, scoop out all the curds.
I let the curds drain for a while, then mix in 3 Tablespoon sea salt. Gather up cheesecloth corners and put into the press.
For the press. My very kind father-in-law (that's you, Jim!) made me the square base, top and round "follower" out of oak. My very dear husband made me the rest of the press. He used PVC pipe for the molds and pushers. He drilled holes in the molds so that the whey can drain out. It was very inexpensive to make.
I like to put an aluminum pie pan or cake pan under the mold so that the cheese is not directly on the wood. After you put your cheese in the mold, you would put the round wooden follower in next, then a pusher, then the square top and lastly, weights on top. I just use the boys dumbbells (30#). All this is put on a jelly roll sheet that is propped up in the back so that the whey can drain away from mold.
After about 1 1/2 - 2hrs., I flip the cheese around in mold and continue to press for a few more hours. This recipe calls to age the cheese for 2 weeks, but we rarely do. We ususally can't wait that long to eat it, but it definitely is better if you have the patience for 2 weeks. This makes about a 3 1/2 # block of cheese.
Are you ready to give it a try? It is worth all the efforts.
Until next time...................