Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:17 pm Post subject: HOW TO - Blue Cheese - Simple recipe (Photo heavy) UPDATED
This is a simple recipe and instructions for a blue cheese.
1 Gallon fresh milk (full fat)
1 Carton active/cultured buttermilk
coarse sea salt
small piece of blue cheese (about the size of your little finger
Beer type thermometer
Muslin squares (20cm square)
An empty 2lb fruit tim (eat the contents)
Sterilise all the utensils.
Leave the milk out overnight to get it gently to room temperature (saves a lot of hassle when you come to warm it later)
Crumble the blue cheese into a small amount of warm milk making a smooth paste
Put 50 drops of vegoren into some cool water and mix well
Warm the milk in a bucket ( I placed the bucket in a sink of hot water) and get it to 88F and then add the 1/2 the buttermilk, the blue cheese cream and the vegoren and stir well. Cover it and leave for 90mins (do not stir during the 90mins but keep it at 88F).
Warming the milk
After 90mins check for a clean break, this is a state of the curd where if you immerse your bent index finger under the curd surface and then pull it gently out. It should come out clean and the hole left fills with green whey. That is the condition called a clean break and the curds are ready for cutting, if they are not ready then they will not cut cleanly and separate and you must leave the curd for a further 30 minutes to set properly.
A Clean Break
Taking a long knife you must cut the curd right to the bottom of the bucket in straight lines across the surface of the curd. Then do it again at right angles to the first cut so that you have sticks a quarter inch square standing on end in the bucket.
Now take your knife at an angle and cut through those sticks, so that you end up with quarter inch square cubes of solid curd.
Very very gently slide your hand down the side of the bucket to the bottom and spread your hand and lift the curds gently upwards so that they turn over, any big ones just reduce them with your knife.
Leave the curds covered at the same temp (88F) for 30 mins.
After 30 mins the curds should have sunk below the whey so scoop the surplus whey off with a clean cup and just leave the whey just covering the curds and leave for a further 30 minutes.
You can put your hand in and lift the curds as before at any time during this hours “cooking time” .
After the second 30 minutes the curds are ready for straining . Lay your straining cloth in the colander and gently cup the curds into the
colander, allowing the whey to drain through.
Draining the Whey
Take up all four corners of the straining cloth and tie string around these to form a bundle. Hang this bundle over the bucket to drain for 30 minutes.
Draining the Whey
Taking the drained bundle and place it on the clean draining board and place a plate on top and on the plate place a weight of around ten pounds. Press this for two hours and the whey will continue to run out.
Pressing the Curds
After two hours unwrap your curd, which will be like a flattened disc of soft cheese.
This must be broken up with your fingers into the clean bucket in small pieces the size of cherries, you have a heaped dessert spoon of sea salt to add as you crumble this curd into your bucket.
Crumbling the Curds with salt
Take your fruit tin (Cheese mould) and place it on one of the small pizza bases on the draining board, fill your mould with the salted curds and press down holding the mould firmly to prevent it from jumping up. Make sure you have a fairly even surface.
Wrap the top and bottom cut outs from the tin in cling film (this is called a “follower”) and place on top of the curds. You now have to find a weight to place on this to press down on the curd block for several days.
In the first day the cheese must be turned frequently to keep it in balance for expelling the whey, this is where the other pizza base comes in, just take out the follower and place the pizza base over the top of the mould and invert it. The cheese will slide down to the bottom then place your follower on top of the curd again and replace the weight.
Pressing the Cheese
After three days your new cheese should hold it’s shape so it is now ready to mature.
Again place on a pizza base and cover the cheese with a plastic basin
to keep the air in and create a 95% humidity environment.
The cheese has to be turned daily and do not touch it with your bare fingers until the crust has well and truly formed.
The outer rind will go all colours during the next week or so but will settle for an orangey brown after three weeks or so.
The pressed cheese waiting to ripen
Last edited by Snozzer on Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
Brilliant post, well thought out and worded so even "I" will be able to follow it easily. And a recipe for my favourite type of cheese.....I will try it before long, thank you. _________________ www.conundrum.biz
If you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes.
Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:16 pm Post subject: Blue Cheese 4 week Update
Well, 4 weeks have passed and today is the day to pierce it with a sterilised needle (or in my case bamboo skewer). These piercings will create the blue veining.
Up until this point the cheese has been turned daily and is in a container with the lid just cracked a little.
I have had a good smell of the cheese and it smells just like stilton.
You may notice some cracking in the outer rind, this is because I let it get too dry, so I drop a couple of drops of cooled boiled water in the container and sealed it up for a day and the cracking stopped.
That was a great read.
Has there been a taste test yet?
Not yet but it smells really good. About 4/5 weeks ago it smelt a little off, so I opened the container up and left it and the smell vanished and not it smells really good. I pierced it again last week and in another 3 weeks I am serving it at a dinner.
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