Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Frank Masciulli's Marbled "Swissby" Cheese


Frank Masciulli
Whatever Works!

Frank Masciulli of Chelmsford, Massachusetts just started making his own cheese 5 or 6 months ago.  He's an engineer and he told us that he overheard a fellow he works with talking about a cheese making class he had taken.

Frank had been making his own wine for 16 years (a white Zinfandel) and his own bread, so he knew he had to try making his own cheese.

He ordered the supplies and he made Cheddar and Mozzarella.  But, he wanted his cheese to be more colorful.  So, he took a recipe for Swiss cheese and merged it with a Colby recipe to make his very own "Swissby."


The label on Frank's homemade wine.





We love to see this, because, as we keep saying to all of you - making cheese is fun and creative!  Take a chance and do whatever you want with your cheese - it's yours!  (And, as far as we know, the Cheese Police are busy elsewhere!)



Frank's cheese in brine












Swissby Cheese
By Frank Masciulli

Ingredients:

1 1/2 gallons milk (I used Hood, full fat)
Thermophilic culture (1/8 tsp)
Propionibacterium 50 culture (1/8 tsp)
Calcium chloride (5/8 tsp)
Annatto coloring (10-12 drops)
Liquid rennet (1/2 tsp) (I used animal rennet, vegetable rennet would be 1/4 tsp)
Salt for brine (3-5 lbs)






Directions:

1. Sanitize all pots and utensils.   (Since this a MARBLED cheese, you need TWO pots.  Just remember to divide all the ingredients equally in each pot.  If you want to make it one color, go ahead and just use one pot for everything.)



2. Dilute the calcium chloride in 1/4 cup of water, per directions on the bottle.  Then add to each pot of milk (even amount in each).



3. Dilute about 10-12 drops of annatto coloring in water.  Then add this to ONE of the pots.  Add more drops directly to the milk if you want a more orange color.  (Careful, it will get more of an orange color as the final cheese ages.)





4. Fill the sink with water to heat the milk to 90F. This requires a bit of time. Fill the sink with water about 5-6 degrees higher than what you want, and keep checking the temperature of each pot until you get to about 90F. You will have to empty the sink and refill it about every 10 to 15 minutes as the water cools, so you can maintain the temperature of the milk.



5. When you reach the 90F, prepare the cheese cultures.  For this recipe, 1/8 tsp of each are combined on to a piece of tin foil then they are sprinkled (even amount in each pot) over the milk.  (It may be difficult to see the cultures on the surface in this picture.)  Let it sit like this for about a minute then stir it in. Now let the pots sit covered to allow to ripen for about 10 minutes.  Maintain the 90F temperature.



6. Add 1/2 tsp of rennet in 1/4 cup of water.  Add evenly to each of the pots of milk. (Make sure you split it fairly evenly.)  Not an issue if you're making one color cheese, just add the whole thing to the pot.  Using a slotted spoon, stir the rennet using an up and down motion.



7.  After about 20 minutes to a half hour, the cheese will have a firm texture to it.  You can tell if it is ready by puncturing it with a knife and seeing that it's fairly solid.  This is what is referred to as having a 'clean break.'  There will still be liquid coming through, but it should be fairly firm throughout.  (The temperature has to be maintained during this whole process at 90F +/- a degree or two.)



8.  When it has reached the state in the last picture, the curd is ready to be cut.  Take a long knife and make vertical and horizontal cuts all the way through to the bottom of the pot, cutting the curd into small ½ - ¾  inch cubes.  Then, give one or two stirs to keep it from matting.  (Don't stir too much or your cheese will dry out when it's done.)



9.  Raise the water temperature to bring the cheese up to 118F.  The bath water in the sink will have to be about 125F to maintain this. Keeping the temperature at this temperature is a bit more challenging. You have to drain the sink and refill more often. You need to cook the curds at this temperature for about 30 minutes. This picture shows the result of the cheese after 30 minutes. (Yes, there is that much water in a gallon of milk.)



10. The cheese is cooked when you take some of it in your hands and it crumbles into separate pieces and will not stay mashed together.  If you're not there yet, keep it covered and cook it longer, maintaining the 118F temperature.



11.   Next, drain the water (whey) out and refill each pot with cool water about 85F.  When the temperature of each pot gets to about 85F, drain and refill each to make it even cooler.  You want the final temperature of each pot to be about 75F.  The cooler the temperature, the more moisture the cheese will have.  If you want a dryer cheese, don't bother with these cooling steps.

12.   Drain all the whey out of each pot into a colander lined with butter muslin cheese cloth.  You can use cheese cloth, but it has bigger holes, so you will want to double up on cheese cloth to make a finer mesh.  Combine both the colored and uncolored cheese curds together.  This is how marbled cheese is made.



13.  Drain as much of the whey out as you can.



14.  Line the cheese mold with more cloth.



15.   This is my cheese press. The round pan has holes and it is placed into the square pan. This allows the remaining water to drain away from the cheese and keeps the cheese from sitting in it during the pressing.



16.  The cheese goes in the press with about 12 lbs of weights.  Press for one hour, remove the cheese and turn it over in the mold and re-press.  Keep this one hour pressing / turning over process going for about three hours.



17.  Add more weight to about 30-35 lbs for an additional three hours.  Then, remove the weights back down to about 12 lbs and keep overnight or about 12 hours more.



18.  Fill a bowl with about 3 - 5 lbs of salt.  Place cheese in this for about 5 hours (maximum - 12 hours if you want more salty cheese).  I find the 4-5 hours to be a nice flavor and not too salty.  Turn the cheese over after each hour while it is in this solution.  After this, pat dry the cheese and air dry for about a week, covered with cheese cloth and turning over each day.  After that, place the cheese in a fairly cool dry place (not the fridge) for about 4 weeks.

As the cheese ages, it will swell up slightly. This is due to holes being formed, as it is a Swiss cheese recipe.  However, the holes will not be very large when you cut into it.  To get the large holes like regular Swiss cheese recipes, you'd have to make a large quantity like 4-5 lbs.  The holes that will appear will be pin hole size.

The longer it ages, the more flavor it will have. Enjoy!



For Printing:

Swissby Cheese
By Frank Masciulli

Ingredients:

1 1/2 gallons milk (I used Hood, full fat)
Thermophilic culture (1/8 tsp)
Propionibacterium 50 culture (1/8 tsp)
Calcium chloride (5/8 tsp)
Annatto coloring (10-12 drops)
Liquid rennet (1/2 tsp) (I used animal rennet, vegetable rennet would be 1/4 tsp)
Salt for brine (3-5 lbs)

Directions:

1. Sanitize all pots and utensils.   (Since this a MARBLED cheese, you need TWO pots.  Just remember to divide all the ingredients equally in each pot.  If you want to make it one color, go ahead and just use one pot for everything.)

2. Dilute the calcium chloride in 1/4 cup of water, per directions on the bottle.  Then add to each pot of milk (even amount in each).

3. Dilute about 10-12 drops of annatto coloring in water.  Then add this to ONE of the pots.  Add more drops directly to the milk if you want a more orange color.  (Careful, it will get more of an orange color as the final cheese ages.)

4. Fill the sink with water to heat the milk to 90F. This requires a bit of time. Fill the sink with water about 5-6 degrees higher than what you want, and keep checking the temperature of each pot until you get to about 90F. You will have to empty the sink and refill it about every 10 to 15 minutes as the water cools, so you can maintain the temperature of the milk.

5. When you reach the 90F, prepare the cheese cultures.  For this recipe, 1/8 tsp of each are combined on to a piece of tin foil then they are sprinkled (even amount in each pot) over the milk.  (It may be difficult to see the cultures on the surface in this picture.)  Let it sit like this for about a minute then stir it in. Now let the pots sit covered to allow to ripen for about 10 minutes.  Maintain the 90F temperature.

6. Add 1/2 tsp of rennet in 1/4 cup of water.  Add evenly to each of the pots of milk. (Make sure you split it fairly evenly.)  Not an issue if you're making one color cheese, just add the whole thing to the pot.  Using a slotted spoon, stir the rennet using an up and down motion.

7.  After about 20 minutes to a half hour, the cheese will have a firm texture to it.  You can tell if it is ready by puncturing it with a knife and seeing that it's fairly solid.  This is what is referred to as having a 'clean break.'  There will still be liquid coming through, but it should be fairly firm throughout.  (The temperature has to be maintained during this whole process at 90F +/- a degree or two.)

8.  When it has reached the state in the last picture, the curd is ready to be cut.  Take a long knife and make vertical and horizontal cuts all the way through to the bottom of the pot, cutting the curd into small ½ - ¾  inch cubes.  Then, give one or two stirs to keep it from matting.  (Don't stir too much or your cheese will dry out when it's done.)

9.  Raise the water temperature to bring the cheese up to 118F.  The bath water in the sink will have to be about 125F to maintain this. Keeping the temperature at this temperature is a bit more challenging. You have to drain the sink and refill more often. You need to cook the curds at this temperature for about 30 minutes. This picture shows the result of the cheese after 30 minutes. (Yes, there is that much water in a gallon of milk.)

10. The cheese is cooked when you take some of it in your hands and it crumbles into separate pieces and will not stay mashed together.  If you're not there yet, keep it covered and cook it longer, maintaining the 118F temperature.

11.   Next, drain the water (whey) out and refill each pot with cool water about 85F.  When the temperature of each pot gets to about 85F, drain and refill each to make it even cooler.  You want the final temperature of each pot to be about 75F.  The cooler the temperature, the more moisture the cheese will have.  If you want a dryer cheese, don't bother with these cooling steps.

12.   Drain all the whey out of each pot into a colander lined with butter muslin cheese cloth.  You can use cheese cloth, but it has bigger holes, so you will want to double up on cheese cloth to make a finer mesh.  Combine both the colored and uncolored cheese curds together.  This is how marbled cheese is made.

13.  Drain as much of the whey out as you can.

14.  Line the cheese mold with more cloth.

15.   This is my cheese press. The round pan has holes and it is placed into the square pan. This allows the remaining water to drain away from the cheese and keeps the cheese from sitting in it during the pressing.

16.  The cheese goes in the press with about 12 lbs of weights.  Press for one hour, remove the cheese and turn it over in the mold and re-press.  Keep this one hour pressing / turning over process going for about three hours.

17.  Add more weight to about 30-35 lbs for an additional three hours.  Then, remove the weights back down to about 12 lbs and keep overnight or about 12 hours more.

18.  Fill a bowl with about 3 - 5 lbs of salt.  Place cheese in this for about 5 hours (maximum - 12 hours if you want more salty cheese).  I find the 4-5 hours to be a nice flavor and not too salty.  Turn the cheese over after each hour while it is in this solution.  After this, pat dry the cheese and air dry for about a week, covered with cheese cloth and turning over each day.  After that, place the cheese in a fairly cool dry place (not the fridge) for about 4 weeks.

As the cheese ages, it will swell up slightly. This is due to holes being formed, as it is a Swiss cheese recipe.  However, the holes will not be very large when you cut into it.  To get the large holes like regular Swiss cheese recipes, you'd have to make a large quantity like 4-5 lbs.  The holes that will appear will be pin hole size.

The longer it ages, the more flavor it will have. Enjoy! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gift Idea #4 - Goat Milk Cheddar



This is the fourth in a series of gift ideas for the upcoming holidays.  There's still plenty of time to make this cheese and give it to a lucky friend.  

We know SO many goat owners who haven't found the time (or courage) to make their own cheese.  Giving them a cheese you made yourself in a basket of cheese making supplies would be the perfect gift.

Here's an easy cheese that you still have time to make before the holiday season begins:


Goat Milk Cheddar
From Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll, page 186

This stirred-curd variety of Cheddar has a sharp, peppery flavor and can be consumed after aging for 4 weeks, but improves with flavor if aged for up to 12 weeks.

2 gallons whole goat's milk
1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter or 4 ounces prepared mesophilic starter
1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/2 rennet tablet) diluted in 1/2 cup cool, unchlorinated water
Cheese salt
Cheese wax (optional)
1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup water (optional)

1.  Heat the milk to 85F.

I buy my goat's milk from a neighbor.

It helps to have a dairy thermometer (with a clip) and a flat ladle.


Add the starter; mix well.

Direct set starter is the easiest whey to go.


Cover and allow the milk to ripen for 30 minutes.

I use the stove timer.


2.  Add diluted rennet.

If you use vegetable rennet, be sure to cut the amount in half.

Slowly add the rennet.


Gently stir with an up-and-down motion for several minutes.  Let set at 85F for 1 hour.

Gently stir the rennet.


3.  Cut the curd into 1/2 inch cubes.  Allow the curds to set, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.

Check for the "clean break."


4.  Gradually heat the curds to 98F, raising the heat no more than two degrees every 5 minutes.

I would do this in my sink, but I don't have a stopper.  So, I heat up the water in this pan and place the pot on top of the racks.


Stir gently to keep the curds from matting.

This is my favorite part.  Aren't curds beautiful when they're first cut?


Maintain the temperature at 98F for 45 minutes, stirring gently.

They gradually sink to the bottom of the pot as you stir.

Where have they gone?


Drain off the whey and add all 2 tablespoons of the salt to the curds and mix well.

I save the whey for my plants.  But, if you have pets or farm animals, they'll love it.

Getting there...

Adding salt.

I like to use my hand to mix in the salt.


5.  Line a 2-pound cheese mold with cheesecloth.

You can see why I put a large pan beneath this.


Quickly place the curds into the mold.  Press the cheese at 20 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes.

I've said it before and I'll say it again- I LOVE my Wheeler press.


6.  Remove the cheese from the mold;  gently peel away the cheesecloth.  Turn it over, re-dress it, put it back into the mold, and press at 30 pounds of pressure for 1 hour.

It's coming together after only 15 minutes!


7.  Repeat the process but press at 50 pounds of pressure for 12 hours.

8.  Remove from the press.  Gently peel away the cheesecloth.  Rub salt on all surfaces.  Place on a cheese board.

That's a big cheese for only 2 gallons of milk.

The only dents are from the cheesecloth and the mold; they will go away.


9.  Rub salt on it once a day for 2 days.  Turn daily.

The salt doesn't stick as well to the sides as to the top and bottom

After two days on my counter.


When the surface is dry, you may wax it (see page 57).

(Or, you might bandage it or rub it with oil and leave a natural rind.  I chose to leave the rind because I know I'll be giving this as a gift in a couple of months.  If I planned to age it much longer, I would wax or bandage it.)



It's ready for the cheese preserver (an aging method I'm experimenting with).


10.  Age the cheese at 50 to 55F for 4-12 weeks.

My cooler with two frozen bottles of water stays at 60F for one day-then I swap out the bottles.  As you can see, the farmhouse cheese I made over a month ago (and bandaged) is molding up nicely.

I'll turn it every day and we'll see in December!


YIELD:  2 pounds

This is the fourth in a series of posts with gift ideas for the holidays.  To see the first post, click here.

For printing:

Goat Milk Cheddar
From Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll, page 186

This stirred-curd variety of Cheddar has a sharp, peppery flavor and can be consumed after aging for 4 weeks but improves with flavor if aged up to 12 weeks.

2 gallons whole goat's milk
1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter or 4 ounces prepared mesophilic starter
1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/2 rennet tablet) diluted in 1/2 cup cool, unchlorinated water
Cheese salt
Cheese wax (optional)
1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup water (optional)

1.  Heat the milk to 85F.  Add the starter; mix well.  Cover and allow the milk to ripen for 30 minutes.

2.  Add diluted rennet;  gently stir with an up-and-down motion for several minutes.  Let set at 85F for 1 hour.

3.  Cut the curd into 1/2 inch cubes.  Allow the curds to set, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.

4.  Gradually heat the curds to 98F, raising the heat no more than two degrees every 5 minutes.  Stir gently to keep the curds from matting.  Maintain the temperature at 98F for 45 minutes, stirring gently.  Drain off the whey and all 2 tablespoons of the salt to the curds and mix well.

5.  Line a 2-pound cheese mold with cheesecloth.  Quickly place the curds into the mold.  Press the cheese at 20 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes.

6.  Remove the cheese from the mold;  gently peel away the cheesecloth.  Turn it over, re-dress it, put it back into the mold, and press at 30 pounds of pressure for 1 hour.

7.  Repeat the process but press at 50 pounds of pressure for 12 hours.

8.  Remove from the press.  Gently peel away the cheesecloth.  Rub salt on all surfaces.  Place on a cheese board.

9.  Rub salt on it once a day for 2 days.  Turn daily.  When the surface is dry, you may wax it (see page 57).

10.  Age the cheese at 50 to 55F for 4-12 weeks.

YIELD:  2 pounds