This is a generic recipe for making Manchego. Manchego is a sheep’s milk cheese that originates from the La Mancha plains region south of Madrid in central Spain made famous for its windmills, as the setting for the novel Don Quixote de La Mancha and for Manchego cheese! This recipe uses more readily available but milder cow’s milk, to compensate, Lipase is added to produce a stronger aroma and flavour.
- 3.8 liters/1 US gallon whole Cow’s Milk.
- Optional: 2.5 ml/1/2 teaspoon Calcium Chloride.
- 1.25 ml/1/4 teaspoon Mesophilic 2 Culture.
- 1.25 ml/1/4 teaspoon Thermophilic B Culture.
- 1.25 ml/1/4 teaspoon Lipase Powder.
- Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup/50 ml water, amount depending on package directions and your experience with that brand.
- Salt for brine.
- Optional: Olive oil or wax or vacuum bag for aging.
- Warm milk to 30 C/86 F and place in stockpot on stove.
- Dissolve or dilute the calcium chloride in ~50 ml/1/4 cup, stir in.
- Dissolve the Mesophilic culture in ~50 ml/1/4 cup water, stir, add Thermophilic culture, stir.
- Add culture water to milk, stir gently, cover and set aside to ripen for 45 minutes.
- In advance, dissolve the lipase powder in ~50 ml/1/4 cup water, let stand for 20 minutes, then add to milk after ripened and stir gently for 1 minute.
- Dissolve or dilute the rennet in ~50 ml/1/4 cup water, add to milk and stir gently for 1 minute, cover and let rest at 30 C/86 F.
- After ~1 hour, when curd is formed and have clean break, cut curds as normal.
- Cut the curds into rice-size pieces by stirring with a whisk.
- Gently heat the curds to 40 C/104 F at a rate of ~1 C/2 F every five minutes, this will take ~45 minutes, stir occasionally & gently with ladle while heating to keep curds from matting.
- Let the curds settle for 5 minutes, then pour off excess whey.
- Moisten a piece of nylon netting or cheesecloth large enough to double line your mold/hoop. Hand wring dryish then double line the mold/hoop.
- Ladle curds into the mold/hoop, and press at light ~7 kg/15 lb pressure for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cheese from the press, flip and replace and press at same ~7 kg/15 lb pressure for second 15 minutes
- Repeat above step for 3rd 15 minutes.
- Repeat and press with ~15 kg/33 lbs for 6 hours.
- Unwrap and float cheese in saturated brine for 6 hours at 10-12 C/50-55 F, turn every 1-2 hours to ensure even rind development.
- Remove cheese, pat dry, place on mat and age at 10-12 C/50-55 F and ~80-85% humidity “cheese cave” for ~1 week, turn once per day. If mould spots appear, scrub off with brush and brine or white vinegar.
- When surface is dry, rub with olive oil or coat with wax or seal in vacuum bag and replace in “cheese cave” to age.
- Cheese is ready after 1 month or longer.