I started my first hard cheese last weekend. My small block of cheddar is now air-drying in a cupboard and in a few months I’ll see if it worked!
I used a recipe from David Fankhauser, whose website provides a really useful collection of cheese-making recipes and resources. I particularly like the use of readily available cultures, like yoghurt and buttermilk.
It is always good when the cheese making matches what is expected in the recipe – so when my curds sunk and turned out like firm scrambled eggs I was really excited. Even more so when, after using my new cheese press for the first time, an actual block of cheese was produced.
I’m now trying to figure out the whole process of drying and ageing – there seem to be so many options around bandaging, waxing, temperature and humidity requirements, and lots written on makeshift ways of getting around the fact it’s unlikely most people have a cheese cave in an urban flat, especially upstairs like me.
So, having decided on a naked air-drying approach…my cheese is in the kitchen tea cupboard and I’m zealously checking it every day for a rind. There’s none yet but I think that’s ok. Then I can decide how and where I will age it.
In my attempts to unpick all of this, I’ve found lots of useful sites and articles, so I’m going to put those together onto a new page soon.