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
When I first started making hard cheeses I fashioned a cheese press out of all sorts of items. Filled stock pots of water, cans of food, rocks, anything that would give me enough weight to press the curds in the mold.
Eventually I got frustrated with the balancing acts (and the anxiety caused everytime said balancing acts didn’t work) and went looking for a proper press to upgrade my cheese making process.
I bought a press made by a local engineering student whose father is a cheesemaker.
The press works well but I found the mold that comes built into it is too wide in diameter, resulting in a larger flat cheese rather than a short stout one. The problem with larger flat cheeses is you end up with a lot more rind than paste as the drying area is bigger. Read more