Cheese Makers Forum FAQ Equipment part 1 Equipment part 2 History

Friday, April 10, 2009

How To Use Cheesecloth

It's a tad bit embarrassing, but when I first started making cheese I had the hardest time with cheesecloth. I invariably made either a bigger mess to begin with, or cause headaches when trying to remove the cloth after pressing. So after lots of experimentation I think I've come up with a bullet proof way of using cheesecloth in pressed cheese with the absolute minimum fuss and problems.

The reason to use cheesecloth is primarily cosmetic, as it gives the final loaf a very nice, smooth, and refined look. I didn't use cloth for most of my loaves and they tasted great, but they just look so much better with cloth and a long brine.

This whole process should take only two or three minutes, as long as you haven't lost your scissors and stomp around the kitchen like a madman. Not that I would do that. Nope, not me.

Step One

Cut two square pieces of cheesecloth that are a couple inches taller than your cheese mold. They also need to wrap around the mold a little more than half way.

I've found with the cheesecloth I buy it comes folded four times on the fabric 'bolt', and if I take two lengths from that and cut it into four pieces, then I have the right size pieces of cheesecloth for my mold.

Step Two

Place one square of the cloth in the mold, and fold an edge over the top. Don't worry about the bottom quite yet, make sure the top doesn't have too many wrinkles.

Step Three

Do the same thing with the second piece of cloth on the other side, then secure the top in place with a couple of rubber bands. Again, make sure the edges are tight and don't have any bunching or wrinkles.

Step Four

Flip the mold over and do the same thing to the bottom. Fold over the cloth, secure with rubber bands, and make sure everything is tight.

Finally, Check Your Work

The seams inside should be slightly overlapping. You are now done and ready to add your curd and start pressing! I usually use the two other squares that I've cut for the top and bottom parts of the curd.

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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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