Monday, August 29, 2011
This is such a gorgeous cheese, and smells amazing.
Emmental or Emmentaler is a cheese from Switzerland. It is sometimes known as Swiss cheese in North America, Australia and New Zealand, although Swiss cheese does not always imply Emmentaler.
The cheese originally comes from the Emme valley in the canton of Bern. Unlike some other cheese varieties, the denomination "Emmentaler" was not protected ("Emmentaler Switzerland" is, though). Hence, Emmentaler of other origin, especially from France and Bavaria, is widely available and even Finland is an exporter of Emmentaler cheese.
Emmentaler is a yellow, medium-hard cheese. Failure to remove CO2 bubbles during production, due to inconsistent pressing, results in the large holes ("eyes") characteristic of this cheese. Historically, the holes were a sign of imperfection, and until modern times, cheese makers would try to avoid them. It has a piquant, but not very sharp, taste. Three types of bacteria are used in the production of Emmentaler: Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus, and Propionibacterium freudenreichii. In the late stage of cheese production, P. freudenreichii consumes the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria, and releases carbon dioxide gas, which slowly forms the bubbles that make holes.
How do I make Emmental?
For this recipe, you'll need the following (This will make 6 lbs of cheese, and used 5 gallons of milk), you can simply do the math for a smaller batch:
- 5 Gallons milk (I used Dailyland 3.25%)
- 2 1/2 pkts (3/4 tsp)Thermophilic
- 3 tsp propronic Shermanii
- 1.5 tsp (1.5 tablets) rennet
- 1 1/4 tsp Calcium Chloride (if using store bought milk)
1) Heat milk to 90°F
2) Turn off heat. Add thermophilic. Mix well for 1 minute.
3) Add proprionic shermanii, mixing really well for 1 minute.
4) Cover and let sit for 10 minutes
5) Make sure milk is till at 90°F
6) Add rennet by diluting in 1/4 cup lukewarm water (distilled or bottled).
7) Add calcium chloride (if needed) and mix well for 1 minute. Top stir for another minute.
8) Cover and maintain at 90°F for 30 minutes.
9) Check for clean break. If no clean break, wait another 5-15 minutes until clean creak is acheived.
10) Cut the curd into 1/4 inch cubes using a whisk. Stir with whisk for 20 minutes.
11) Heat curds to 100°F over 30 minutes (no more than 1° every 5 minutes). Stir occassionally.
12) Heat curds to 114°F over 30 minutes (1° / 2 mins). Stir regularly.
13) Turn off heat. Let the curds sit for 5 minutes.
14) Pour off the whey into a colander with cheesecloth.
15) Put into a mold with cheese cloth. It's important to not let the curds cool, so move quickly.
16) Press @ 20lbs for 15 minutes.
17) Flip, press at 20 lbs for 30 minutes.
18) Flip, press for 10 hours at 20 lbs.
19) Put cheese in brine (2 lbs salt to 1 gallon water) for 24 hours.
20) Flip, place in brine again for 24 hours.
21) Remove from brine and pat dry.
22) Leave at room temp for 24 hours to dry. Flip regularly.
23) Place cheese in cave. Turn daily for 1 week, wiping the cheese with cheesecloth and brine (damp, not wet). This will help form a rind.
24) Place at room temp for 2-3 weeks for eyes to form. Wipe with a damp cloth (with brine -- damp, not wet). Cheese will begin to swell.
25) Place in cheese cave for at least 3 months.
Note that a reddish color may appear on the surface. Do not remove this.