Cheddar Made from Cows Milk

Made 04/07/13

This is a stirred curd cheddar
I used three gallons of unpasturized cow's milk.
The wheel was bandaged with cheese cloth soaked in butter.
This produces a wonderful rind

see more discussion of this cheese below

These are the cheesemaker's notes
(i.e. Joan's notes)

There are three degrees different processes that one can use to make Cheddar cheese.
1) Farmhouse Cheddar,
2) Stirred-Curd Cheddar, and
3) Traditional or "cheddaring"
(Note: Stirred-curd cheddar is a close relative of colby cheese,
in which the curds are washed as part of the process.)

Traditionally cheddar cheese is made by the process called cheddaring.
In cheddaring, the curds drained and allowed to coagulate into one mass.
The coagulated curds are cut into slices, stacked,
turned several times,and then broken up into smaller pieces (milled).
This requires a great deal of time and effort.

My cheddar (and many store-bought cheddars) aren't made this way.
They are made by a short-cut process often known as "stirred-curd cheddar".

In the stirred-curd process, the curds are prevented from matting together by stirring
and there is no need for slicing, stacking and milling that are part of the traditional process.

The stirred-curd process involves:
a) warming the milk to 90 degrees, adding a culture and allowing it to sit for 45 minutes.
b) next rennet is added and the cheese is allowed to sit for 90 minutes until a clean break is achieved.
c) the curd is then cut into quarter inch cubes (using a special tool).
The curd must be constantly and gently stirred and allowed to cook
Stir them constantly to prevent matting.
There is French saying: “New curds should be handled like a new bride”…
you do not want to break the curds by over stirring
neither do you want the curds to mat together through under stirring.
d) finally the curds are drained and salted.
e) next the curds are pressed in a mold
f) finally the wheel is air dried.
g) the last step is aging the wheel at the correct temperature

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68 Joan's notes