As I mentioned in a previous post, I have worked on a Semi-Lactic Cheese that has the nickname of “Secret Squirrel” and this is its story.
First off I feel I should explain what a Lactic or Semi-Lactic cheeses are, they are cheeses that are mainly coagulated (curd formed) with the build up of lactic acid and minimal rennet. They primarily involve using a long acidification (18 to 24 hours) and a long draining (usually about 24 hours). Such cheeses include Saint-Maure de Touraine, or MT. Townsend Creamery’s Seastack.
I actually have been quite obsessed with making an edible Semi-Lactic Cheese, as my first one was nasty tasting with a capital Blech! It was rubbery, bitter and was promptly thrown in the bin. I was actually embarrassed that I posted the picture of it on this site. Attempt two was much more successful.
I started with quality milk, I used 3.25% Homogenized Organic Milk from Avalon Dairies I started at 5 pm and put the milk into a pot with two ice cubes of pre-made mother culture (Probat 222) and heated it slowly to 78F/26C. After it had reached temperature I added a pinch of Penicillium Candidum powder in hopes that I would get a nice velvety white pillow at the end. I re-hydrated them for five minutes and then stirred it in to the milk. Next was rennet, normally I am use to a teaspoon measure; this one was a scant 2 drops in a tablespoon of distilled water. I added the rennet and then I put the lid on and put the pot on top of the fridge and left it for 13 hours, yes I know I said 18 to 24 hours before, but I still experimenting at this time. (more…)