• Melisa Smith

Fresh Cheese Curds a.k.a. Squeaky Cheese!


Fresh Cheese Curds a.k.a. Squeaky Cheese!


Home made cheese curds are delicious! This is a very simple recipe that both beginners and advanced cheese makers can love. Wouldn't you love to add this to your next holiday appetizer tray? I really liked incorporating the cheddaring process into this recipe. It gives the final cheese curds a lot more flavor and texture. Cheddaring is a multi-step process that reduces whey content, adjusts acidity, adds characteristic flavor, and results in a denser more crumbly texture.

Since this is going to be a bit lengthy, I'll get right to how to do it.

Slowly bring 2 gallons of whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized) to 96 degrees over the next 45 minutes. If you would like more color to the curds add 1/4-1/2 tsp of annato cheese coloring.


Dilute 1/2 teaspoon Calcium Chloride in 1/4 cup distilled water and add this to the milk stirring in an up and down motion. The milk should be still for most of the process so don't stir it in a swirling motion. It takes much more time for the whirlpool to stop than when you use up and down strokes as you stir the milk.

Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of bulk C201 Thermophilic Culture (or one packet direct set) across the top of the milk and allow it to re-hydrate there for 2 minutes then stir it into the milk thoroughly in an up and down motion for about 30 seconds.

Let the milk rest to ripen for the next 30 minutes.

After the ripening period, dilute 1/2 teaspoon of rennet in 1/4 cup distilled water and add this to the ripened milk stirring with up and down motions for 30 seconds. Then allow the milk to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes, holding at 96 degrees or as close as possible.


Cut a slice into the milk about an inch deep and then scoop under the cut with the knife to test the curd. If it splits nicely and the liquid that rises in the cut is clear, it's time to cut the curd. If not, wait 10 minutes and check it again until the whey is no longer cloudy. Keep the temperature at 96 degrees.


Next cut the curd into 3/4 inch pieces by cutting in a checkerboard fashion as shown below. Wait 3 minutes and then begin to stir. As you stir the curds will shrink.


Somehow I was distracted by 5 other things and forgot to get a few pictures of stirring and cooking the curd. I suppose you will have to use your imagination here for a few steps.

Next begin heating the curds slowly. Continue to stir to keep them from settling into a mass and melting together over the next 30 minutes until the curds reach 116 degrees.

Continue to cook and stir the curds for 30 minutes more at 116 degrees.

Next, line a colander with cheese cloth and place a large pot under it to catch the whey. I place this in the sink and then pour the curds and whey into the colander, separating the curds and whey.

Squeeze the curds together in the cheese cloth by twisting the cloth closed to drain more whey from the curd and to bring it together into one solid mass.

Place this curd mass into the colander and then the colander over the warm whey in the pot and set the pot back over a low heat to gently steam the mass of cheese in the colander.



Over the next 30 minutes, turn the curd mass over in the colander every 10 minutes. This is the beginning of the cheddaring process. I think this gives the cheese curds much more flavor and the distinct crumbly layered texture of cheddar cheese.


Remove the curd mass from the colander to a cutting board and cut the cheese into large slices.


Put the slices back into the colander and continue to steam gently, cheddaring the cheese curds for the next 30 minutes, turning the slices of curd every ten minutes or so.


Now tear or slice the slices of curd into small chunks and toss to season with about 1 tablespoon of non-iodized salt or to taste.


These curds are so beautiful!



After adding the salt, the curds will sweat some and the salt crystals will dissolve in the moisture.


This is a yummy easy fresh cheese recipe you'll want to try.

Cheers!

~Melisa

Fresh Cheese Curds a.k.a. Squeaky Cheese!

Ingredients

2 Gallons of Milk (Not UltraPasteurized)

1/2 tsp Calcium Chloride

1 packet C201 Thermophilic Culture

1/2 tsp Single Strength Liquid Rennet

distilled water (or non chlorinated water to dilute the rennet and calcium chloride)

Cheese Salt or non iodized salt

1/4-1/2 teaspoon annato cheese coloring *optional

Equipment:

A large Pot

Good Quality Thermometer

Curd Knife

Slotted Spoon or Ladle

Cheese Cloth

Method

1. Slowly bring 2 gallons of milk to 96 degrees over 45 minutes.

If you would like more color to the curds add 1/4-1/2 tsp of annato cheese coloring.

2. Dilute 1/2 teaspoon Calcium Chloride in 1/4 cup distilled water and add this to the milk stirring in an up and down motion.

3. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of bulk C201 Thermophilic Culture (or one packet direct set) across the top of the milk and allow it to re-hydrate there for 2 minutes then stir it into the milk thoroughly in an up and down motion for about 30 seconds.

4.Let the milk rest to ripen for the next 45 minutes.

5. Dilute 1/2 teaspoon of rennet in 1/4 cup distilled water and add this to the ripened milk stirring with up and down motions for 30 seconds.

6. Allow the milk to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes, holding at 96 degrees or as close as possible.

7. Cut a slice into the milk about an inch deep and then scoop under the cut with the knife to test the curd. If it splits nicely and the liquid that rises in the cut is clear, it's time to cut the curd. If not, wait 10 minutes and check it again until the whey is no longer cloudy. Keep the temperature at 96 degrees.

8. Next cut the curd into 3/4 inch pieces by cutting in a checkerboard fashion as shown above. Wait 3 minutes and then begin to stir. As you stir the curds will shrink.

9. Next begin heating the milk slowly over the next 30 minutes to 116 degrees.

10.Continue to cook and stir the curds for 30 minutes more at 116 degrees.

11. Line a colander with cheese cloth and place a large pot under it to catch the whey. I place this in the sink and then pour the curds and whey into the colander. separating the curds and whey.

12. Squeeze the curds together in the cheese cloth by twisting the cloth closed to drain more whey from the curd and to bring it together into one solid mass.

13. Place this curd mass into the colander and then the colander over the warm whey in the pot and set the pot back over a low heat to gently steam the mass of cheese in the colander.

14. Over the next 30 minutes, turn the curd mass over in the colander every 10 minutes.

15. Remove the curd mass from the colander to a cutting board and cut the cheese into large slices. Put the slices back into the colander and continue to steam gently for the next 30 minutes, turning the slices of curd every ten minutes or so.

16. Now tear or slice the slices of curd into small chunks and toss to season with about 1 tablespoon of non-iodized salt or to taste.

#handmadecheese #homemadecheese #cheesecurds #cheddarcheesecurds #squeakycheese

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Copywrite © 2019 by Melisa Smith