Friday, January 12, 2018

Our Homemade Aged Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese and a few Cheese Ideas

This is the homemade farmhouse cheddar we made at our commercial kitchen and took the class I did back in October. Well of course since it is an aged farmhouse cheddar we dipped the cheese in a bought wax...however since then I have learned you can use beeswax which I have plenty of and wondered why I bought the red wax (which is a common color in America) and mostly for Edam and Cheddar cheese. The color of the wax actually a signal as to the type of cheese (usually) but sometimes are farmstead cheese makers that doesn't always signal that, as we would use what we have.
Clear wax is used to make several coats and can be used. Make sure it is a food grade wax. The purpose of the wax is to make the cheese retain its moisture content, and protect the cheeses from the air and humidity.  
Black was mostly common used for longer aged cheeses. For a much longer aging. Common in European countries. Which when we went to Wisconsin we actually went to a place that makes 12 year cheddar and let me tell you OH MY!!!! Bruce and I joke Alexis send us some of that 12 year cheddar again. It was simply amazing!!! Brown waxes are mostly used for cheeses that are smoked. I know for sure I will be using beeswax once I run out of the red wax. You can read about one of my favorite cheesemakers Gavin at Curd Nerd.
Here are some of our pics from Wisconsin this past year while visiting the cheese factory in Theresa Wisconsin.  

 A family owned business with wonderful cheeses. 

It was late afternoon when we arrived so not much cheese making going on at the moment but I love viewing the commercial scale cheese making equipment. 

Some pic on the board at the cheese factory from the past. 

This is one of our cheddar wheels that we made and dipped in wax. You need to put the date and the type of milk it came from and the type of the cheese on a sticker, card so you know what it is and how long it has aged.  You rotate it in the cheese cave once a week. I am forever checking the humidity and the temp so that rotation of wheels is never forgotten. When Skylar was here it became routine everyday to check the dehydrator, the cheese cave, the jars to see if they "popped" (sealed) daily and as well as the goat and chicken duties. Downstairs in my house we have a bird "Sonny" whom is a cockatiel, a beta fish, and a red eared slider turtle that we have had since I was pregnant with Cooper, which was 2006. We call him Mr. Turtle (I know how original)  the boys Colten, and Colby were 4 and 2 at the time and when we got the turtle it was on the side of the road in Florida. Mr. Turtle was the size of a quarter with his legs, now he is huge like the bottom of his shell is bigger than my hand. So the feeding of all these critters was in our routine and Skylar would remind me are we going to feed Mr. Turtle she didn't let me forget anyone......I miss that little helper!! 

Unwaxing the Farmhouse Cheddar 

Here the in the cheese making process this is after the rennet and the culture has been introduced to the milk where it now coagulates to create a curd. Look at how beautiful that curd is. 

cutting the curd 

The curds cut and some of the whey emerging from the curds 

The curds 

look at those wonderfully formed curds and all the wonderful whey emerging and ready to make bread and so many more things with the whey from lacto fermentation
Once again Tiffany shows you all the most excellent "whey's" to use Whey.
She already sums it up and my students ask me all the ways to use it well just read Tiffany's post and you have a lot more "whey's" 

Time to strain the curds and the whey 

Nice separation of curds and whey 

I had a video of Bruce pouring off the curds and whey but it was short an I didn't post but basically you have a cheese straining bag 
I added the video to show the pouring off the whey and catching the curds 

See the curds draining the whey off and starting to knit together 

You can see how the curds are now knitted together to make cheese 

Here the cheese is in the press I love my cheese press it drains In the sink a little whey with the pressure of the spring tension weights. It starts off with between 25-20 lbs. of pressure but this also depends on the type of cheese and how long the pressure stays. You do not need a cheese press to make this hard farmhouse cheddar you can use coffee can and bricks wrap the brick in a cellophane wrapping or a plastic bag. I had got my cheese press several years back on Valentine's Day 2015. I got the press at New England Cheesemaking on Valentine's Day they usually have a big sale. Which is "whey" cool :0) 

Note the red wax I splashed on the back of the sink one day, as you can see the whey draining out.

Here is some excellent instructions for you on the wax. 

See how awesome the farmhouse cheddar came out and oh soooo yummy 
I didn't color it with the annatto seeds. It didn't need to be colored in my opinion. 

 At my cheese making classes at Wine and Cake Hobbies in Norfolk Virginia which is coming up again soon in March. March 27, 2018 from 6-9pm you can find my class HERE they also offer a wide array of classes from wine making, cake classes, candy classes. beer making classes and other cake classes like fondant and decorative cake arts.
Here is the cheese getting dipped in the wax. 

Me at the store getting ready for the class 

This is a wheel of goat cheese that is aged we tasted this at the class it was a bit dry but yet very tasty and had a nice "too cheesy" taste Dusty calls extra sharp cheddar "too cheesy" which Bruce and I love that sharp cheddar cheese taste. 

Getting the tools ready for the class

This is the sign that was up in the store to advertise the class

You can order or pick up the supplies at the Wine and Cake Hobbies they have an excellent online store
Here is the cheese with one of our farm eggs oh my delish! 

Goat cheese with our strawberry jam and hot pepper jam now just add some crackers talk about yum! 

The goat cheese ready to go to the market perfect little curds of chevre  

The farmhouse cheddar wrapped in prosciutto and cooked in the cast iron skillet is like amazing and is one of our favorite snacks

Wanted to share the recent temps we have been having. Thank goodness for these warmer temps we are having today of 66 degrees. We lost some of our bees I do know that which is a very sad sad thing. I cried!!

A quick little easy peasy cake my aunt broke her shoulder and I have been taking her food and stuff and she loves cake. She is 68 years old. I took an orange box cake mix and use the juice of pineapple for the water crushed pineapple pieces and farm eggs mixed well and my aunt loved it. She is the would rather have a box cake or a store bought cake then a homemade cake. City girl! LOL 

I have been working in the greenhouse lately getting it ready while not taking care of my aunt who lives an hour away. The gourds are drying well from this past fall. 
See the snow on the ground. 

                             I have been water coloring at night and reading my books. 

I am loving how this mermaid came out I learned the mermaids from Jane Davenport in her class A Mermaid Circus some years back now. I learned well. 

Ledger update eating watermelon yep a true Gallop lol Alexis baby for sure!!! 

I hope you enjoyed some of my pics and happening around #9 Farms. I have to go now and do some bee checks since the weather is not raining now. I poured soap this morning after the boys left for school, finally a full day. Yesterday was a two hour delay and that was their first day back since December 19, 2017. They spent 3 weeks and 2 days home and when we got the call that tomorrow would be a regular school day Cooper says "Oh MAN" I was like rally it is time to return to reality Cooper. 
Stay Warm and "Whey Cool",
Dawn Gallop

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