If you are new to the hobby of cheese making, you might have no idea, just as I didn’t when I first started out. I had never heard of it in any context and it took a bit of research to learn why and when I would use it.
So I thought I would help you out with telling you what I learnt back in those early days. Read more
This post is Part 6 of the continued basic home cheese making instructions. See the Curd Nerd Beginner Page or the Basic Instructions category for previous parts.
Pressing your cheese is not only an important part of shaping the cheese but is also important in creating the texture and as part of the aging process.
What Cheese Needs Pressing
Soft cheeses need either no pressing, are pressed under their own weight or have minimal light weight applied to form the cheese.
Hard cheese on the other hand must be pressed and after your cheese has been through each of the steps to get to the point of having curds ready to turn into cheese, you need to apply enough weight in a way that will knit the curds, expel any extra whey and create the shape of your final product.
In my last post, I suggested that Farmhouse Cheddar is worth giving a go as your first hard cheese attempt.
The beauty of Farmhouse Cheddar is that it skips the Cheddaring part of making Traditional Cheddar and saves a lot of time, and complexity.
Because it can be difficult to understand what the whole Cheddaring step of making Traditional Cheddar is all about if you haven’t seen it, or done it I thought I would post the You Tube videos below which demonstrate the Stacking, Cheddaring and Milling process of making Traditional Cheddar. Read more
Many recipes that have cheese as a main ingredient really do demand the true full and sharp taste of Cheddar. Think cheese scones and cheese puffs. They just wouldn’t be the same with a more mild flavoured cheese.
A decent Cheddar can be expensive, especially the delicious vintages, but making your own Cheddar at home can yield you a far superior cheese than the cheap blocks you might buy otherwise at your local store.
Making your first block of Cheddar can seem daunting though. While the name of this cheese came from the area in England where it originated, cheddaring is also the term for the technique of milling and stacking the curds during the make, a seemingly complex process that can deter new cheese makers. Read more
Wax on, Wax off, Wax on, Wax off – so says Mr Miyagi
Ok, so perhaps that’s a bad play on words but it’s what comes to mind EVERY time I’m waxing my cheeses.
Anyway, let’s move on from that terrible start and talk about one of the methods of preserving your aging cheeses – waxing.
A lot of people shy away from waxing their cheese because the whole process can seem a little technical and messy. But once you give it a go a few times it becomes a lot easier and the benefits start to outweigh the effort.