I hadn't really intended to make cheese this week, but something drove me to redo a favorite recipe with pasteurized & homogenized supermarket industrial milk. For the past year or two I have been using either creamline or raw (or both) in my makes. The curd behavior and set as well as the end product have been very rewarding, delicious, and consistent.
The makes using creamline or raw milk have been almost "cookie-cutter" in predictability and ease of use.
The make today was nothing like my previous efforts (#1
). The floc was 20 minutes. I used a 3X factor just as before. After an additional 40 minutes, I cut the curds. They seemed fairly delicate at that point. I rested them for 10 minutes. The "shattered curds" pic shows them in the 2 o'clock position when I had just started to whisk to smaller curds. I rested them again at that point for 30 minutes to try to firm them up.
I proceeded to whisk gently to reduce the weak curds in size. Several times I wondered whether I should just dump the mess. I was disappointed, deflated, and really surprised that the change in milk had brought such a dramatic and unexpected result. I pondered dumping the kettle down the drain and driving over to pick up some of my "regular", quality
milk. I decided to see this experiment through and try to be objective in my observations and conclusions.
I normally perform a curd texture test while cooking to see whether the curds will stick together when squeezed but still fall away from each other fairly easily. This test resulted in no joy
. The shattered curds simply refused to do the customary bonding to one another. Matting?...yeah, not happening.
Make started 10/10/13 0600hrs
Initial pH: 6.70
1/8 tsp TA-61
1/8 tsp Alp D
1 tsp CACL diluted with 1/4 cup distilled water
1/16 tsp Renco dry calf rennet, dissolved in 1/4 cup distilled water
Pressed the four Reblochon moulds with 15 lbs for 30 minutes (open air, not in kettle, not under warm whey)
Redressed, pressed with 25 lbs for 30 minutes
Redressed, pressed with 25 lbs for 60 minutes
At pH 5.44, removed from pressing and brined for 2 hours, then flipped and brined for 2 more hours.
Removed the wheels from the whey-brine, dried them with paper towels, moved them to their minicaves to dry at room temperature for a day or two.
The snowy whiteness of this milk reminded me of other weak-character products:
- germ-less, bleached white flour
- bland white rice
- no-character white sugar
The stark white characteristic of the industrial cow milk stands out as downright clinical when compared to warmer, cream-hued creamline milk and slightly yellow, rich raw milk.
I do not know what I have created today. My guidance for acceptable cheeses to attempt with supermarket industrial milk was for no long-term cheeses. With that in mind, I decided on a semisoft cheese that would be consumable within a couple months.