Neufchatel Recipe
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 47,246
    Here's a great beginner cheese recipe. It makes a nice creamy spreadable cheese that can be enjoyed on it's own, flavored with fruits/nuts/herbs, or molded to create a tasty blue cheese.

    What you'll need:

    A pot large enough for however much milk you want to use.
    Milk*
    CaCL (if using store bought milk) 1/4 tsp per gallon
    Rennet
    Thermometer
    Cheese culture
    Colander
    Cheese cloth

    *raw milk is the best choice for cheesemaking, but we work with what we can get. as long as it's not ultra-pasteurized, whatever milk you are able to find will work fine.

    First, pour milk into sanitized pot and add the mesophilic cheese culture and the cacl. I use buttermilk for this recipe, 1/4 cup for one gallon. Warm the milk to about 65-70F. While that is happening prepare your rennet. For this recipe, I use the Junket rennet tablets. Liquid rennet is fine too, be it animal or vegetable. Follow the manufacturers instructions for dosage. Mix 1/2 tablet in 1/4 cup of cool water and mix it into the milk with an up and down stirring motion. My rennet was old, so I used a whole tab.

    Now let this milk sit covered overnight until a soft curd forms. Once you have a clean break (see picture below), it's time to cut the curd. If you don't have a clean break, give it more time.

    Cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes, then cut again diagonally, to achieve the horizontal cuts. Let the curds rest for 10-15 minutes and gently ladle them onto the colander lined with cheese cloth.

    Let the curds drain for several hours (overnight).

    Sprinkle 1-2 tsp salt and gently mix to distribute through the cheese.

    From here, you can mix more vigorously and pack into a container for a cream cheese type spread or you can innoculate with a slurry of blue cheese culture (penicillium roqueforti) and gently place into a mold to shape it.

    For the blue cheese, flip it every two hours two or three times, then place on a well draining surface in a cool spot. You'll need to keep the relative humidity up around 80% until the mold takes over. Soon after the blue mold appears on the outside, pierce the cheese with a screwdriver/thermometer/ice pick/whatever to allow oxygen into the cheese. This is how to achieve the blue veins that are found in the store bought cheeses. Once that happens, it's best to keep it in a sealable container in a cheese cave at about 50F. Flip the cheese twice a day and keep an eye on humidity until it's ready to get eaten.

    Once it's ready (anywhere from 30-90 days, depending on how strong you want it), wrap in foil to stop further mold activity and store in a normal fridge (under 45F). I like to melt it onto some nice rustic bread with some fresh garden tomatoes and a little cracked pepper.
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    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 47,246
    here's what's in the pictures:

    1-'cultured' buttermilk. that means its' alive! a definite requirement
    2-what a clean break looks like. the curds will separate when you pull up on them. if there is a bit of soft creamy goop left on your finger, it's not ready. and my son poking the curds for no reason.
    3-cutting the curd
    4-ingredients: the no salt is what i use for CaCL. The junket is the rennet i use.
    5-the cheese all shaped up.
    6-starting to get green! that's when you should pierce. the plate holder is what i was using to hold it. it's not a good choice, as you can see some of the cheese was glued to it. the old lady cross stitch plastic mesh sheets are much better. that's what i have now.
    7-about time to eat!
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • viking73viking73
    Posts: 521
    Nice, have you checked out this guy's page? http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/cheese.html
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 47,246
    viking73 said:

    Nice, have you checked out this guy's page? http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/cheese.html



    yep. that's where i got the recipe, many years ago. it's kinda like the online version of how to brew. most of the stuff is outdated and has been improved upon, but the base recipes are still good.

    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 79,061
    thanks for the write up, cheese making has been on my list of things to do for a long time now. This might just get me to do it.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 47,246
    finally cut into this one. it's intensely blue! i fermented a little to hot and a little too long. gonna have to tone it down next time, as this one is a bit much.

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    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 108,397
    A very interesting read. I for one can't eat blue cheese... just the thought makes my stomach turn and some of the last pictures made me throw up a little. but i'll keep coming back to see your progress.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 47,246
    Lakewood said:

    A very interesting read. I for one can't eat blue cheese... just the thought makes my stomach turn and some of the last pictures made me throw up a little. but i'll keep coming back to see your progress.



    for my next cheese thread, i'll use the white pc mold. it's not as ugly, but the center paste (cheesy part) gets runny when it's ripe.

    better?
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 108,397

    Lakewood said:

    A very interesting read. I for one can't eat blue cheese... just the thought makes my stomach turn and some of the last pictures made me throw up a little. but i'll keep coming back to see your progress.



    for my next cheese thread, i'll use the white pc mold. it's not as ugly, but the center paste (cheesy part) gets runny when it's ripe.

    better?


    I like most of the examples of that which ive had.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny