May 17, 2007

Cheese (1) : 7 steps towards cheese making

The basic process of making is surprisingly simple. It is probably by mistake as a happy accident that it has discovered : from the curd (lait caille) formed by the milk that has been left to exposed to the sun or left too close to the fire.

1. Add the starter to the vat (cuve) of milk, so that the process of acidifying the milk begins.

It either can be lactic acid or whey (petit lait , litteraly "small milk") from a previous batch of cheese.

2. Heat the milk in order to develop the desired bacteria.

3. Add coagulant, called rennet. It will separate the curds (solid part) from the whey (liquid) in the vat.

4. Drain the whey. After a specified period of time, the curd is cut into fragments and the whey is drained off from a cheesecloth.

5. Add salt (except for brine-soaked cheeses).

6. Press curds into desired shape, into molds, then pressed for several hours to set the structure.

7. Ripen the cheese for a specific period of time, under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. This process converts fresh rubbery cheese into mellow, ripened cheese.
See next post for a recipe of ricotta.