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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recipe #19, Raw milk skimmed

With this recipe I'm attempting to combine the best of what I've learned from working with raw milk with the lessons I've learned from recipe #6. Basically, to get the firm, elastic texture that you really want for a cheddar type cheese requires a certain ratio of fat/cream to protein and moisture.

2% milk has been the closest I've come to creating a texture that I'm proud of, but it didn't have the flavor that raw milk has. To fix this, I obtained another four gallons of raw cow milk and set it in the fridge overnight to chill and let the cream separate. I don't have a mechanical separator, nor do I want one since it's my hope to create recipes that eventually anyone can use.

I carefully ladled off about 2/3's of the cream from the two gallons I'm using for this loaf (about 14 ounces from each gallon) which I will use for something else. Then I'll use the same recipe I used for #6, #13, and #18--two cups of buttermilk per gallon of milk.

  • 2 gallons raw milk, skimmed of 2/3's of the cream
  • 4 cups cultured buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid vegetable rennet
  • Mortons kosher salt

The milk is now in the hot water bath, happily floating around at 88F. Photos will be added as the process progresses, and I have a lot of hope for this round.

The curd is now in the press, and it's so easy to work with. It was washed once in hot water since the whey was so sweet, I don't want it to get too sour. After the wash, the curds were nice and tight, with a good rubbery feel to them. Even after only a few minutes the loaf is compressing quite well, and was already flavorful and rich. I think the higher fat content may actually muffle some of the flavors in the protein, or perhaps I just simply got the salt levels better.

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