With its holey appearance, Emmental is sure to remind you of Swiss cheese and is often mistaken as it. Emmental although delicious, is not an easy cheese to make and is actually noted as one of the most challenging cheeses in the world. That being said, if you’re up for the challenge, it’s worth it.
Emmental along with Emmentaler and Emmenthaler cheeses are all Swiss cheeses. However, Swiss cheese is not Emmental cheese. Emmental cheese is traditionally made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, has a buttery texture, melts really nicely, has a bit of a nutty and fruity flavor, and is used in sauces. It has a small rind covered around it as well. Swiss cheese is made from pasteurized cow’s milk, melts nicely as well, but traditionally used more on sandwiches than sauces. It doesn’t have a rind and can be described as more nutty than fruity.
One of the most common ways to enjoy Emmental is as a fondue. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate Emmental cheese into your everyday dishes, Emmental goes great with meatloaf, on baked chicken, or even on grilled paninis.
Aging: 5-12 months
Skill Level: Expert
- 2 gallons of whole cow’s milk
- 1/4 tsp of Thermophilic Culture
- 1 tsp of Propionic Shermanii Powder dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm milk
- 1/2 tsp of Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup of water
- Cheese salt for the brine
Heat the Milk & Add Culture
- Heat your milk up. When it reaches 90°F you can start to add your culture in and stir
- 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.
- Cover and allow it to ripen for 10 minutes
- After ripening, you can add your diluted Rennet and stir for one minute.
- Allow it to rest for an additional 45 minutes or until you have a clean break.
Cut the Curd
- After 45 minutes, your curd should be ready to be cut, if not, allow it to sit for longer
- Cut the curd into quarter inch cube size pieces
- At the temperature of 90°F, carefully stir the curds with a whisk for 40 minutes to create a uniform size and shape.
Heat the Curds
- Slowly heat the curds until they reach a temperature of about 120°F.
- This process should take approximately 35 minutes and should be done very gradually as it makes the cheese moister.
- Stir regularly to prevent matting.
- Once the temperature is reached, maintain 120°F for another 35 minutes.
- Continue to stir with a whisk regularly during this period of time.
- When complete, allow curds to rest for 5 minutes.
Drain the Curds
- Pour out the whey.
Mold & Press the Cheese
- Pour the curd into a cheesecloth lined mold.
- Press the curds at 10 lbs. for 15 minutes.
- Remove, flip and rewrap the curds
- Continue to press from 15 lbs. for 2 hours.
- Remove, flip and rewrap
- Continue to press at 15 lbs. for 12 hours.
- Remove and unwrap the cheese
Brining and Aging
- Soak the cheese in saturated brine for 12 hours, turning over your cheese every 2-3 hours.
- Remove and pat dry.
- Store the cheese in a fridge at 55°F for 1 week.
- Turn and wipe the cheese in the brine solution daily.
- After 1 week, remove the cheese from the refrigerator and place in a warm room for 2-3 weeks.
- Repeat the daily turn and wipe of the brine solution daily
- After some time in the room, the cheese should begin to swell and round at the edges. When this happens, return the cheese to the refrigerator at 45°F with a humidity of between 80 to 85% for 3 months.
- Continue to turn and wipe the cheese in the solution three times a week at this point.
Storing Your Cheese
- Your cheese needs to be stored properly to maintain freshness. Between each slice you need to insert parchment paper and you need to loosely encase the entire cheese in plastic wrap.
- Emmental can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks and 3 months in the freezer. That being said, it may be crumbly and lose some flavor.
- Be sure to look for any signs of mold before consuming. If there are signs, you may need to discard the slices containing mold.