Having tasted and really liked some curd from a yogurt-cultured Mozzerella - before stretching it - I decided to try to make a semi-hard, pressed cheese from those curds. After about 12 days of aging, this cheese was creamy in texture and has a good flavor. Now to come up with a name!
12/10/2009 Washed Curd Cheese
5 gallons whole, raw milk
2 cups yogurt
4 Junket Rennet tablets (dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water)
1/4 cup kosher salt
Warm milk to 100* Fahrenheit. Whisk yogurt with some warmed milk until smooth, then whisk into kettle of warmed milk. Allow to set 1 1/2 hours, maintaining temperature between 90-100* Fahrenheit .
Dissolve rennet in water, stir into cultured milk and wait for clean break (this batch took 2 hours). Maintain temperature between 90-100* Fahrenheit .
Cut curd into 1/2" pieces, stir gently and cut large curds. Let sit 15 minutes to heal.
Pour off whey, add one gallon cool water to rinse curds, then drain in colander. Allow curd to rest in colander for 2 hours.
Cut curd into 1 inch cubes, salt and pack into mold. Press at 30 lbs for 1 hour.
Turn, redress, and press at 60 lbs for 10 hours.
Turn, redress, and press at 120 lbs for 7 1/2 hours. The wheel still felt spongy, so I broke up the curd into approximately 1-2 inch chunks and put it back in the mold. The curd at this point was about the consistency of baked cheesecake. Pressed at 120 pounds for 5 hours.
Turned and redressed, pressed at 120 lbs for 18 hours.
As I used a sheeting cheesebag in my mold, the rind on this cheese was very smooth. It did not seem to be drying out too much, so I did not coat it with anything.
I cut into this cheese on 12/22/2009, so just 12 days after I started it, and was pleased with the flavor and texture. The cut pieces have been wrapped in waxed paper, then placed in a ziploc bag for storage.
I am starting a new batch today and plan on cutting the curd into slabs after the 2 hours in the colandar step, restacking them, and allowing it to sit for another two hours before milling and salting the curd. In the hopes of avoidign the spongy curd I had to deal with in the original batch.