This is a great recipe for making ready to eat Cheddar curds. To the fresh curds you can mix Garlic and Dill, Powdered Ranch Dressing, Creole Seasoning, or any fresh herbs to add to the flavor. If you have more curds than you can eat in two weeks, the recipe also works well as an aged cheddar. Curds can be pressed into any size wheel. Cheese can be left in wax or other covering for more than a year.
Milk: 2-3.5 Gallons whole milk
Culture: ¼ tsp MA4000 Meso/Thermo blends (I prefer MM100)
Color: Annatto can be added for color 4-12 drops per gallon diluted in ¼ cup distilled water
Rennet: 1/2-3/4 tsp single strength diluted in ¼ cup distilled water
Salt: 2-3 tsp. Non-iodized salt (can go up to 2 tsp per gallon)
- Warm Milk to 80°
- Sprinkle culture on top of milk and let set for 2 mins. Then stir milk in up and down motion for 2-3 mins.
- Increase temp to 86° or 87° and hold for 40-60 mins. Stir as little as possible
- Stir in Calcium Chloride or Annatto at this point if using.
- Stir in Rennet in up and down motion for 1 minute. Hold at 86° or 87°.
- Wait till clean break. Ideal time is 40-50 mins.
- Cut the curd into 1cm or 3/8in cubes
- Let rest for 5 minutes
- Stir for 15 minutes
- Begin to heat curds to 95° over a period of 40-50 minutes
- Cooking ends when a PH of 6.1 to 6.2 is reached (if no PH meter cook 60 mins total time)
- Let curds settle for 5 mins
- Drain whey and push curd to one side of the pot and form into a mass and tilt to one side
- Place a plate against the curd begin pressing in the pot. A little weight can be added to plate 3lbs. max
- Keep pot warm while the curds settle
- Every 15-20 mins cut curd into large chunks and pile and flip pieces. Goal PH is 5.4 to stop flipping
- Mill curds or break into fine pieces 1/4-1/2 inch x ½ inch pieces (sort of like French fries)
- Place curds back into the pot to stay warm and toss in 1/3 of the salt and mix
- Wait 10-15 minutes toss in 1/3 of the salt and mix
- Wait 10-15 minutes toss in last 1/3 of the salt and mix
- Eat or mix in additional flavorings….
- If pressing place curd into mold for 20 mins. Under own weight
- Continue to flip for the first couple hours 5lbs, 10lbs, 15lbs, 20lbs, 25lbs.
- Once the rind is closed leave in mold for up to 12 hours with 10lbs
- Air dry 24 hrs. then age at 55°.