Brie without a question is one of the most popular types of soft cheese out there. With its rich and creamy texture, Brie is perfect for baking, pairs nicely with a glass of wine, and is also known as a delicious dessert cheese as well.
Brie originated from France and is made today with pasteurized or unpasteurized milk. Brie’s flavors are dependent on what’s added, the type of milk used, and what’s done during the cheese-making process. It has an edible, white and grayish mold rind and can be left to ripen anywhere from one month to a year. The longer Brie is left to mature, the stronger the flavor becomes, and the rind will also darken as time goes on. However, overripe brie can contain an excessive amount of ammonia and be very unpleasant.
There are different types of Brie. Brie de Melun, French non-AOC Brie, and various International Brie’s from around the world. Brie cheese can also be smoked as well. Brie is closely related to Camembert, but the two differ in origin, shape, size, and overall flavor.
Although most cheeses are a great addition to dishes, Brie is typically the star of the show and served by itself. Brie cheese is definitely a staple on any cheese platter and is an amazing appetizer baked in the oven. It’s rich in calcium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin. It has an earthy, nutty, fruity and some even describe Brie as having a mushroomy taste. It has a creamy, buttery texture at room temperature that’s great for spreading on crackers or bread. Brie pairs nicely with most lush and acidic wines like Chardonnay and fruits like apples, grapes, pears and unsalted nuts. Jams and dips also compliment Brie nicely which is why it’s a staple on all cheese platters.
Although Brie is delicious, it’s however not recommended for pregnant women to eat during their pregnancy and should be avoided.
This recipe for Brie is fairly simple and after you make this homemade Brie, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought Brie ever again.
Aging: 3-5 months
Skill Level: Intermediate
- 1-1.5 gallons of raw, fresh cow’s milk.
- ¾ -1 tsp of rennet.
- 1/4 tsp of flora Danica culture.
- ⅛ tsp of penicillium candidum culture.
- Cheese salt
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 15 minutes
- Add the Penicillium Candidum and continue stirring.
2. Add Rennet
- Once the cultures are combined, you can start adding the Rennet
- Using up and down motions, stir in the Rennet for 30 strokes.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 3 hours or until ready to be cut
3. Cut the Curd
- After three hours, your curd should be ready to be cut, if not, allow it to sit for longer
- Cut the curd into 1 cm cube size pieces
4. Mold the Cheese
- Using a ladle, transfer the curds into an open bottom mold and allow it to sit overnight or until the cheese is half of its original size.
- When it’s half the size, you can flip it and allow it to sit for another 12-24 hours or until the cheese is firm and keeps its shape
5. Salt and Drain the Cheese
- When your cheese has a firm texture, you can remove it from the mold and sprinkle it with some salt.
- Place your cheese in a container so that it’s raised up and able to properly drain.
- When your cheese is drained, you can set it aside to dry.
6. Dry the Cheese
- Allow your cheese to dry for a week at 50F
- During this time, you should see white mold beginning to develop
7. Age the Cheese
- After a week of drying, your cheese should be ready to age
- Your aging environment should be 50F and 85% humidity
- The cheese should be flipped over every few days for the next 3-5 months