How To Make Parmesan Cheese At Home

Today, I’ll be showing you how to make Parmesan cheese at home using our simple yet tried and tested recipe.

That’s not all,

To fully appreciate Parmesan cheese, you need to know its history, my favorite baked chicken Parmesan recipe and of course some nutritional facts. That and much more, let’s get to it!

 

Parmesan Cheese Recipe - How To Make Parmesan Cheese At Home

 

What Is Parmesan Cheese?

Also referred to as Parmigiano Reggiano, is perhaps the most revered of Italian cheeses.

Parmesan is a hard, granular cheese that has been produced in and around the province of Parma in Italy for at least the past eight centuries.

Naming cheeses after their place of origin is a concept that dates back to the Roman Empire. It is made using unpasteurized cow’s milk. The cows are allowed to graze on fresh grass and hay.

The earliest mention dates back to 1254 when an Italian Noble lady from Genoa traded her house for a guaranteed annual supply of 53 pounds of cheese.

The French and Italian Nobles had close ties and soon enough Parmesan found its way to France. By the close of the 14th century, it had travelled from the Parma-Reggio region over the Apennine mountains to Tuscany.

From there, ships leaving from Livorno and Pisa carried the precious cargo to many other Mediterranean ports.

 

How To Store Parmesan Cheese At Home

Photo Nerodiseppia

PDO Certification

Parmigiano Reggiano is legally the only hard cheese that can be called Parmesan. European courts acknowledged the historical fact that the cheese has its origins in the Parma-Reggio region of Italy.

The European court’s ruling meant that it needs to conform to the Protected Designation of Origin standards for Parmigiano Reggiano.

Earlier on in 1954, the pioneering alliance of Italian cheese makers renamed their organization the Consorzio Del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Since then, the official name of the cheese stuck as Parmigiano Reggiano, which is indicated by pin dots imprinted on each wheel’s rind.

Members of the Consorzio Del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano follow strict production standards and work together to market Parmesan while protecting the name from would-be imitators.

 

How To Use Parmesan Cheese

 

Parmesan Cheese Recipe

To learn how to make Parmesan Cheese at home, you will need the following ingredients;

  • Ten litres of skimmed cow’s milk.
  • Lipase (as per the manufacturer’s instructions).
  • A quarter teaspoon of thermophilic starter culture.
  • 5mls of rennet diluted in a quarter cup of water.

 

How To Make Parmesan Cheese At Home

  1. Warm the milk up to 33°C
  2. Add in the lipase and starter cultures then stir thoroughly.
  3. Cover the milk and leave it to ripen for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add in the diluted rennet and then stir thoroughly.
  5. Leave it to set for about 45 minutes while ensuring that the temperature holds at 33°
  6. Keep checking for a clean break.
  7. Afterwards, carefully cut the curd into equal 1 centimetre cubes then leave them for 10 minutes.
  8. Heat the curds to raise the temperature to 46°C over 45 minutes.
  9. Stir regularly, reducing the curds to the size of grains of rice (I stir with a whisk to achieve this)
  10. Line your cheese mold with cheesecloth and gently ladle your curds into the mold.
  11. Press at 5kgs for 30 minutes. (To double check the pressure use the cheese pressure calculator)
  12. Remove from mold, redress and press at 10kg for 2 hours
  13. Remove from mold, redress and press at 20kg for 12 hours
  14. Again, remove from mold, redress and press at 10kg for 12 hours
  15. Remove from the cheese from the mold and the cheesecloth.
  16. Soak it in saturated brine for 24 hours.
  17. Pat dry and age at 85% humidity at 14 degrees Celsius
  18. Turn it daily for the first 2 weeks.
  19. After 2 months have elapsed, rub the cheese with olive oil to prevent the rind from drying out.

 

Aging

You should age it for at least 10 months. Cheese connoisseurs, however, recommend preferably aging it for 12 months before enjoying it.

How To Make Parmesan Cheese Wheel At Home

Benoît Prieur – CC-BY-SA

 

How To Store Parmesan Cheese

If you want to keep it fresh, proper storage is absolutely necessary. It should be wrapped in plastic wrapping and put in the refrigerator. Parmesan that has prolonged exposure to air starts to turn white and the rind starts to thicken.

 

Parmesan Cheese Taste

Genuine Parmesan can be described as having a hard, gritty texture. It has a nutty and fruity taste that can be used to identify imitations. Fake or inferior products marketed as Parmesan has a bitter taste.

 

Parmesan Substitute

Piave is as close to Parmesan as you can get. It is similar in texture and flavor.

Pecorino Romano is another suitable replacement that is perfect for grating well on pasta.

Grana Padano is the third best Parmesan alternative. It has a mild flavor and is less crumbly.

 

How To Use Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan can be used to make a wide variety of tasty gourmet meals. You can shred (grate) it, this being the most popular method, shave it, cut or slice it and even use it as a powder. My all time favourite recipe is below.

 

Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

 A simple yet surprisingly tasty recipe you can put together in under an hour. This recipe is similar to what you’d find in a restaurant with the only exception being there’s less sauce and tons of flavor.

 

Homemade Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

 

How To Make Chicken Parmesan

With some boneless chicken breasts, some breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese and some herbs you can create a taste experience unlike anything else you’ve tried in the past.

I like to fry my chicken breasts till they’re crispy and golden brown before throwing on the herbs and cheese then baking it for 20 minutes at 450F. One word, perfection.

 

Wine Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot are some of the wines you should pair this exceptional Italian delight with.

 

How To Make Parmesan Cheese At Home

 

Parmesan Nutrition

A 100gram slice contains 431 calories of which Proteins form 27%, Carbohydrates 13%, and Fats 60%.

Also containing Calcium, Iron, Vitamins D, B-6, B-12, and Magnesium.

Can I eat parmesan cheese when pregnant?

As far as pregnancy and safety go, it is safe for consumption by expectant women. But always check with your health care professional.

Being a hard cheese, it contains way less moisture hence is unlikely to support any bacterial growth.

 

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make Parmesan cheese at home. Please share your stories and pictures with us.

Do you have any questions, comments or suggestion? Join the discussion over at the Curd Nerd Forum. We love to hear from you!

 

Curd Nerd Forum

 

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Vacchino Romano Cheese Recipe

4 thoughts on “How To Make Parmesan Cheese At Home

  • Pingback:Flocculation Method - For A Better Curd Set | Curd-Nerd

  • 20/01/2014 at 12:42 am
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    Thank you for interesting reading . I live in south Africa and can’t find lipase can you help
    Corry

    • 03/02/2014 at 3:59 pm
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      Hi Corry. Sorry I don’t know of stockists in South Africa but have you tried ordering from Amazon or the likes? There is this product at Amazon that is perfect for Cheese Making.

  • 30/07/2015 at 9:25 am
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    First off, thanks for sharing! My farmhouse cheddar is progressing well from what I can tell. Unfortunately my attempt at this parmesan turned into a disaster. I never got my curd size down to the size of rice. I think I cooked it too quickly and it would clump like scrambled egg as I was stirring it with the whisk. My thermometer was also not inserted deep enough and after 45 mins I actually had a temperature of 51 C. Do you have any advice on saving this batch? I assume it will not become parmesan but can I do anything else to end up with something?
    thanks

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