Saturday, December 1, 2012

Edam Cheese

From the town of Edam in the Netherlands

Edams aging at a shop in Belgium.  Cheeses to be sold in Holland have yellow wax.
Red wax is used for young cheeses produced for export.
  Black wax is used when the cheeses have been aged for 17 weeks or more.
Edam is one of those cheeses that often gets overlooked in the recipe books.  That may be because it is a lot like making Gouda, (another washed rind cheese) and, along with Colby, those cheeses are better known in the US.

However, years ago one of our customers sent us a recipe for Edam and it has been posted in the "Recipes from Customers" section of our website along with 18 other great recipes.

I recently did a check to see how many other recipes were posted online and I found three more.  They all call for using different amounts of milk and they are all quite a bit different from each other.  If you are planning to make Edam, I would suggest checking them all out first and choosing the one you prefer:
  • Home,  for 2 1/2 gallons cow's milk.  (You will have to convert the temps and quantities from the metric system.)
There's even a cute little video showing how they make Edam at Mississippi State University (I like the way they throw the balls of Eden around while they make it!)

Submitted by a customer to


    2 gallons whole milk (cow)
    1 tsp calcium chloride in 1/4 cup water
    4 drops annatto coloring in 1/4 cup water (optional)
    2 ounces prepared mesophilic starter culture or 1 packet direct set or 1/4 tsp from large packet
    1 tsp liquid rennet in 1/4 cup water
    4 cups salt in 1 gallon of water (brine solution)


Pour milk into double boiler and slowly raise milk temperature to 86°F.  Add starter culture and stir thoroughly for five minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.  Let stand for 30 minutes.

Add calcium chloride and color if desired.  Stir thoroughly for five minutes.  Allow to set for 10 minutes.

Place double boiler back onto heat source and raise temperature to 86°F.  Add rennet and stir thoroughly for five minutes.  Cover, and allow to set at 86°F for 30 minutes or until a clean break is achieved.

Cut curds into 1/2" squares and gently stir for 15 minutes.  Allow curds to rest for 10 minutes.

Slowly raise temperature to 96°F.  Remove whey down to top of curds (keep track of amount) and save for later use.  Keep temperature of whey at 96°F.

Heat equal amount of water to 96°F.  Slowly add water and stir until curd is firm (approximately 20 minutes).  Allow curds to settle for 10 minutes.

Pour curds into stainless colander, cover with a heavy dinner plate, and allow to drain away remaining whey for approximately 5 minutes.

Place curds in a cheesecloth lined cheese mold and press at 30 lbs. pressure.  Every 45 minutes, dip cheesecloth-lined curds in hot whey, flip, and return to mold.  After 3 hours of alternate pressing and flipping, press at 30 lbs. pressure for an additional 12 hours.

Remove cheese from mold and remove cheesecloth. Soak in brine solution for 2-3 days at 60°F, flipping cheese every 12 hours.

Remove cheese from brine, place on cheese mat, and allow cheese to mature uncovered at 60°F for 3-4 weeks, flipping daily.

Wax cheese and age in refrigerator for 3-8 weeks at 45-50°F, flipping twice per week for the first few weeks.

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