Cheddar is one of the most famous types of cheese on the planet. Originated from an English town called Cheddar, this cheese has a distinct nutty flavor and a semi-hard firm texture that makes you fall in love with it. It is actually white in color, although artificial coloring is used a lot to make it look yellowish. This cheese tastes sharper the more you let it age. There are people who are particular about eating only super sharp cheddar, for the extremely sharp taste it has.
Following are the steps for making cheddar cheese at home. The recipe given here is somewhat different from that for super sharp cheddar cheese. For one, it uses a stirring process instead of cutting up strips and draining them. Let’s see how to go about it.
- Take a gallon of full cream milk in a double boiler and warm it to 90F. To this, add an ounce of mesophilic starter culture. Mix thoroughly with a whisk, and see that the culture is dispersed evenly. Leave the milk to ripen for an hour.
- Dissolve a quarter tab of rennet in about 60 ml of cool water. Pour this into the milk and stir with the whisk for about 5 minutes.Leave it at rest for a couple of hours.
- A firm curd will have set after two hours. Use a long knife and cut the curds into quarter inch cubes. Leave them to set for about 15 minutes.
- Slowly heat the milk to 102º F. This will take about 45 minutes. During this time, stir the curds to keep them from matting together. Once they reach the ideal temperature, cook for 45 minutes. Keep stirring.
- Drain the whey. Do it quickly so the curds do not mat.
- Put the curds back in the boiler; add 1 tbsp salt, and then stir, keeping the temperature same. Keep up the occasional stirring and cook for an hour.
- Take the curds out and gently place them on the cheesecloth mold. Press with 20 pounds of weight, for about 45 minutes. Take out the cheese and flip it. Press again with 40 pounds of weight, for 3 hours. Remove and flip, then repeat with 50 pounds for 24 hours.
Dry the cheese at room temperature, for 5 days, and then wax and age it in the fridge for 3 to 24 months – longer if you are trying for super sharp cheddar. Most super sharp cheddar cheeses are aged for 6 to 8 years, but if you are not that patient you would have to settle for a less sharp taste.