There are lots and lots of questions I have regarding many aspects of making hard cheese, but probably the most fundamental is this: What milk should I use?
Many people have attempted to answer this question, but the answers always seem either theoretical or incomplete. What happens when you make cheese with skim milk? What happens with 1%? 2%? Whole milk? What about adding cream? Dry milk? How does pasteurization affect the final product--does it affect text, flavor, aroma, all of the above? What about homogenization? Does organic milk fare any better?
Given a particular type of milk, how does heat affect the curd after cutting? How much can you use heat to affect the texture of the final curd? Can you make a high fat cheese as strong and stretchy as mozzarella? Can you make a low fat cheese soft and creamy?
How can pressing be optimized so pockets of whey don't form in the loaf? How can you ensure a perfectly even thickness? How much whey should be expelled before you even put the curds in the press? How big should the curds be milled?
These are some of the questions I'm looking for answers to, and hopefully through experimentation a little light can be thrown their way.
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.