Course Dates

Cheese Making 2016 

Sunday Feb 21st - FULL

Sunday March 20th - FULL

Sunday April 24th - FULL

Sunday May 8th - FULL

Sunday May 29th - FULL (GROUP)

Sunday July 3rd - FULL

Sunday Aug 21st - FULL



As part of my cheese making course, I offer support for participants after the event. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding any of the subjects covered on the website. Here are some of the questions I have answered:

I have just bought myself some more Belly Pork and am about to do the bacon recipe again. However I was wondering if you have any thoughts on producing Back Bacon rather than streaky. I understand it is using Pork Loin rather than Belly, but I was wondering if the process is significantly different?
Thanks for a very useful website.

For different cuts of Pork, you need a friendly butcher who will sell you what you need. The usual cut of bacon is the loin with belly attached, a good butcher will sell you a full side boned out, but they are hard to find today, most just buy in what they want. Shoulder should be easier to get, have a look at my Coppa recipe, it works well.
As for the website, great to hear you find it useful. Regards, Doug

I attended the cheese making course back in November which I really enjoyed. I recently ventured into my first 'hard' cheese, following the cheat's cheddar. I used a homemade cheese press which seemed to work very well. I won't know how well until I have left it for a couple of months. My next venture will be your stilton style recipe. What I am after is some Penicillium Roqueforti.

In reply I advised him where he could buy some, but as he was local I dropped some off for him - not a service I provide for everyone!

Thank you both for a great day. The roule has been well received by my wife and the other cheeses are being regularly examined by visitors to the house! I do have one question regarding the salting process. I salted the cheese this morning. It was holding its own shape well and I put salt on it. However when I was holding the cheese in my hand, such an amount of salt as recommended in your handout seemed an awful lot for such a small cheese. I must have put a couple of teaspoons on each cheese, but no more as even that seemed a lot. Have I missed a point somewhere? Any advice gratefully received!

My reply:

Hi John, good to hear from you and that you enjoyed the day. A teaspoon or teaspoon and a half of salt should be fine, as the whey comes out it should dilute and wash off some of the salt. If you are really concerned,give them a rinse, but I would just leave them as is. Good to hear all is going well with your new creations. Doug

Hi Doug
I trust finds you well. Well, I took one the Cheeses into the pub last night for the chaps to try. In short total disaster! The cheese was so salty is basically inedible. The texture was also crumbly a little like a Wensleydale. Both cheeses are firm / quite hard to the touch. Landlord was delighted as we all ordered more and more beer. So I'm guessing I messed up somewhere on the salting process. All I did was put a heap of salt in my hand and roll the cheese so that every surface had a coating. The salty taste was not just in the skin though, it had penetrated all the way through the cheese and you simply couldn't eat it.
Doug where have I gone wrong?
I looked after them like they my own children and they even came down to Cornwall with us for the week and then back up to Oxfordshire. I kid you not. Any advice would be great. Got to crack this because I want to move onto the pecorino soon.

My reply:

Sorry to hear that, the texture still being firm suggests that they have been kept too cold and perhaps introduced to the fridge a little early. Take the other one out of the fridge for a few days, that may kick start the fermentation again. It sound like you used too much salt, it doesn't need a coating it's just needs a "dusting" really, it should dissolve in a matter of minutes. How disappointing for you, still give it another try, see what happens. The Pecorino should be a different challenge but in some ways easier. Regards, Doug.

PS. The salt will penetrate, it's only there to draw out the moisture, if you want to, you don't need to salt, the skin will form without it, the salt just quickens the process by helping the Penecillium Candidium to be drawn to the surface with the moisture. Good luck.

Hope all is going well, I have noticed from your web site that your cheese courses remain as popular as ever. A bit of your expertise and opinion would be much appreciated if possible with the enclosed picture of a Blue Cheese I started in early December last year. As you can see the cheese has some almost pink colour to the rind. The paste is a creamy texture and colour, the colouration appears to be in the rind only and you can't clean it off as it appears to be in the rind not on it The rind can smell a tiny bit musty but not unpleasant and the paste smells very clean and sweet with that blue cheese smell. I have read horror stories about pink mould and would greatly appreciate your feedback?
Camemberts are improving with each batch and I have a Romano cheese I have invested a couple of months in so I am still pushing on and having fun.
Many thanks for your ongoing support.


My reply:

I would wet the cheese under the tap, sprinkle salt directly on to it and give it a good brisk rub over in your hands, spreading the salt over the rind and using it as an abrasive compound, if that doesn't shift it put a little malt vinegar on and do the same, rinse off and pat dry. As long as the cheese inside is ok and not gone soft/smelly, then it's probably ok to eat with the rind removed. Have you had it near washed rind cheeses, even purchased Port Salut? As a precaution in case there is some Red Linen contamination ( not harmful) keep it away from other cheese and sterilise everything well. It should be ok, just eat it at 3 months.

 And here is the result:

Just thought I would send you a picture of the Blue cheese I emailed you about early in the month. As you can see the rind stayed that strange orange colour even after the cleaning you suggested. It is now all but 3 months old but the rind started to crack quite badly as I think I let it dry out in the fridge a bit to much by only wrapping it in grease proof paper. It looks strange but I cut all the rind from the paste and I have to say it tastes fantastic!! I cant believe what a beautiful flavour it has and it has rejuvenated my interest. How is it possible to make something like that? This is your recipe from your web site and I will be making another one as soon as I get some spare time but I will try not to let it turn orange this time. Many thanks for all your help and advice over the past few months it has been invaluable.

homemade stilton

I've been following your farmhouse cheddar recipe and have a question, if I don't wax the cheese how old you keep it ?
Also and being cheeky, I make a lot of Stilton and have as yet not found a way of keeping it without vacuum packing and putting in a cold fridge, but this also causes sweating and the cheese goes a bit slimy any other ideas could suggest ?

My reply:

Hi Mike, I'm a natural rind person, I allow the cheese to form its own skin, clean it regularly with salt and vinegar solution and keep it cool. Once the rind is dry I wrap with Cellophane and keep it cool, it's ready to eat in 3 months. Any more than 3 months for a kilo cheese is challenging. I have painted the plastic coating on before now, it helps keep the cheese, but has a slight taint I think, hope this helps.

Hello Doug,

Happy New Year to you for 2015.

I started mine off with another batch of Camembert. My plan is to get comfortable with these for a while before branching out onto other cheeses.

All going ok, good set etc, firmed up well and turned.

However, I have a question and this has arisen before. I leave them to drain for a couple of days, expecting to salt them around day three or four. But, I always get a good bloom without salting. I do salt them anyway, but the bloom then seems to stop developing.

Should I salt earlier say on day 2?
Does it matter if the bloom has already started when I salt?
Does the salting process inhibit the bloom growth?

Actually, that's three questions, I know!

My reply:

Hello Martin, happy new year to you too. The salt will inhibit the bloom if you salt as the bloom is starting, the salt needs to go on day 2 at the latest or the day they stand free from the mould, the salt is to draw moisture out of the cheese and thus start the movement of the P C towards the surface. You will get bloom without the salt, in fact you will get bloom without the PC, but not necessarily a good bloom. You can salt again if you get mould on the skin, but only gently and once the skin is formed. Hope this helps and keep up the good work, Doug

And here is the result:

Hello Doug,

This is the batch I started last weekend and salted on day 2 as you suggested. My best ever mould growth. I think I will wrap them tonight and put in fridge.

Best so far! 

And a few weeks later:

Hello Doug,
So, we have consumed all of the batch I made about a month ago, my "best so far".
Verdict = first one a week ago was good but could have done with an extra week.
Second one polished off this weekend ie a week later and it was delish, if I do say so myself.

homemade camembert

That looks fabulous Martin, a cheese any Artisan would be proud of!

Hi Doug

Hope all is well? Thought I would just send you a picture of some of the latest efforts at some different cheese.
I managed to cure the lack of white mould on my Camembert. I have started salting them the day after I made them and then box them and put them straight into the top of my fridge. The lower temperature seemed to do the trick and the photo is of a fresh thyme goat's cheese that worked very well in a Butternut squash and goats cheese salad we had at the weekend.
I have also had a go at some Farmhouse Cheddar; I tried your cheat's cheddar recipe and also a Farmhouse cheese recipe I found on line to see if there is any difference in the end result. I made my own press which seems to work ok!! I suppose time will tell?
I have found that my soft cheese matures very quickly and it will go quite soft from the outside in a lot quicker than expected and I think this can result in a very mild flavour even in the goat's cheese. I think you suggested that quick ripening could be caused by too much starter? I have just worked out how many litres of milk I have used for the pack of starter and it was about 20 litres. I have always used less starter than the recipe states but the starter I bought from Moreland is a MA400 starter and should last for 50 litres. Is some starter concentrated? Or have I been buying the wrong one?
The other thing I was wondering if you could help my with is I have only had a pot large enough for 5 litres of milk up to now but I am going to get a 10 litre stainless steel Maslin pan and I want to buy a mould for hard cheese that will work with a 10 litre batch. I think you use a Gouda mould which seems like quite a useful size for several cheeses, I wonder if you could let me know when you have a minute which you would recommend.

goats cheese   cheddar   press

My reply:

Hi Brian, sorry for the delay in replying but we were tired after delivering a cheese workshop on Sunday. Congratulations on the very impressive looking cheese press, it looks really good.
Yes I have a Lauder Gouda mould but they are expensive, any mould that has a diameter of 5.5 or 6 inches (14 or 15 cm) with a depth of over 6 inches (15/16 cm) and that has a follower will give a nice 1 Kilo Cheese, which is what you will get from 10 Litres.
The starter you are using is a good general purpose starter, but yes, you need to ensure you only use small amounts as most sachets are for 50 or even 100 litres of milk.
The cheese you have made look very good, well done and keep up the good work! 

As you know I had to abandon my immature cheeses for 4 days whilst I went off to Sweden - they were drying out nicely so I took them off the cheese grid and put them onto the cellophane, but left them unwrapped in their Tupperware with a bit of kitchen roll to absorb extra water.

When I came back they were as the picture below - and I have wrapped up and put in the fridge - the mould is green / blue but clearly we were not trying to make a blue cheese - any advice?!

mouldy cheese

My reply:

Wow, that's a lot of mould! I would put a teaspoon of salt with a couple of dashes of malt vinegar in a small ramekin, top it up with tepid water and soak the corner of your cheese cloth in it then gently rub it, or use a pastry brush to gently brush the cheese, that should do the trick. It probably means you will need to wait a bit to wrap. Let me know how you get on. It probably is harmless but not attractive.

The reply from the participant then was: "The miracle vinegar cure for the mould worked well and we ate it all up this weekend."

Unfortunately, as you can see, by the time I asked for photographic evidence of how the cure had worked – the cheese had all been eaten! 




Home cheesemaking course

Home cheesemaking course

Home cheesemaking course

Home cheesemaking course participants

Home cheesemaking course

Waiting for the curd to separate

Making a cheese roulade - demonstration

Making a cheese roulade

Homemade cheese roulade

Homemade cheese tasting

Cheese Making course