Gorgonzola Dulce – 1st Make
Credit given to Tamara and Anutcanfly for the recipe and to Boofer related to his experience using a blue cheese slurry. This recipe is a homogenized version of the 2 very similar recipes as well as notes gleaned from the forum, here. I decided to use a buttermilk meso and yogurt thermo because I didn’t have the same cultures they listed and
I have also wanted to make a cheese using this method.
1 gallon HP milk and 1 gallon raw milk with 2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup meso from prepared buttermilk concoction
¼ cup thermo from prepared yogurt concoction
Slurry made from blue cheese ( ¼ cup)
CaCl2 - 1 tsp
Rennet as suggested by manufacturer. (1/2th tsp of single strength for 2 gallons)
Flocculation multiplier = 4? (may try 5 for a creamier texture)
Warm milk to 90F and then add buttermilk and yogurt cultures. Check pH (
. Let ripen for 60 minutes or pH of (A-.2). (beginning pH=6.7)(immediately upon adding the yogurt/buttermilk cultures the pH dropped to 6.6 probably due to the acidic nature of the buttermilk/yogurt cultures, ergo, will rennet once pH drops another .1 to 6.5)
Add rennet and wait for flocc (called for ½ tsp for 2 gallons, used a tad less than ½, got a 5 min flocc..due to using PH milk I decided to use a x6 multiplier)
Maintain heat at 90F. (condition of curds is not quite right…straight raw milk would, no doubt, be superior in terms of results)
Cut curds, based on flocculation, vertically into 1 inch squares and then “jiggle” for 5 minutes. (curds are a bit delicate for first stir after jiggle)
Let rest 5 minutes then stir and cut horizontally into 1 inch cubes. (increased heat to 95F trying to "help" the curds out)
Let rest 15 minutes (stir gently, briefly every 5 minutes during the rest). (I added another cycle of stir/rest which, along with the slightly higher heat seems to have firmed the curds up some)
Drain whey down to level of curds(1.5-2 quarts), stir 5 minutes and then let rest 15 minutes (stir gently, briefly every 5 minutes during the rest).
Stir gently and then drain curds in cloth lined colander. (massive yield…which probably means lots of moisture still left in curds)
Allow to drain for several minutes with a gentle stirring by hand…add slurry to curds immediately before filling mold or add while filling mold.
The curds can now be placed in the molds. They can be packed in more tightly around the edge to make a better surface for the cheese but the center should be quite loose to assure the proper openings for mold growth. I couldn't get the "tighter around the edge" procedure...but I am pretty sure I got a loose center.
It is quite important to keep the curds warm for the next several hours while the cultures continue to produce acid. I do this by placing the draining curds in a warm draining table with pans of hot water and an insulated cover and board to keep it all warm. You can easily do this by using a large insulated cooler with warm bottles of water. The target temp is 80-90F for the next 4-6 hours. I just used a cooler I had...placing hot water in the bottom with the cheeses raised above it.
Turn after 10-15 minutes and then hourly for 4 hours. Allow to drain overnight.
Once cheese is removed from form (the next morning) dry salt @ 2.5% by weight. pH in the morning: 4.5. Weight of gouda molded cheese: 1 lb. 10 ounces. Weight of cam molded cheese: 1 lb. 9 ounces. This is the current stage
Repeat daily for 2 days with ½ teaspoon salt over entire cheese. Cheese is now ready for the cave.
Affinage: 50F and 75-85% humidity for 2 weeks turning daily. Pierce at 2 weeks or when a nice growth of blue exists on rind. Pierce every ¾ to 1 inch. Cheese should be ready in 60-90 days. The make went well, except for the delicate curds early in the game...I didn't have that problem the last time I mixed raw and PH milk, but that may have been a factor. Once I extended the stirring/resting time they firmed up a bit and still had good moisture, so I shouldn't have a dryness issue. I got over 3 lbs of curds from 2 gallons of milk....we will see how much moisture is shed over the next few days. I have really high hopes for these babies I got lots of spaces on the outside of the cheeses, so I think I should have some spaces inside as well...and will be piercing in a couple of weeks or once the blue starts making a strong appearance. I am thinking that once that is done I will be trying to keep the rind a bit cleaner, rather than let the blue run rampant.
Edit: It also occurs to me that part of the "delicate curd" issue could be the use of Buttermilk and yogurt cultures.I didn't take pictures of the make itself...was babysitting my grandchildren and just didn't think about it until after everything was pretty much done...I did keep my notes updated at each stage, just didn't think about pics, so the pics below are from this morning, prior to and after salting. Today's project is shown in the last couple of pictures: Boiling jumbo peanuts! Salty peanutty goodness with a touch of cayenne!