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From the mountains of the Auvergne region of France


These hard long aging cheeses from the Auvergne have much in common with the english style cheddar. However more effort is made to remove the moisture and ripen the curd before the curd is pressed in the molds
Cantal
We begin at the point where the whey has been removed.
A pressure plate is placed on the top of the settled curd followed by a weight of about 25 lbs to consoliate the curd under the remaining whey
The final curd is then wrapped in cloth...
... pressed by hand...
... and the 25 lb block is again used.
After about 1-2 hrs ...
... this gets cut into strips ...
... placed back into the cloth ...
... and again the weight is applied
The final cheese is now quite dry as can be seen by the dry breaks in this photo ... it is then broken again into rough blocks and allowed to ripen overnight
Next Morning the curds are broken up into small pieces, salted, and placed into forms and pressed...
Enough pressure is applied to produce a very thin stream of clear whey but still not enough to form a smooth surface
It takes a considerable amount of final pressing weight and 2-3 days to achieve the final smooth consolidated surface seen here

The cheese is then taken to the aging room where it remains for the next 6-14 months to develop this nice dry, rich texture. It is allowed to develop a natural grey mold which can be brushed down and scraped to a nice clean rind in the end.
 

How to Make this Cheese :

Using 7 Gallons of Milk heated to 90F
Add 1/4 -1/2 tsp MA4001 or 1 pack C-101 and ripen 30 min.
Add 3 ml calf rennet for coagulation in 60 min.
The curd is then cut to 1/2" size and stirred for 20-30 min after which it is allowed to settle to the bottom.
Whey is removed leaving 1-2" above the curd. A plate is then placed over the curd and a weight is appplied (20-25 lbs)
The remainder of the whey is removed and the curd is wrapped in cloth and removed to a draining table and the weight reappplied. At 30 min intervals the curd is unwrapped and cut into 2" strips and turned over .. re-wrapped in cloth and the weight reapplied ... this cycle is repeated 3-6 times w/ increasing weight to get a cheese of appropriate dryness.
The curd should be kept at 80-90F during this period
The curd mass then is broken ito 3-4 inch blocks and left to ripen overnight.
The curd mass is then broken into small pieces as per cheddar (3/4-1")
The cheese is then salted at 1.8-2.5% by weight according to final moisture .
curd now goes into a cloth lined form with follower and weight is applied .. 25 lbs at first and turned 3-5 times increasing the weight to a final press weight of 250-300 lbs
Ripen for 3- 9 months at 54F and 80-85% RH%
keep the rind clean by brushing.

  Hearing about your wonderful cheese making adventures always brightens up our day. Please feel free to send us stories and maybe even a photo to:
info@cheesemaking.com
 

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Thanks for joining our cheese making family, keep those stories & photos coming. We love to hear from you!

In Peace,
Ricki, the cheese queen

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