Blue Cheese

Photo Credit: The Spruce Eats
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Blue cheese is a very controversial soft cheese, people either absolutely love it or hate it. Blue cheese is named after the blue flecks or veins of blue mold that forms throughout the cheese. These blue veins occur from the Penicillium cultures that are added during the cheesemaking process.

Blue cheese can have a very distinct smell and has a sharp and salty taste. The smell itself is due to both the mold and the types of bacteria that grows on Blue cheese. There are many different types of Blue cheese including Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola. Each Blue cheese is made from different types of milk, but all follow the same Blue cheese standard recipe.

Aging: 2+ Months

Skill Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 gallons of whole cows or milk of choice
  • Tiny speck of Penicillium Roqueforti (make your own here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mesophilic starter
  • Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons of Cheese Salt

Equipment Needed:

1. Heat the Milk & Add Cultures

  • Warm milk up until it reaches a temperature of 86F.
  • You can do this by placing the milk in a pot or sink of very warm water. If you do this step on the stove, be sure to slowly heat the milk and stir to avoid burning.
  • Once the milk has reached 86F, you can start to add the Flora Danica starter to the milk
  • Continuously stir until it’s combined
  • Allow the milk mixture to sit for 1.5 hours

2. Add Rennet

  • Once the cultures are combined, you can start adding the diluted Rennet in 2 tsp of boiled and then cooled water
  • Using up and down motions, stir in the Rennet for 30 strokes.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for hour or until ready to be cut

3. Cut the Curd

  • After an hour, your curd should be ready to be cut, if not, allow it to sit for longer
  • You want to cut the curd very carefully into fine curds. You don’t want it to be too small and you should aim for the curds to be around the size of a pea.
  • The size of the curd affects many aspects including the firmness and the amount of moisture that’s in the cheese. The smaller the curd, the firmer the cheese will be
  • Stir the curds every 5 minutes for the next hour to prevent any clumps from forming.
  • The temperature should be still at 86F during this whole process.
  • Allow the curds to rest for 5 minutes.

4. Drain the Cheese

  • Using a ladle, transfer the curds into a colander that’s lined with a cheesecloth. Drain the curds while they are still warm.
  • Once the curds are drained, salt your cheese with about 3 tablespoons of cheese salt.

5. Mold the Cheese

  • Move the curds to open-ended molds on draining mats and drain for the next 4 hours
  • You should turn the molds over every 15 minutes for the first hour and then turn over every hour for the next three hours.
  • After the last turn, leave the mold of cheese to rest for overnight or at least 8 hours at 80% humidity and 68F.

6. Drain the Cheese

  • After the mold has sat for a while, it’s now time to remove the cheese from the mold and allow the cheese to drain for a few hours at 80% humidity and 68F.
  • After 8 hours of draining, sprinkle on some additional salt and shake off any excess.

7. Aging the Cheese

  • After the cheese has properly drained for 8 hours or more, stack all your cheeses on top of each other and allow them to ripen at 95% humidity at 50F.
  • For the next week, you should rotate the cheese and rub them with a small amount of salt every day.
  • Continue to rotate them for another week without rubbing any salt on them.
  • Using a fine needle, poke the cheese in 1inch sections around the cheese and allow it to ripen for another 90 days.
  • Continue turning the cheese every 3-4 days.
  • Outer Mold will start to appear the first month and needs to be scrapped off.
  • After this time, your cheese is ready to eat. If you’re not ready to eat, wrap the cheese in some foil or cheese paper and store at 45F until you’re ready to consume it.

 

For a more in-depth look at how to make Blue Cheese easily made at home watch this video

Video Credit to Smile 4 Cheese

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