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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Putting together the pieces for best beginner cheese

I love making hard pressed cheese, but for the beginner there is are several barriers to entry. Learning about the make, buying/building a press, internalizing the whole process--there is a lot of specialist knowledge needed to make a loaf of good tasting pressed cheese. However, I think I may have hit upon a method and recipe that anyone can do with no specialized equipment and only one specialized ingredient (rennet) that will make a cheese that will blow away your friends. It won't necessarily be cheddar or a style you're used to buying from a name brand in the store, but a good everyday eating/melting/cooking cheese that can be used in sandwiches, pasta, or just on a cracker.

The basic premise is similar to some tutorials I saw Ricki Carol publish a few years ago, but there are some specifics that were either not emphasized enough or not mentioned. That is why I am putting together a tutorial on how exactly to make hard cheese without a press that will turn out tasting good. What I lack, though, are testers for this method.

That is where you come in--before I publish something I would like to recruit several people, preferably some who have made cheese and others who have not--who would like to test out this method and recipe I'm developing. I hesitate to just publish it without testers, since it is meant to be a beginners method and I feel I lack the perspective to nail it the first time. So, what I'm proposing is this: email me or private message me if you are interested, and I will privately send you the draft instructions if you are willing to give them a good ol' critique. Once all is said and done, if the technique seems to be worthwhile, it will be shared and published. If not, then bad information masquerading as good information won't pollute the 'tubes.

The picture featured is an example of a loaf I made today. It hasn't developed any complexity yet, but it has a nice elastic texture and melts really well. So if you are interested in testing, my email address is jeremy.pickett {at}

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Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
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