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Gorgonzola Dolce
"The Sweet One"
In Italy this is sometimes known as Cremifacato or Dolcelatte. It is made from cows milk and is mild, creamy and sweet.

This is the younger version of aged Gorgonzola and is most loved for its soft, spreadable texture.

Gorgonzola Dolce originates in the North of Italy in the provinces of Lombardia and Peimonte. It is originally from the mountains and hills but now made in the lowlands along the Po River valley. Yes, Gorgonzola is a real place!

Until early in the last century it was known as “strachinno verde”, a cheese made from the milk of cattle tired after their long spring and autumn treks to and from the Alpine pastures. This moister version is of a more recent history but is today about 80% of the market for all Gorgonzola cheese.

Gorgonzola Dolce has a thin fragile rind, the paste is white to pale yellow with greenish-blue veins, the texture is quite creamy -- moister than Stilton and more buttery than Roquefort. This is all the result of a higher moisture content and larger curd size. It's blue veining is subtle and feathery, with a softer, easier flavor. It is glistening and creamy making it a very easy cheese to love. What else would you expect from a cheese named "Dolce".

It is often believed that blue mold is “injected” into the cheese, but in actuality, it is the introduction of air into the cheese during the aging process that causes the blue veining to develop. Long needles are inserted into the cheeses at a specific point in the aging process, which triggers the growth of blue mold.

This cheese only needs to age for 3 months as opposed to its drier version which ages for 6 months and is much stronger and pungent.

A Recipe for Making Gorgonzola Dolce

In the photos below the batch size I made is for 6 gallons (It is just as easy to make a larger batch if you have a big enough pot for the milk).

I have scaled it down for a 2 gallon batch here (about 2.25-2.75lbs of cheese) for the home cheesemaker to make this workable in the kitchen.

Before you Begin:

You will need:

  • 2 gallon of Good quality whole milk (Not Ultra Pasteurized)
  • 1 packet of our C-21 Buttermilk culture (mesophilic)
  • 2.5 ozs. of our Y1 Yogurt (thermophilic) made up a day or so before the cheese making
  • 1/16tsp C-9 Blue mold
  • Liquid single strength Rennet 1/2 tsp (but 1/4 tsp if using raw milk)
  • A good thermometer
  • A knife to cut the curds, and a spoon or ladle to stir the curds
  • A colander and butter muslin to drain the curds
  • 1 of our our M3 Molds 2 draining mats
  • Cheese Salt
  • A sanitized probe about 1/8" diameter and about 8 inches in length to aerate the aging cheese. (I find a stainless skewer works well for this)

Everything needs to be clean and sanitized as well as your workspace.

Heating and Acidifying the milk:

Begin by heating the milk to 90F (32C). You do this by placing the pot of milk in a sink of very warm water. If you do this with a pot on the stove make sure you heat the milk slowly and stir it well as it heats.

Once the milk is at 90F the cultures and re-hydrated mold can be added. To prevent the powder from caking and sinking in clumps sprinkle the powder over the surface of the milk and then allow about 2 minutes for the powder to re-hydrate before stirring it in. Stir the milk well then stop stirring and allow the bacteria to work for 60 minutes while keeping at 90F (If the cream tends to rise it is OK to stir it back in briefly).

Coagulation with rennet:

Next add the single strength liquid rennet.

The milk now needs to sit quiet for 30 minutes while the culture works and the rennet coagulates the curd . Keep the developing curd at 90F during this time.

Cutting curds and releasing the whey:

Once the curd has formed well it can be cut. Begin with vertical cuts about 1" apart forming a checkerboard pattern on the surface. Then, using the spoon, break the resulting long strips by cutting crosswise in the vat but being very gentle.

When finished, stir the curds gently for 5 minutes and then allow the curds to rest for 15 minutes with only a brief gentle stir every 3-5 mines to keep them separated.

At the end of this rest, remove about 1.5-2 quarts of whey from the pot.

Again, stir the curds gently for 5 minutes and then allow the curds to rest for 15 minutes with only a brief gentle stir every 3-5 minutes to keep them separated.

This stirring and whey removal will harden the outside of the curds to keep them from matting in the mold. This provides the openings for mold development in the aging cheese. It is important to keep the curds at 90F during all of this.

Prepare the curds for molding:

During the resting period, sanitize a colander and butter muslin for the final curd draining.

The moist curds can now be transferred to the colander lined with butter muslin. They should be allowed to drain for several minutes and a gentle stirring will make sure that the whey drains off. It is essential to be gentle with these curds, since they are very soft, and not break them. You can assist the drainage by pulling up on the edges of the cloth and gently separating the curds.

Counter to what is done in consolidating curds well for other cheeses, the goal here is to keep the curds separate and allow the surfaces to harden somewhat. This will keep them separated when placed in the molds and preserve the open spaces inside the cheese for the blue to grow.

Molding the Curds:

The mold should be sanitized along with 2 of the draining mats. A rigid plate or board placed underneath will also help in turning this cheese. Prepare the mold by laying down a draining mat with the mold placed on top. No cheesecloth needs to be used with this.

The curds can now be placed in the molds. They can be packed in more tightly around the edge to make a better surface for the cheese but the center should be quite loose to assure the proper openings for mold growth.

It is quite important to keep the curds warm for the next several hours while the cultures continue to produce acid. I do this by placing the draining curds in a warm draining table with pans of hot water and an insulated cover and board to keep it all warm. You can easily do this by using a large insulated cooler with warm bottles of water. The target temp is 80-90F for the next 4-6 hours.

There is no weight used on this cheese but the mold should be turned 5 minutes after it has been filled to allow the weight of the cheese to form a smooth surface. The cheese should then be turned several more times during the first hour and then at least 1 time each hour for the next 4 hours.

By the next morning the cheese should be well consolidate but you may see some rough surfaces or openings. Do not be concerned by this.

Salting the Cheese:

We prefer to dry salt this cheese because of the open nature of the cheese body. Normally using about 2-2.5% of the cheese weight in salt for this. For this cheese you will need 1 oz. of a medium coarse cheese salt. This will be about 4 tsp. of our cheese salt but it is better to measure by weight because different salts have different weight/volume ratios. For dry salting, use 1/4 of the salt to begin with and apply to the top surface only, then spread it evenly with your hand and pat the salt onto the sides as you go. Allow this to dissolve and soak into the cheese. I generally take the cheese out of the mold for salting and then replace it in the mold for the salt to be absorbed.

The next morning turn the cheese and apply the salt as you did previously.

Repeat this for the next 2 days as well.


The cheese is now ready for aging at 52-54F and 93-95% moisture. If the rind becomes dry, increase the moisture and if the surface becomes excessively wet, decrease moisture. Allow the cheese to age like this for 7-10 days. Then using a sanitized probe as indicated above, pierce the cheese with holes about every 3/4 to 1 inch. The cheese should now be ready for its final aging and will be ready for the table in about 90 days.

Re-hydrating and adding the blue culture:

The blue mold is added to a small amount of milk to rehydrate about 1/2 hour before adding it to the full batch of milk. This allows it to acclimate and incorporate well into the full batch.

Adding the Yogurt culture:

I normally use our Y1 Yogurt for this culture. I make up a batch of yogurt and use this at the rate of about 1% of the milk volume. I also make sure I mix the yogurt to a smooth texture and strain out any larger pieces.

Checking for the proper curd firmness:

This is an essential part of the process. Note the whey color in the opening. It should neither be too clear (curd too firm) or too milky (a too soft curd).

Cutting the curds:

Proper cutting for the moist curds needed for this cheese is quite important.

Releasing the whey is done with minimal stirring and long rests to maintain high final moisture in the curds. Note the curd settling below the whey in the last photo here.

The draining pan and cloths are prepared for final draining and the whey is removed to the curd surface before transferring the curds.

Final Curd Prep:

Final draining for the curds is important here as is keeping the curds from matting before the final draining.

The mold has been prepared and ready for the final curd transfer into the molds.

Curd Consolidation:

Notice in the photos here the layering of rigid board, draining mat and mold. Also, note the top insulating cover to keep the cheese warm for proper acid development as well as the final consolidated cheese surface after several turnings and forming overnight. The mold I use here is a simple strip mold that can be adjusted with a knotted chord. This will accommodate cheeses of different sizes but only for cheeses with no weight required.


Salting is seen here as described in the recipe notes above. Nothing too complex for this part.
Once this is finished the cheese is ready for the aging space and aeration at 7-10 days ... and finally ready for the table at about 90 days.

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