Making CheeseMy Cheese Making Recipes
Working at LinkedIn has some pretty awesome perks. One of these is the monthly foodies classes taught on campus in our very own inCafe. When I received our newsletter, I noticed a cheese making class. It sounded pretty interesting, so I signed up. Long story short, I was fascinated by it. Our class was taught by the wonderful SF Milk Maid. Louella was very knowledgeable and answered tons of my questions. The class was very fun, and I was hooked.
Cheese making is conceptually very straightforward: You heat milk until curds form, separate them from the milky liquid left over, also known as the whey, and then age the curds to your liking (sometimes not at all, in the case of fresh Ricotta cheese!). Obviously, there are more steps involved in order to get the kind of curd you want. This typically involves adding one or more bacterial and/or fungal cultures to the cooking process, as well as coagulants like rennet or citric acid.
The cheese we made during the class was a Brie which involved the following ingredients: raw milk, some additional heavy cream, lactococcus lactis cultures, penicilium candidum cultures, geotrichum candidum cultures, and rennet. After letting the curds set, cutting them up, and scooping them into molds, the cheese was ready to age by the end of the class.
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Brie at this small size typically takes a few months to age, so we were instructed to flip the cheese weekly during this time frame. This keeps the cheese from becoming lopsided as well as helping the cultures react more uniformly throughout the inside of the soft cheese.
In addition to the Brie, I made a number of new cheeses to age alongside it (like I said, I was hooked). In order, these are the cheeses I produced:
From left to right:
Waxed, Soft Jack-link Cheese (the first cheese I made on my own!)
Soft, Rinded Cheese
Hard Parmesan-like Cheese (this ended up overly salty because this was my first time brining a cheese. I brined it far too many times!)