Author Topic: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?  (Read 4702 times)

webster37

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Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« on: October 20, 2009, 09:01:00 AM »
Kasseri is semi-hard with a unique, unmistakable flavor and buttery, pleasant texture.
Does anyone have relevant processing informaiton?


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 10:17:24 PM »
Hope this helps - I haven't tried it yet!

Kasseri is a little known treasure of Greece. The real thing is made of unpasteurized sheep’s milk with very little, if any, goats’ milk mixed in. It is a relatively soft textured hard-rind cheese similar in texture to aged cheddar. It belongs to the pasta filata family of cheeses, meaning that it incorporates long filaments of cheese. Provolone is a well-known member of this group.

The use of very fresh unpasteurized milk is necessary to obtain the correct flavor and texture. Traditional Kasseri is made with natural rennet which is an important contributor to the characteristic full flavor.

The curd is formed at 34-36 degrees Celsius and the amount of rennet used is adjusted to obtain a firm curd in about 35 minutes.
How fine the curd is cut depends on the butterfat content of the milk, with finer grains being used when the butterfat is high. The cut curd is allowed to rest for five to ten minutes and then is heated to 37-40C while being continuously stirred. Once this higher temperature is reached, the curd is allowed to rest for another 10 minutes.

The drained curd is then transferred by wet cheesecloth to a working surface where it is rolled by hand to eliminate any lumps. The cheesecloth is then tied up and then the mass is weighted down to drain additional whey. The weight is gradually increased until it is equal to that of the cheese being pressed. During this phase, the lactose in the curd is transformed to lactic acid, increasing the acidity of the curd while the casein is also undergoing important changes. When this "ripening" is complete, the mass of cheese is homogeneous and malleable.

The time required depends on the quality of the milk and the temperature of the environment. If the milk is acidic and the environment warm, the ripening is completed in 7-8 hours, but if the milk is fresh and the environment cool, the process may take 24 hours. Determining that "ripening" is optimum is a crucial decision the cheese maker must make.
 
He usually takes small pieces from several points on the cheese mass and kneads them after dipping them in warm water (70-80C). If these test pieces can form a filament at least a meter long, the process is complete. If the mass hasn’t fully ripened, it will be hard to knead, it will form many creases within the cheese head, scars will form at various contact points within the mold and it will not absorb salt properly. This is a recipe for an inferior quality cheese. If ripening proceeds beyond the optimum, then the mass is not cohesive, breaks occur during kneading and the cheese acquires a deep yellow color and a hard texture with many cracks and holes. These are obviously serious defects.
 
The optimally ripened mass is cut into uniformly thin slices which are placed in warm water at 70-80C in a special basket. With adroit handling of the basket and tossing of the cheese mass, the cheese maker manages to knead it. Again, a great deal of skill and good judgment must guide the kneading process. The kneading is complete when the mass has the proper texture and elastic behavior.
 
The mass of the cheese at this point. The cheese is taken out of the molds after two It is then subdivided into pieces suitable for the size head being produced which, in turn, are placed in metal molds. The molds are flipped top to bottom five or six times, every 15 minutes to begin with and less frequently as the cheese cools. The flipping process must be performed with care to avoid disturbing or three days, once it’s determined that it will hold its shape.

Salting is external and begins the day after the cheeses are made using medium size salt grains. There will be 12-14 saltings during the first 4 days with every flipping of the cheese heads. The cheese heads are stacked on top of each other after salting; in the beginning two at a time, then three and so on until a stack of 6 is made. With every salting, the position of the cheese heads in the stack is changed. When salting is completed, the cheeses are washed with warm water (40-50C), brushed with a soft brush and rinsed with cold water and placed on racks to dry. The wheels are then placed in a cooler environment, 18C, where they complete their aging. Aging of at least four months is required for the proper development of flavor, but Kasseri is best after ten to twelve months.

Aged heads of Kasseri have a hard rind which develops a coating of mold in the aging rooms. This growth is part of the natural aging process and it is brushed off with brine prior to presentation. Kasseri is one of the best examples of the wonderful aromas inherent in sheep’s milk and, when made the traditional way, it develops very complex and rich flavors. Eaten by itself, as the equivalent of the school lunch koulouri, it can be a delight, but it’s also a wonderful cheese to use in fillings as well as a true saganaki.

The cheese making technique described above is an art form still used in Thessaly, where the best Kasseri is produced.
 

Offline Tea

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 02:58:01 PM »
Thanks for that Debi, that sounds an interesting recipe.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009, 09:37:12 PM »
I have decided I won't live long enough to try making all the cheeses that are out there! Man they are endless!

Offline Tea

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 02:41:56 PM »
Well maybe you could try half and I could try the other half.  ;D


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 03:09:43 PM »
Now that's teamwork Tea! You go girl!

webster37

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 01:46:19 AM »
Thanks so much,Debi,your website is very nice.
I reedit the Kaseri recipe you posted,any valuable coments will be appreciated.
Meanwhile I am  confused by several questions,please see the belowing red letter.

Kasseri is a little known treasure of Greece. The real thing is made of unpasteurized sheep’s milk with very little, if any, goats’ milk mixed in. It is a relatively soft textured hard-rind cheese similar in texture to aged cheddar. It belongs to the pasta filata family of cheeses, meaning that it incorporates long filaments of cheese. Provolone is a well-known member of this group.

1.The raw milk
It is made of unpasteurized sheep milk or a blend of sheep and goat milk, the latter not exceeding 20% in weight.The use of very fresh unpasteurized milk is necessary to obtain the correct flavor and texture.

---I have no idea whether the unpasteurized milk is selected in the present kasseri process?If yes, how could be guaranted edible safety 

2.Add the rennet
The temperature was elevated to 34-35° C.A mixed lactic-acid bacillus starter, 0.016% rennet and 0.02% calcium chloride aqueous solution were added.The mixture was allowed to stand for about 35 minutes to form a curd (rennetting step).

---You know,normally,how much starter should be added?

3.The cooking step
The cut curd is allowed to rest for five to ten minutes and then is heated to 37-40C while being continuously and slowly stirred so as not to crush the curd particles.Once this higher temperature is reached, the curd is allowed to rest for another 10 minutes.

4.Drain the whey
The drained curd is then transferred by wet cheesecloth to a working surface where it is rolled by hand to eliminate any lumps. The cheesecloth is then tied up and then the mass is weighted down to drain additional whey. The weight is gradually increased until it is equal to that of the cheese being pressed.During this phase, the lactose in the curd is transformed to lactic acid, increasing the acidity of the curd while the casein is also undergoing important changes. When this "ripening" is complete, the mass of cheese is homogeneous and malleable.

Could anybody explain why the lactose is transformed to lactic acid in this step?

What's the optimal "ripening" time?
The time required depends on the quality of the milk and the temperature of the environment. If the milk is acidic and the environment warm, the ripening is completed in 7-8 hours, but if the milk is fresh and the environment cool, the process may take 24 hours. Determining that "ripening" is optimum is a crucial decision the cheese maker must make.

He usually takes small pieces from several points on the cheese mass and kneads them after dipping them in warm water (70-80C).
*If these test pieces can form a filament at least a meter long, the process is complete.
*If the mass hasn’t fully ripened, it will be hard to knead, it will form many creases within the cheese head, scars will form at various contact points within the mold and it will not absorb salt properly. 
*If ripening proceeds beyond the optimum, then the mass is not cohesive, breaks occur during kneading and the cheese acquires a deep yellow color and a hard texture with many cracks and holes. These are obviously serious defects.

5.Cut the curd
The optimally ripened mass is cut into uniformly thin slices which are placed in warm water at 70-80C in a special basket. With adroit handling of the basket and tossing of the cheese mass, the cheese maker manages to knead it. Again, a great deal of skill and good judgment must guide the kneading process. The kneading is complete when the mass has the proper texture and elastic behavior.

Anyone could offer more information about "kneading process"?

6.Case to the mold and overturn
The mass of the cheese at this point. The cheese is taken out of the molds after two ???hour???It is then subdivided into pieces suitable for the size head being produced which, in turn, are placed in metal molds. The molds are flipped top to bottom five or six times, every 15 minutes to begin with and less frequently as the cheese cools.

Attention:The flipping process must be performed with care to avoid disturbing or three days, once it’s determined that it will hold its shape.

7.Salinization
Salting is external and begins the day after the cheeses are made using medium size salt grains.

There will be 12-14 saltings during the first 4 days with every flipping of the cheese heads. The cheese heads are stacked on top of each other after salting; in the beginning two at a time, then three and so on until a stack of 6 is made. With every salting, the position of the cheese heads in the stack is changed.

8.After ripening
When salting is completed, the cheeses are washed with warm water (40-50C), brushed with a soft brush and rinsed with cold water and placed on racks to dry. The wheels are then placed in a cooler environment, 18C, where they complete their aging. Aging of at least four months is required for the proper development of flavor, but Kasseri is best after ten to twelve months.

Aged heads of Kasseri have a hard rind which develops a coating of mold in the aging rooms. This growth is part of the natural aging process and it is brushed off with brine prior to presentation.

Kasseri is one of the best examples of the wonderful aromas inherent in sheep’s milk and, when made the traditional way, it develops very complex and rich flavors. Eaten by itself, as the equivalent of the school lunch koulouri, it can be a delight, but it’s also a wonderful cheese to use in fillings as well as a true saganaki.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 06:51:46 AM »
webster37

I'll also try to help:
  • DeejayDebi has posted the traditional recipe using raw milk. Many members use raw milk as they have ready access from their own animals and as it gives more character to the cheese. But raw milk brings many health concerns thus most cheese manufacturers and many members here use pasteurized milk, either they pasteurize their own raw milk from their animals or they buy from grocery store like I do. If you buy your milk from store then ensure it is not Ultra-Pasteurized or UHT, more info here.
  • Amount of starter culture depends on the starter type you are using, more info here. Most people use manufactured freeze dried starter cultures or Buttermilk for Meso or Yogurt for Thermo. The recipe/procedure that DeejayDebi posted calls I think for a mixed Mesophilic & Thermophilic starter. If you don't have access to freeze dried then best to use those recipes for Meso & Thermo starters.
  • Lactose to Lactic Acid. This starts not in the Draining Step but from the point of adding your starter culture(s). Some info here.
  • If you read other Threads in this Pasta Filata Board you should be able to get some ideas on kneading. Mrs KK's Mozzarella method is very popular. Also, there are some videos on kneading a different cheese Caciovallo, here.
  • 2 what? I don't know, could be hours, could be turns. Looks like the recipe is for a large volume of cheese, basically after creating the cheese, you are placing in a hoop/mold to form it's final shape, which for this type of cheese is more about visual appearance than the cheese's flavour & texture.

Good luck, hope to read and see your results. If you are new to cheese making then I'd recommend trying and perfecting Mozzarella making first as there are many posts and help about that and then switch to making Kasseri . . . John.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 09:30:25 PM »
Here they are probably making a form of mozzarella but the process of kneading and stretching is similar.

Cheese making in southern Italy
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 09:35:48 PM by DeejayDebi »

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2009, 07:43:59 AM »
I was in local Eastern Mediteranean Grocery Store in West Houston USA and took these pictures of Kasseri cheeses . . .


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2009, 07:52:11 AM »
Last photos . . .
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 08:18:34 AM by John (CH) »

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 11:16:57 PM »
Man that place has everything!

webster37

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Re: Kasseri Cheese Making Recipe?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2009, 07:34:10 AM »
Hi John,Thanks for your detailed reply,Good cheese guider!!! ;)