[Sca-cooks] Cheese fat? - LOOONNGG!

Kathleen Madsen kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 21 12:26:21 PDT 2007

**********From Gunther**********
I notice in the recipe that you barely touch the curds
basically roll them around in the cloth. Will the
curds stick
and form together? I would guess that's a partial
for the pressing and weights. To form the cheese and
press out as much moisture as possible.

**********My Response**********
If your pH level is right the curds will have no
problem meshing together.  If your pH level gets too
high then the curds will stick together too well and
will rip when you manipulate them.  If you follow the
steps in the right time you should have no problem. 
When you rennet your milk you want to start checking
them for a clean curd break at about 20 minutes, it
may take as long as 45 minutes to set.  Once the curd
is properly set then they get ladled into your cloth
and you "rowel" them  If you find they aren't sticking
then you want to give them more time to set in the
cheese vat.  I would try a small amount at a time
rolled in a handkerchief, if they fall apart then they
aren't ready, if they begin to clump together then
they're ready.

**********from Gunther**********
Is the size of the vat important? Does this assist in
shape of the cheese?

**********My response**********
The size of the vat isn't that important, as long as
you have enough room for the curds you're working
with.  I tend to use a 2 or 3 gallon stock pot when I
make cheese.  As this is a mold-less cheese, meaning
it doesn't use a hoop or draining basket, the size
doesn't really matter.

**********from Gunther**********
I was thinking of using unhomogenated milk and heavy
Should I instead use half and half and heavy cream?
Half and Half
substituting for the strokings?

**********My response**********
I would work with whole milk and heavy cream.  I would
add a pint of cream per gallon of milk.  I don't use
half and half as you can't usually get the same
quality of that as you can of milk and cream.  You may
have better luck with your milk suppliers.  I have to
go across the border into Pennsylvania to buy my raw
milk for cheese.  :(

***********from Gunther************
The recipe says "skimming plate" but is this a
bit of equipment? I'm thinking something like a
spoon or ladle. Maybe one of those large flat pierced
skimming spoons.

***********My response***********
Yes, that's it exactly.  It's like a flattened out
ladle with holes punched in it.  Probably my favorite
kitchen utensil.  :)

**********from Gunther**********
I was hoping to make a slightly harder cheese than
a brie. Something like an Edam in texture. But that
may take longer and be a bit more complicated than
a basic slip cheese.

**********My response**********
I think that you'll find the inside of the cheese will
have more of a mozzarella consistency, that's a
*fresh* mozzarella texture - not the deli kind.  If
you have a fresh ball of mozzarella you'll see that it
has a thin outer rind that's holding in a softer inner
paste.  It's essentially a very young slipcote type of
cheese.  If you leave a ball of fresh mozz out to air
dry for a few days it will get dryer and the texture
will harden - that's more like the consistency you're
going for.

**********from Gunther**********
Neat idea! And you can find sushi mats easily.
I also like the paper plate holders and wil check the
..99 cent stores or Goodwill.

**********My response***********
I've never used wicker paper plate holders but will
caution you to make sure they're clean and that you
have some kind of barrier between your cheese and the
wicker.  They aren't made to actually touch food and
so they could be coated with a finish that's supposed
to make them look pretty but isn't exactly food
friendly.  You might be able to clean them but I don't
know how they'd hold up to that.

I know this all sounds terribly complicated, but it's
really not.  If you have any problems feel free to
give me a shout.  I've probably dealt with every
problem in the book at one point or another.  <G>


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