Farmhouse Cheddar


Farmhouse Cheddar is a more rustic version of traditional Cheddar and is made with the exclusion of the traditional cheddaring process of stacking and milling. It tends to be slightly drier and crumblier than traditional Cheddar but still has a full and sharp flavour.

Ingredients

  • 10 litres of whole cows milk
  • 1/4 tsp of mesophilic starter (I use Chr.Hansens R704)
  • 5mls Rennet diluted in 50mls boiled and cooled water
  • 1 tablespoon cheese salt

Method

  1. Heat milk to 32c
  2. Add culture and stir thoroughly
  3. Cover and leave to ripen for 1 hour
  4. Add diluted Rennet, stir in thoroughly
  5. Leave to set for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until you have a clean break
  6. Carefully cut curds into .5 cm cubes
  7. Heat curds to 38c slowly over 30 minutes. This means raising the temperature no more than 1c every 5 minutes.
  8. Stir frequently during this time to stop the curds matting together.
  9. Leave the curds to rest for 5 minutes
  10. Tip the curds into a cheese cloth lined colander
  11. Knot the cloth and hang to drain the curds for 1 hour
  12. Put curds into a large bowl and break up into small pieces, approximately 2cm x 2cm
  13. Mix the broken up curd with the salt
  14. Pour curds into mold and press at 10kg for 10 minutes
  15. Remove, unwrap, turn and redress and press at 15kg for 10 minutes
  16. Remove, unwrap, turn and redress and press at 30kg for 12 hours
  17. Remove, unwrap and air dry at room temperature for 1 week until a dry surface rind has formed
  18. Wax and then store for aging

Farmhouse cheddar can be eaten after just 1 months aging.

Check out how cheddar is made on much bigger scale than home cheese making, at the Cheddaring Process blog post.

Do you have any questions or comments about Farmhouse Cheddar? Join the discussion over at the Curd Nerd Forum. We would love to hear from you!

Curd Nerd Forum

19 thoughts on “Farmhouse Cheddar

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    My cheddar has been air drying for almost 2 days. And it’s dry. How do I know when it’s ready to wax? Thanks.

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    Just a point I would like clarified.
    You mentioned that you can vaccuum seal your chees instead of waxing. From what I understand of the curing process post waxing, the culture is still live and working its magic. Wax is porous and allows cheese to breathe keeping bacteria alive wheras vac packing wouldnt.
    Have you noticed a difference in the final cheese product?

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      Hi Lou

      Thank you for visiting, and for your question.

      And you are absolutely right. I missed that it has a note to vacuum seal on the bottom of this recipe. It will now be removed.

      It’s fine to vacuum seal your cheese once it has aged for storage, but preferably not before hand. As you state, the aging process will be stilted and the resulting cheese will be different than expected.

      I appreciate you questioning this, to help me and other readers : )

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    Is there any use for leftover curd that wont fit in cheese mold? leave it in the fridge for a few days to mature like feta maybe?

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      Hi Chris

      Thanks for your question.

      Many cheese makers have been known to eat their excess curds, just as they are. In fact, there are places in America (particularly Wisconsin I believe) that serve Cheese curds in restaurants!! These are normally made from a Chedder curd and then salted and left to briefly air dry before eating.

      The other option is to press the leftovers in a smaller mold, or even a tin can as mentioned here and press them. Depending on how much extra curd you have, you could end up with a nice petite version of your other cheese : )

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    I see that your chedder recipe has 10 litres of milk. Can I use a smaller amount? Wou
    D it alter the amounts of rennet etc and the pressing weight?
    As you will probably see, I am a novice at this so would welcome ny help.
    Many thanks,
    David

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      Hi David

      You can absolutely use a smaller amount but keep in mind that size of the resulting cheese, how it will fit in the press you use and also how it will dry and age in a smaller block.

      Your pressing weights will definitely need to be reduced depending on your amounts. That’s not to say that 5 litres should have half the pressing weight. You still need to provide enough weight to properly press the curds and knit them together. I have worked on reducing the weight by a quarter (without exact instructions) in the past when reducing recipe volumes and this seems to have worked well.

      As for the amounts of rennet, that depends on your manufacturers advice. They should provide a per litre/per gallon measure amount or the volume that their packet or dose will coagulate. You can work it down from that.

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    Eat the curds!?!? Lol, I’m only joking this is not a surprise, in fact here in Canada there is a particularly tasty comfort food served at practically all restaurants here called Poutine, which is simply French or Freedom Fries, with a generous sprinkling of cheese curds on top, melted with a healthy hot dose of your choice of Gravy, traditionally beef gravy but it’s up to you experiment and enjoy the comfort food!

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    Was making camembert and farmhouse cheddar on the same day… must of accidentally crosscontaminated, as my cheddar now has a lovely white fluffy mold growing on the outside of it just like a large looking camembert …. ooops!!!!

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      Hi Gemma

      I have ended up with a mix of cheeses through the same cross contamination. The most memorable being a blue Gouda. Ops!!

      We still ate it though : )

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    How to make an appropriate wax,(no brittleness)

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      There are specific waxes available for purchase, which are appropriate for cheese making. These waxes are more pliable and won’t become brittle in colder temperatures. Search your local area for online or physical cheese making supply stores and they will definitely have a product for you.

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    Thank you for your great site. Can you help me with a small problem. My cheese press doesn’t have any indication of weight it is just a screw down device. Could you offer any advice as to how to create the right pressures for Farmhouse cheddar. Thanks

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      Hi Sarah-Jane

      Unfortunately I can’t tell you what weight your press is pressing at based on where it is screwed down because every cheese press is different and the ‘turn’ on one press can differ wildly from the ‘turn’ on another press. Also, a screw down press is difficult to accurately measure in terms of weight. I personally don’t have the technical know how to do so. Do you access to the person who made the press? It would be worth asking them what their opinion is if so.

  • user6244
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    hey Sarah– I had the same question but this is what I did. I had a small scale for the kitchen and a postal scale. both would only go to 12 lbs..

    I placed the scale on the deck of the press without the hoop and just had the follower with spring. I used tare to zero the scale with the follower and spring,, I then removed the slack and had the screw just making contact with the spring and maybe had .2 oz showing on the scale, I turned it half turn and wrote the reading down, I continued to make not of the scale for every half turn,, till the scale went error after 12 lbs.. for me I came up with 1 turn equals 4lbs,,,2 turns came to 8.4 etc etc based n these numbers when it called out for 44lbs I turned the screw 11 times… still a guess but should be close……

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