Author Topic: Bitto  (Read 1187 times)

Online JeffHamm

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Bitto
« on: March 08, 2014, 01:10:13 AM »
I had a look through this board and found an old make by Deejay Debbie, Bitto, which looked interesting.  I've been thinking of trying something new, and I was thinking of something with lipase.  Since this is a mix of cow's milk and goat's milk, and I don't have goat's milk, then I figure I can add lipase and pretend (ok, I know the end result isn't the same, but I'm looking for an excuse here, work with me people!)

Anyway, here's the intended protocol, adapted a bit from Deejay's original post to fit what I've got:

Bitto  (Deejay adapted this from cheese descriptions)
a firm and tasty cheese, with a slightly granular texture. It can be served lightly grilled, which softens the texture and adds wonderful toasty flavours to it.

11 L cows milk (8 HomeBrand Standard + 3 HB Light blue top gives me : 1.16:1 p:f ratio)
¼ tsp CaCl2 in egg cup non-chlorinated water
( add 10 to 20% goats milk, or 1/16th tsp calf lipase)
1/4 teaspoon TM 81
(I’ll use 2 cubes Strep.Therm + 1/10 tsp LH100) Ended up using 2 tbls fresh mother culture of Strep.Therm.
1/20th  teaspoon Proprioni bacteria
1.6 ml 280 IMCU strength calves rennet (to get floc in 10 -15 minute range)
6.25”  diameter tomme mould

Deejay’s note: should probably have used Lactococcus Bulgaricus but I didn’t have any.  TM81 contains : (ST) Streptococcus thermophilus and
(LBB) Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

1)   Add CaCl2 to milk while setting up
2)   Add starter and lipase
3)   Warm milk 47.8-48.9 C  (?48.4 C)
4)   Ripen for 35 minutes. (9:01 - 9:36)
5)   Add rennet (9:37:15 – floc time 9:47:45 - 10m 30s 2.5x Floc - 26m 15s – cut at 10:03:30) NOTE: while this seems precise, I only just checked it at 9:47:30, and it had set already!  Seems to have set hard too.  So, probably floc’d much earlier, but I don’t know when.  Next time need to cut rennet down to 1.3 maybe?  Higher temp and acidity, etc, changes rennet action)
6)   Cut to ½ cm cubes, then to the size of rice (plunge whisk straight down and out through cubes; 10:08  )
7)   Slow raise tempertature to 52.8 C over  45 minutes. (10:12 - 10:57 45.8C – 51.8C – reached 522.8 at 11:05)
8)   Remove from heat and stir constantly for 15 minutes (11:08 – 11:15 : due to late temp reach, cut this short as I was stirring while heat rise)
9)   Drain whey, move curds in cloth to mould
10)   Press in the pot (10 kg for 30 min 11:25 - 11:55; 0.72 PSI)
11)   Press in the pot (15 kg for 30 min 11:55 - 12:30 ; 1.08 PSI)
12)   Press in the pot (20 kg for 30 min 12:30 - 1:00 ; 1.43 PSI)
13)   Press over night (35.2 kg 1:00 - ??:?? ; 2.53 PSI)
14)   The cheeses are dry salted every 2 or 3 days for 3 or 4 weeks. (or brine 1 hour per lbs per inch of height; i.e. a 2 lbs cheese, 2 inches tall, brines for 4 hours)
15)   Mature for at least 70 days but may be aged up to 10 years.


Just updating the notes as I've started the pressing.  This is a very straightforward to make cheese, and with it going in the mould in under 3 hours once the milk is to temp, it's a pretty quick make too.  I was thinking I might brine it, but have decided to go with the described salting (probably will only need to do this for two weeks though, as this is a smaller cheese).  - actually, as I've found out that brining is acceptable, I'll go with brining as I've done that lots.

Given that the milk clearly floc'd well before 10 minutes, this one will have retained more whey than usual.  However, given the fact that this is cut so small, and cooked quite hot relative to meso type cheeses, I'm thinking that may not be as big an impact.  But, to be on the safe side, I'll not age this one the full 10 years!  I was looking for a shorter term table cheese, so will go for a young one in the 3 to 4 year range! :)

Update at 6:31 pm, during the press: The knit has been fantastic since very early on.  The small curd size from the whisk, plus the high temperature of cooking, has really expelled the whey.  The size of the cheese is much smaller than my meso makes, and the stack of weights is nearly touching the top of the mould (image included below).  Quite possibly, at some point during the night, the pressing weight will revert to 5kg, or 0.36 PSI.  I've flipped it a few times.  The cloth is sticking to the cheese a bit, more tacky than sticky.  Hopefully it won't be stuck in the morning. 

Here's the "heat rise" chart.  Pretty good, though I was 1 C below target at the end of the time period.  I just kept raising the temp and shorted the "keep stirring off the heat" time that followed. 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 02:40:44 AM by JeffHamm »
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 06:34:21 AM »
Cool!!!!  good luck!  Which end of the ripening spectrum of 70 days to 10 years are you planning on for opening this cheese?   :)

Offline Spoons

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 10:22:05 AM »
I've never heard of bitto cheese up until now. I googled it, it's quite a rare italian cheese.

Since this is a mix of cow's milk and goat's milk, and I don't have goat's milk, then I figure I can add lipase and pretend (ok, I know the end result isn't the same, but I'm looking for an excuse here, work with me people!)

The true nature of a home-cheesemaker, improvise! Love it!

Good luck with your make. Anxious to see the results (10 years?) lol.
- Eric

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 04:39:19 PM »
Hi Tiarella,

Will be aging this a few months, 3 maybe 4 I think.  I wanted a table cheese with lipase, and this seemed to fit the bill. 

Hi Spoons,

Yah, I hadn't heard of it either, but found Deejay Debbie's thread on it so thought I would give it a go.  Her makes are usually very good, so I'm hoping it all has gone to plan.  Seems to so far.

- Jeff
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 06:27:11 PM »
I found this information on Bitto Cheese at http://www.bittocheese.com/bitto_cheese_production_English.html  Based upon it, I would rennet at a slightly cooler temperature, but other than that, we're looking good I think.

Bitto cheese has remote origins which are rooted in the Alpine area of Valli del Bitto di Albaredo and Gerola, right in the heart of the Parco delle Orobie Valtellinesi. In year 2000 it was awarded the certificate of Appéllation d'Origin Protégée by the European Community.
It is fat, middle-hard, middle-ripe, Alp cheese. Its cylindrical cheeses are 40-50 cm in diameter, 9-12 cm high and weigh from 9 to 20 kg. Its colour varies from white to straw-yellow according to ripe.

The producing process covers a period of 4 months - from the 1st June to the 30th September - and fully respects the tradition and the environment.

Cow's milk is immediately added to goat's (10-20 % compulsory; Orobic breed risking extinction) and then poured into the traditional coppers whose form is that of an overturned bell. Here it warms up by wood fire till a temperature of 35-37°C. Calf's curd (sic: I assume this should read calf's rennet?) is added to it and the mixture obtained is then broken up thinly. Within two hours it is warmed to its final temperature of 50-52°C. Once removed from the copper, this mixture is placed into wooden containers, which give it its typical concave shape. The Producers of "Valli del Bitto" chooses containers in wood, as the porosity and transpirability of this material allow the cheese to breathe and dry during the stage of resting and dry-salting.
Moreover these traditional wooden tools are essential to preserve the typical features of this cheese, which change according only to the different pastures in which it is produced. The micro flora characterizing each pasture creates a barrier against micro-organisms which might damage the product. Cheese starts to ripen in the so called Alpine "casera", a rural small hut not far from the pasture, and finishes in the factories down in the valley. This process lasts for at least 70 days but this cheese can ripen for several years without organoleptic and structural features being altered. After one year the product can be grated and served as condiment.

Ah, and here http://bigcheesestories.blogspot.co.nz/2005/10/in-search-of-bitto.html it is mentioned that the cheese can be brined ; so I'll probably go that route as I'm used to it.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 06:33:45 PM by JeffHamm »
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 12:02:53 PM »
Ok,

so, as expected the weights ended up settling on the top of the mould.  Oh well, still have a fantastic knit.  It's 15.7 x 5.5 cm, and 1264g, for a density of 1.19 g/cm3, which is very dense compared to the meso makes, reflecting the additional whey expulsion of the make.  It's now in the brine for 6 hours.  Should be ready in a couple months, we hope.

- Jeff
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Re: Bitto
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 01:25:32 PM »
Nice looking beast. A cheese for you!

The idea of a softer cheese with lipase is intriguing.

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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2014, 03:10:58 PM »
Yah, I'm hoping this will be a decent table cheese.  Notice I've cut the lipase way back, to 1/16th of a tsp rather than 1/4.  I find with 1/4 tsp it's great for a hard grating cheese (great for grate!) but a bit much for just nibbling on.  I just want something a bit sharp, but not overpowering.  This is my first attempt.  I'm expecting it will be firm, but not hard, at 3 or 4 months.

Oh, and the proprioni shermanii strain that I have is a low gas version, so it shouldn't create eyes.  This doesn't call for a warm phase, so I won't give it one, so I may not get much action from the PS.  Will see. 

Thanks for the cheese!

- Jeff
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 09:01:46 AM »
Alright, Jeff! Out there all alone in the new cheese style wilderness! 8)

Dunlop, Lancashire, Caerphilly, Derby, Wensleydale among others.... and now...Bitto!

Going where no other hobby artisan cheesemaker has gone before...like Pathfinders from the past.

Thank you for delving into these cheeses and giving us all a sense of direction if we ever get lost in our cheesemaking revelry. A cheese to you, Jeff, for leading the way!

As a special treat, I shall cut the cheese today in honor of you. ;)

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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 12:41:34 PM »
Hi,

Thanks Boofer, but I'm just following in Deejay's footsteps.  She posted her make a few years ago (it's on this board, way back in the first or second page.  I modified a few bits here and there where I had to, or based upon my experience and what suits my tastes, etc.  So, while I'm taking a road less traveled, it is not a road untraveled. :)

- Jeff+
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 09:48:18 PM »
Gave this the sniff test this morning.  Oh it will be hard to resist and get this aged out to 4 months!  Has a very wonderful aroma.  Still very dairyish (if that's a word - if not it should be) so not a strong lipase smell.  That's good because I want the lipase to be more hinted at than argumentative.  It will get stronger as it ages (lipase takes time for the enzyme to do its work), but on my other lipase cheeses it was always in your face by this point.  I also have to make room in the cave for it! 

- Jeff
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 10:04:56 PM »
A beautiful cheese and a cheese to you for bringing back an old, but great, recipe. ;D

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Re: Bitto
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2014, 12:03:06 AM »
Thanks Al!  It's been moved to the cave today.  Weighs in at 1142g after a few days air drying. Rind is nicely dry, has a great aroma.  I'm hoping this continues to live up to its promising start.  :)

- Jeff
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Re: Bitto
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2014, 02:41:35 PM »
This has been pretty trouble free, but a few tiny spots of blue mould have shown up.  So yesterday morning I sprinkled one face with salt, then in the evening before flipping I rubbed the brine and salt around that face, flipped, and sprinkled the other face with salt.  This morning, I rubbed the 2nd face's brine and salt into the cheese as best I could.  Once the rind is dried up again, I'll probably give it a bit of a wipe with extra virgin olive oil to help toughen up the outter rind.  Don't want this one getting mouldy.

- Jeff
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Re: Bitto
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2014, 05:17:57 PM »
Do you have the make instructions with goats milk?

I may be coming into some goats milk tomorrow. Turns out there's a vendor at the Seaport Farmers market here in Halifax....
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