Its quite complicated and it takes a minimum of three months to mature. Imagine opening your cheese and finding it is a complete flop after waiting for 3 months! And then trying to remember exactly what you did when you made the cheese. That brings me to the point of the importance of making notes when making cheese, even noting the weather on the day and your mood.
Classical Cheddar involves cutting, stirring, heating, stirring, cutting the curd into slabs, stacking the slabs, repacking and repacking the slabs and then cutting the slabs into little finger size pieces, salting and then pressing. Phew!. And on top of all of that you have to be so careful that you reach the correct pH along the way.
But Finest Kind has the answer for you. We have a stirred curd cheddar recipe which cuts out the “cheddaring” step. And gives you the same sort of result. What does cheddaring mean? It means letting the curd matt together, cutting the matted curd into rectangle pieces called slobs and then piling and re piling the slobs on top of each other. This helps with the expulsion of whey and enhances the development of acid. But one can skip this stage as in the stirred curd cheddar recipe. The result must still be a “chicken breast” type of curd as opposed to a more spherical curd as you get in Gouda. This is the reason that cheddar is more crumbly as opposed to gouda which is more stretchy.
Our CHR.Hansen RST743 is the very best culture to use for cheddar as it consists of a mixture of mesophilic and thermophilic bacteria. The thermophilic bacteria kick into gear as the temperature rises. It is also quite useful to add an adjunct culture, CHR.Hansen LHB-02 to the mix. This culture helps break down the proteins during maturation and therefore shortens the ripening time. And furthermore it imparts a slight nutty taste to the cheese. To make your cheddar more interesting you can add fenugreek to the curd before pressing. It imparts an even more nutty flavour to your cheese. Or black pepper, chilli, onion, stinging nettle are also good for enhancing flavor. Our 1.5-2.5kg Kadova mould is the best size and shape for cheddar. It does have rounded edges. If you are a purist we are able to supply cylindrical Kadova moulds on request. We stock black wax which is a traditional colour for cheddar. Check out our web site for all these products or email us for a price list. Or if you want to be old school, you can bandage the cheese with strips of cheesecloth dipped in a flour and water mix.