Do­miati/white cheese

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Farmhouse Kitchen - JEAN MANS­FIELD is an avid cook, cheese­maker and dairy farmer, who teaches en­thu­si­as­tic be­gin­ner cheese­mak­ers, and is the author of How to Make Cheese. www.makecheese.co.nz

WARN­ING:

be­cause of the rea­son­ably high stor­age tem­per­a­ture of do­miati cheese, only use pas­teurised milk in this recipe.

i used

four pont lev­eque moulds (10cm square) and a cou­ple of plas­tic pickle pots to store it in. The cheese will drain down to about 4cm in height. Some­times it is made in a 12cm round mould – a camem­bert mould would be fine to use, or a fruit can with the top and bot­tom cut off.

In­gre­di­ents

4 litres milk: pas­teurised fresh milk, store

bought farm­house or dark blue top milk 175g plain salt (not iodised) ¼ tsp mesophilic starter OR 1 tbsp cul­tured

but­ter­milk (check a store-bought but­ter­milk has no preser­va­tives in it) ¼ tsp cal­cium chlo­ride 0.5ml Han­ni­lase ren­net OR

¼ tsp calf ren­net Cooled, boiled wa­ter

How to make

1 If you’re us­ing fresh milk, pas­teurise it be­fore you be­gin.

2 Heat the pas­teurised milk to 40˚C in a bain-marie over 10 min­utes. Add the salt and stir for about 30 sec­onds. It will dis­solve dur­ing the process of mak­ing the cheese.

3 Add the starter (I used Flora Danica) and stir for 30 sec­onds very slowly. Next add the cal­cium chlo­ride, di­luted in 1 tbsp of cooled, boiled wa­ter and stir for 30 sec­onds. Then add the ren­net dis­solved in 1 tbsp of cooled, boiled wa­ter and stir again for 30 sec­onds.

4 Place the ster­ilised lid on the pot and leave to set for two hours, main­tain­ing the tem­per­a­ture at 40˚C. Take it off the el­e­ment but you may need to add a cup of boil­ing hot wa­ter to the outer pot of the bain-marie if the milk tem­per­a­ture falls, and/or wrap the pot in thick tow­els.

5 Af­ter two hours, the curd should be firm enough to leave sharp edges when you do a test cut. If the cut edges are soft and floppy, leave the curd a fur­ther 30 min­utes, and check the tem­per­a­ture is at 40˚C and stays that way. Once sharp, cut the curd into 1cm cubes, then leave for 30 min­utes for the whey to rise to the sur­face.

6 Drain off about a third of the salted whey and re­serve it in a ster­ilised jug – put this in the fridge for later use.

7 Leave the pot to sit for an­other 30 min­utes, main­tain­ing the tem­per­a­ture at 40˚C. Stir it twice in this time, at the 10 minute and 20 minute marks.

8 Line the ster­ilised moulds with ster­ilised cheese­cloth and la­dle in the curds – you will get four 200g cheeses. The curds will sink rapidly, so I keep fill­ing each mould un­til they stop sink­ing. If you use larger, higher moulds (18-20cm round) you can fill them, then leave them to sink on their own.

9 Leave the curd to drain for 4 hours without a weight on top.

10 Place a fol­lower on top of the curd, then a 250g weight (a jam jar filled with wa­ter with a tight fit­ting lid will work) and leave to drain overnight or for a fur­ther 12 hours.

11 The curd will be firm enough to han­dle now. Re­move from the moulds and leave the cheeses on drain­ing mats in the fridge to drain for a fur­ther 24 hours.

12 Place the formed cheeses into a con­tainer and cover with the re­served salted whey from Step 6. Place a lid on the con­tainer and re­frig­er­ate for four weeks, or in a cool place (1015˚C). The cheese will keep for up to four months but will get stronger in taste as it gets older. You can vac­uum pack it in­stead of plac­ing it in the whey but the cheese will not be as salty.

It’s un­usual to find a cheese where you add salt to the milk.

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