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