Adventures in Cheesmaking

This all started out as a curiosity. Like most stuff we eat there is a rich history behind it. Centuries of experimentation. Cheese is just another example.

From the horse back tribes of the Asian Steppes to the Silk Road camel caravans to Romans Legions to European Monks to today, milk was a great source of nutrition but spoiled quickly and was heavy to transport.

The answer was cheese.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Carbonzola - suggested recipe

For later reference - this great soft blue was a staple for us when we lived in Belgium - it on the must make list

Making Cambozola Cheese

 Cultures needed for a one or two gallon milk batch.
-Mesophilic Starter Culture (MM100-101 series or MA4000-4001 series or MA11-14-16 series) 1/3 tsp.
-Penicillum Candidum 1/16th tsp.
-Penicillium Roqueforti 1/32nd tsp.
-Rennet(dissolved in a little amount of cool water). Use amount per stated on rennet package. Use any type of rennet.
-Calcium Chloride/optional/use ¼ tsp.(1.25ml) in ¼ cup of cool water.
-Non-iodized course salt

Raw milk or 1 part heavy cream to 7 parts skim milk or non-homogenized whole milk.

Heat milk/cream to 85f (29.5c). Maintain this temperature throughout the process. Sprinkle the Penicillum Candidum and Mesophilic Starter Culture onto the warmed milk, allowing the dry cultures to thoroughly hydrolize. Then add the rennet and stir for a few minutes. Do not add the Penicillium Roqueforti  at this point.  It will be added later. Then gently stir the milk 2-4 minutes using top to bottom strokes. Allow the curd to set and test for clean break after about 60 minutes. After getting a clean, gently cut curds into ½ inch (1.5cm) cubes. Stir curds in the whey for 2-4 minutes. Drain off nearly 80% of the whey from the curds using either a colander or draining bag for 25-30 minutes. Now ladle the drained curds in your camembert moulds until they are half full using about 50% of the curds. Sprinkle a very small dusting of P. roqueforti mold powder (about 1/16 tsp.) on the top of the curds.  Ladle the rest of the curds into the half full Camembert moulds. Let the filled
 moulds drain for 16-24 hours at room temperature until you see no additional draining. Turn the moulds over during this draining period multiple times so they drain uniformly. Once your cheese are drained and firm enough, take them out of their moulds and place them onto a draining mat/platform for salting. Lightly sprinkle about 1 tsp. of course non-iodized salt on all sides of each cheese. After salting, the cheeses can be set aside to age. The temperature should be 50-54f (10-12c) in your aging room. Cover your aging container when the cheeses no longer look excessively moist, making sure there is no moisture touching your cheeses. Flip your cheeses daily using clean hands. The white mold should begin to appear within 3-6 days, maybe a bit longer if the temperature is colder. After you see a good covering of white mold bloom on the cheeses, use a clean knitting needle or clean thin Phillips Head screwdriver, poke about 10 holes through the top of each cheese. These holes
 will air and help in the development of blue veining. Continue to age at 40-50f. You may have to re-poke holes if additional white mold bloom covers the holes. About 10-14 days after the first poking, wrap you cheeses in White Mold Paper and continue to age until you like the flavor. When the center of the cheese is a bit soft to the touch it has completed aging.  You can cut one cheese in half to see how ripe it is. A longer aging period will result in a stronger blue flavor.

Note:  Sometimes due to the fact that the holes may cover up even after you poke them, there is another way to get the blue mold to grow inside the cheese.  After a couple of days of aging when the cheeses are quite firm, using clean fishing line or some kind of clean string, cut the cheese in half horizontally.  Using a fork, scratch up the inside center of both halves.  Then, sprinkle a very tiny amount of the blue mold powder onto one of the halves.  Place the two halves back together and set aside to age.  Since the blue mold needs to grow, the small amount of air now inside the cheese will allow it to blue inside.

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