Monday, September 26, 2011

Port Salut Cheese

Sunday was a rainy day here and I  was bored.  So I thumbed through my book of 200 cheese recipes and decided to make a Port Salut.  I followed the recipe, but failed to see that it made one large cheese with three gallons of milk.  Based on the recipe, that's one 2.75 lb wheel of cheese!!  Thank heaven I have a cheese press that has both a 4 and a 6 inch diameter casing.  The cheese stands at six inches in diameter and about three inches thick.  This will be ideal for cutting up into wedges and passing out as gifts.

Besides being the largest cheese in size I've attempted, it also had a more complicated process.  Once the curds were cut and settled, I had to remove 1/3 of the whey and replace it with hot water to bring the temperature to 92F.  After stirring and settling, I had to repeat that step to bring the temperature to 98F. By the time I was done, the large curds had expressed a lot of whey and shrunk down to large-curd cottage cheese in size.  I then put the curds in cheesecloth and pressed it for 12 hours.  As I write this, it is now soaking in a brine bath for 8 hours.  Have not done a brine bath before either. 

All I can say at this point is that this will be one heck of a cheese or a huge disaster.  But in two months, I'll know.  In a week, I'll have to do a brine and wash with brevibacterium linens in it.  This mold is also in the cheese itself and will make it turn golden in color.  The wash will yield an orange-colored  edible rind.  Another difference from the fuzzy penicillum molds I've been using so far.

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