Author Topic: H Hoffman Blog Article and Pictures on Making Parmigiano-Reggiano & Grana Padano  (Read 6151 times)

Offline chilipepper

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Interesting in the link you included it does say 'This mould was traditionally made of wood, but today is made of Teflon; it is tightened and pressed by a heavy disk, also in Teflon, so that the whey is drained and the cheese sets in its traditional round shape.'

I wonder how heavy that disk of Teflon is?  Obviously that and the tightening of the band itself is the only pressing that occurs. 

Great pictures..


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Offline Tea

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But then as (Carter I think) was saying the sheer weight of these rounds would certainly be pressure.  Those curds are certainly small so you wouldn't think that it would require too much pressure for them to knit together?

Thankyou very much Hoffman for your imput, it is certainly much appeciated.


Offline Cartierusm

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Henry Welcome and don't listen to Wayne he is an accomplished cheesemaker. All my recipes for Parmesan say at the end of cooking that the curds will be rice-sized too, but as everyone says the weight of these wheels might allow for it's own pressing. But "it is tightened and pressed by a heavy disk, also in Teflon" this might provide the pressure needed, the tightening of the side bands. I make those HDPE followers and HDPE is kind of like Teflon and the 10" x 1" round ones are a good 5 pounds. The ones in the pic are probably 20 pounds easy. Anyway, Henry thank you a lot for the pictures and information. I'm not sure if you're going to stay here but if you do I'm sure we'll all have a ton of questions.
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Anyway, one factor which I haven't seen mentioned in your queries on why the cheese doesn't need to be pressed is the issue of the curd size.  Both these cheeses have the curd cut really fine - they describe "rice-size" grains.  I though there was a picture showing that but when I checked it was not one of the ones I had put up.
He's showing how the curd pieces can be pressed together - you can see the size of the curd pieces on his right hand.
As far as I recall the finer the curd is cut, the less moisture is retained - so maybe that's why it doesn't need pressing - but I could be wrong as the theory is never easy to learn when you're not applying it.

I am so glad to hear what you have seen in practice.  I have said in previous posts that curd preparation was mostly responsible for the way the cheese is formed, not the amount of pressure applied.
So, there is no 'pressing' of Parmesan cheese?

Offline Tea

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Ok I nominate Beeman to make a parmesan without any pressing.  I was considering do this myself, but I am too used to packing and pressing the cheese into the moulds as I go, and I don't know whether I could resist doing so with the parmesan and just laddle them in.
Michael, who used to post here alot, said that he achieved a "rice curd" using a SS balloon whisk, so getting the curd small enough might take a bit of work, but should be do-able.
So what do you think Beeman?  I think this is worth the experiement to find out.


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Offline Cartierusm

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I wonder whether the curds are chopped up small in the beginning or the end, because as you know I make Parm #6 last week and my autostirrer chopped up everything to rice size right away and that led to really hard curds, with probably very little whey at all. Then again I did cook it for the regular time also expelling whey.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline chilipepper

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Carter, with your Brick cheese and small curd however, you pressed it correct?  Maybe it didn't need it... we definately need to do some experimenting here!

Offline Cartierusm

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True, but it would take a few days probably to compress itself into a dense enough wheel so that it wouldn't fall apart in the brine.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

beeman

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Carter, with your Brick cheese and small curd however, you pressed it correct?  Maybe it didn't need it... we definitely need to do some experimenting here!

I think Tea had a good observation when pointing out that the 'professionals' took the curds out of the pot and straight into the mould, there would be zero cooling. Perhaps the way we remove the curds makes a difference, ie. scooping out with a ladle, slowly or even draining before moulding.
All of the professionals take the curds out the same way, even the Swiss girl up the mountain, and again there is no sign of pressing equipment.
I would take up Tea's challenge, but am still getting my ducks in a row, certainly not up to a Parmesan yet.

Offline Tea

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Ok, if Beeman is not able to do this, is any one else willing to step up to the plate?
I really want to know whether this would work or not.


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Offline Wayne Harris

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I have little interest in this particular cheese,  but since my wife has asked about 15 times,  i feel making this would be a good strategic move. (Thinks about explaining the 100qt ss stockpot i am coveting...)

So, I will do this.
;)
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Tea

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Wayne!!  I can't believe you men at times ... really   ;)

Your wife must be easy to get around, as it would take more than 1 cheese for me to make up my mind.

Anyway, if you do end up doing this, there are a couple of things that I would like to see addressed.

Size is always going to be a draw back as we can't turn out 50kg wheels.  So I guess 1:  as large a batch as you can make (and no that is not an endorsement for the big stockpot).
2:  As small as possible with the curd size.
3:  Curd poured into the moulds with the whey (so curds are kept warm until the end)
4:  Curds divided into two moulds, one to be pressed as usual, and one not to be pressed, only by hand into the mould as seen in the video.

Does anyone else have any requests for the experiement?  Am I being too unrealistic?
Your thought please.

Offline Cartierusm

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I'll have to re-watch the video, because if they press by hand that still can equal a lot of pressure.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Tea

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mmm I hope I didn't get the video's mixed up.  One showed then heaving the cheese cloth from the vat directly into a large mould.  Then it shows them pressing/pushing the cheese into the mould by hand.  I assumed that so much cheese was supposed to fit in there, so it was manhandled and squished in until it all fit in.
Now I am going to have to go back and check. 

Offline chilipepper

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Holy Cr*p!! I stopped by the market to get some milk this evening and thought I would check out the cheese cooler to see if anythign changed since the last time I was there... and there it was actual Parmigiano-Reggiano.  We are talking in Dickinson, ND here... this is a good find and had to come a long way from Italy!







Wow what a treat!