Cheat’s Cheddar recipe

This is the recipe I use for Cheddar Cheese; I evolved this to compensate for the fact that I did not have the space or time to go through the 'Cheddaring' process correctly, especially given that I make just small batches of cheese.
I must admit, I don't have the patience to follow the full process either, some would say it's not Cheddar, technically I would agree, but it looks like Cheddar, smells and tastes like Cheddar, therefore it must be, at least a Cheddar style cheese (Fig 1).

It needs to be noted that Cheddars customarily are bound with cloth and lard, but I am a natural Rind person, therefore I don't usually do this; I have painted plastic coating on before (Fig 2, the Red Cheese), but in general I let nature take its course, just washing and dressing the cheese with oil. You can of course wax the cheese if you wish.

Figure 1 Figure 2

Ingredients:

10 Litres of Cows Milk, I use Pasteurised semi-skimmed, you can use full fat if you wish.
½ Teaspoon of Mesophilic starter.
½ teaspoon to ¾ teaspoon of Rennet dissolved in water which has been boiled and cooled in a cup.
½ Teaspoon of Calcium Chloride diluted in water as per the Rennet (optional).
1 Tablespoon of Cheese Salt (Kosher or non-ionised salt).

Method:

Gently heat the milk of choice in a 10 Litre (2 Gallon) stainless steel pan, keep stirring the milk (using a slotted spoon) until it reaches 90°F (32°C). I add my starter as the milk warms, but normally it would be added once the temperature is reached.

Once the milk is at temperature, turn off the heat, stir in the starter and cover the milk, leave the milk to stand for one hour.

Add the Calcium Chloride if using it, stir this in, then a couple of minutes later add the diluted rennet and stir in vigorously.

Cover the pan and wait for a full set and clear cut (Fig 3). Once achieved cut the curd into 15 cm (1/2 inch) cubes and leave it to stand and start separating (Fig 4).

After 10 minutes, stir the curd then begin the process of slowly heating the curd up to 100°F - 104°F (40°C) (Fig 5) taking about 20 to 30 minutes to do this and constantly stirring. Eventually the curd will take on the appearance of Scrambled Eggs (Fig 6).

Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6

Once the temperature is achieved cover and stand for 20 to 30 minutes, then spoon the curd into a cheese cloth lined colander. Discard the whey from the pan, tie the corners of the cloth around the curd to form a bag and hang to drain back into your empty pan for about an hour.

Once the curd has stopped dripping, drain the whey out of the pan, put the curd back into the pan, gently break up the curd into grape size pieces, then sprinkle the cheese with the salt and then mix it all together.

For me, I then put the curd into my Lauda Gouda mould and press at 20 lbs for 2 hours, I then remove the cheese from the mould, turn over and put it back in the mould and apply 40 lbs of pressure for 4 to 6 hours.

 

For you, unless you have a mould like mine, line a 2 pound mould with cheese cloth, fill with the curd, fold over the corners and press as above.

 

I then stand the cheese on a tray in a moderately warm temperature (12 -15°C) for a week or so turning every day until the rind begins to form (Fig 7), I rub with salt and rinse off with water every week to remove any moulds that form. After about 3 weeks I put some oil on to prevent cracking. You can of course, at this point, wax or wrap the cheese if you so desire.

 

Store in your normal cool place, then enjoy in 3 to 6 months (I have to admit, my cheese does not see 6 months).

   Figure 7