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Manchego originated in Spain and was traditionally made from the milk of Manchego sheep, although today is is made mostly from cows milk. Manchego is an extremely flexible cheese, in that it can be aged from as little as 3-12 weeks, right through to 1 year or more. Manchego is a reasonably mellow cheese but richness of taste will depend on how long you age this cheese for.
- 8 litres/2 gallons of whole cows milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of thermophilic culture
- 1/2 teaspoon of mesophilic culture
- 1/2 teaspoon of lipase powder disolved in 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon of Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup water
- non iodized cheese salt for brine
- Warm milk to 30 degrees Celsius/86 degrees Fahrenheit
- Add cultures and stir thoroughly
- Cover and leave to ripen for 45 minutes
- Add the Lipase and diluted Rennet
- Leave to set for 30-45 minutes, until you have a clean break
- Carefully cut the curd into 13mm/1/2″ cubes
- Leave to rest for 10 minutes
- Then carefully stir the curd with a whisk to cut the curd again
Your curd should end up in pieces slightly larger than grains of rice
- Very slowly increase the heat of the curd until the temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius/104 degrees Fahrenheit
It should take you between 30-45 minutes to reach temperature – raising no more than 2 degrees every 5 minutes
- Stir gently but regularly (every 5 minutes or so) during the scalding period
- Once the temperature is reached, leave the curds to rest for 10 minutes
- Drain off the whey
- Move curds immediately into cloth lined mold
Handle very gently so as not to break them
- Press at 7kgs/15lbs for 30 minutes
- Remove, flip and redress
- Press again at 7kgs/15lbs for 30 minutes
- Remove, flip and redress
- Press at 15kg/30lbs for 8 hours, or overnight
- Remove and un wrap cheese
- Soak in saturated brine for 6 hours
Turn cheese over every hour to ensure even coverage
- Remove and pat dry
- Air dry at 10c for 1 week or until obviously dry on the surface
- Rub the surface with Olive Oil then transfer to your cheese cave.
Manchego can be eaten within 1 month or left to age as long as 12 months.
Cut your cheese into quarters, oil them individually and wrap them in cheese paper, then age for different periods to see what you prefer.