Author Topic: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?  (Read 1376 times)

Offline meyerandray

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Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« on: March 14, 2013, 12:34:08 PM »
In almost every recipe I have seen, they tell you to put the curds in a cloth-lined mold.  Why is that?  I have a mold with little holes, so the whey gets out, I am assuming there must be a reason though.  I would like to avoid the creases that the cloth tends to create on one side of my form, although it isn't a big deal.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 01:32:45 PM »
All cheese needs a skin. Like humans, all wheels have skins. Now that skin can be in the form of a mold, like camembert. Or it can be in the form of a bacterial blend, like limburger. Or it can be something mixed and complex, which forms the majority of traditional cheeses. It can also be synthetic.. plastic bag or wax.

If you do not embed the cloth and smooth the surface, there are cracks going into the cheese. For bacterial and mixed rind types, when the species go into the cracks, they will generally create unwanted flavors inside the cheese. So you have to create the skin properly, which takes cloth (or a microperf or special mold)
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Offline meyerandray

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 02:06:18 PM »
Thank you linuxboy, that is a great answer, and I will be even more careful in smoothing the surface of my forms from now on!

Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 08:32:42 PM »
Unless, by "little holes", you mean microperforations of a very fine built-in mesh liner, the little holes are not enough for whey to drain out. The pressure from pressing the cheese in the mold would quickly plug the holes with curd, blocking the escape route for whey. What cheesecloth does in the press is continuously wick whey from the curd out to the holes, allowing it to escape.

Re: the wrinkles and creases in the finished cheese, something you could try is, after the many hours of pressing to expel the residual whey, you could briefly return the cheese to the mold without the cheesecloth, and press - this will help smooth out the wrinkles in all but the hardest of cheeses. Though instead you may produce little buttons where the curd began to push through the holes, but you could knock these off after the cheese dries a bit. Alternatively, after pressing, remove from the press and place the wrinkly side on a cutting board, with another board on top, and a bit of weight. This will help to better flatten top and/or bottom. It may also produce a bit of curve to the sides.

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 10:05:29 PM »
not really knowing, my thought is the cheese cloth wicks out whey to the holes in the mould to help in draining, also holds the new cheese together
other more knowledgeable persons will have to jump in here  :-[
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Offline meyerandray

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2013, 09:32:39 AM »
WovenMeadows, I have started putting the cheese back in the mold after it has finished pressing like you suggested to get rid of the creases.  I don't mind the little buttons.  Thanks for the great response, it is very logical, but I just wasn't getting there on my own!

Offline Susan

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 06:16:30 AM »
I used to worry about that too and wonder how everyone got those smooth wheels.  But with time, those creases and 'buttons' go away.  None of the cheeses in my cave have them.  I guess as they dry and age things just smooth out.  It may not be necessary to go to extra trouble (such as putting it back in the press without the cloth).  Good luck!
Susan

Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 07:45:08 AM »
On my softer pressed cheeses, like washed-curds and tommes, the creases tend to level out my themselves. On my harder types, like cheddars and alpines, they may still be present throughout. So now I try and level it out a bit right out of the press.

Offline BobE102330

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 08:34:59 AM »
WovenMeadows, I have started putting the cheese back in the mold after it has finished pressing like you suggested to get rid of the creases.  I don't mind the little buttons.  Thanks for the great response, it is very logical, but I just wasn't getting there on my own!

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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 11:54:53 AM »
Get rid of the creases and other flaws by frequently flipping the cheese, especially during the early stages of pressing.
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Offline muffin

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 12:16:42 PM »
HOW can I press hard cheeses like Cheddar, and avoid having the cheesecloth imbedd in the cheese? I have never been able to get this part right...

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 12:43:29 PM »
Answers already posted. Flip often, get the pH down, and pre-press make sure the moisture level is correct (37-39).
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Why do we have to line the molds with cheesecloth?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 04:57:48 PM »
If the creases happen on the top you can switch to my method.  I line the mold with the cheese cloth, fill with curds (making sure to work them around to fully fill the mold), and then instead of folding a piece of the cheesecloth over before I put the follower in, O take a separate piece of cloth and wrap the follower in that.  or, I could describe it slightly differently : I put a second piece of cloth over the mold and press it down onto the top of the cheese until it's smoothly clothed and then position the follower.  Hope this makes sense. Someday I'll take photos of it.