Drained curds sitting at temperature, ready to flip.
Drained curds sitting at temperature, ready to flip.

Q: What makes cheddar white?  A: Nothing. White cheddar doesn’t have any added ingredients for color.

Q:What makes cheddar orange?  A: Annatto.  A tasteless liquid dye that gets added to Milk before the rennet is added.

Todays project is some more cheddar, but I decided not to add any Annatto to the batch.  I’m still waiting to see how full-strength and half-strength Annatto look in a 2 gallon batch of cheese.

The recipe is for stirred curd cheese from Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking book p.266-267. I was looking for a more complex cheddar recipe that required flipping and heating of the curds once the whey had been removed. This recipe had the added benefit that it came with PH readings for many steps.

I have also been trying to solve the soft set curd I am getting from store milk, so I doubled the Calcium Chloride to 1 tsp and added a dash of Lipase powder. Overall the set was a little soft even after 90 minutes so I might bump up the CaCl2 and Rennet.  As a test I could double everything except culture and salt and try again.  If I do I’ll let you know.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 packet mesophilic culture
  • 1 tsp Calcium Chloride
  • 1/8 tsp Lipase powder
  • 1/2 tsp Rennet, plus 3 drops
  • 2-3 tsp cheese salt

Quick Recipe:

  • Heat milk to 80°, add culture, starting PH 6.68
  • continue heat to 86, add CaCl2, add lipase, add rennet
  • set to clean break
  • cut to 3/8 inch
  • cook at 86° for 15 mins, stir
  • raise to 96° cook to PH is 6.2 –  45-75 minutes, stir
  • drain and push to side(see photo above)
  • Flip every 15 mins until PH is 5.4
  • Cut up curds into thick french fry size and add half of the salt
  • Set for 10 mins add other half salt.
  • Eat or Press…
Curds in Seal-a-meal bags. Ranch curds and Garlic and Bacon.
Curds in Seal-a-meal bags. Ranch curds and Garlic and Bacon.

For some of the curds I added flavor and bagged, the rest went into the press for a cheddar wheel.

Overall, the taste was great, right out of  the vat, so I have to say this recipe was good.

I pressed the wheel over-night and it looked like it needed more so I pressed it throughout the day and pulled it out that night. It has a good shape and a nice sharp smell already. I think I will put it into the cheese frig for a day or so and then wax it.

I left a lot out of the recipe, so if you are interested in making this cheese, see the detailed directions in the book.