Monday, October 31, 2011

Plan, based on period cheese making techniques, and Lancashire legend:

So here's my initial plan for a peri-oid cheddar. According to legend, Lancashire cheese was produced in small batches of curd over a period of days. Early on, they were just using "left over" milk to produce cheese, so they didn't have enough curd each day to produce a single cheese. So the left over milk each night was turned into curd, and then after 2-3 days, the accumulated curd was combined into a single cheese and pressed. Based on my reading of the two previously displayed sources, this will work out for me because they didn't seem to be heating the curd after the cutting phase, thus a lot of whey would be left in the curd. Because they're also not salting the curd, the whey will have even more reason to stay in the curd. Thus, leaving the curd to drain over night in a basket will give me the dryer curd that I want, while not utilizing any "new" techniques. Additionally, from my reading, it looks like the curd pressing in both descriptions took DAYS. So my curd accumulation process shouldn't deviate in an unheard of way from the known-to-me "traditional" methods. The one "uneasy" spot for me here is that I haven't seen anything about milling curd in period literature.

I think this will be something that I will try out during the work week, and then on the weekend, I'll try doing a straight up 3 lb batch where all the curd is pressed as a single group, rather than staggered.


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