Bread Gallery ~
My Parmesan cheese has been aging for seven months.
I wish I could show you the step-by-step photos, but I lost them with the virus that practically wiped out my other computer. Sorry ~
You need to plan at least six hours to make this cheese and 10-18 months to age it. I hope it's worth it!
Farmhouse cheddar used whole milk and a mesophilic culture, whereas this Parmesan cheese uses a low-fat skim milk.
I added a little bit of half and half to my skim milk to equal 2 gallons of milk.
Warmed up the milk to 90ºF.
Added the culture, stirred, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Stirred in the rennet and let it sit for another 30 minutes.
The curds shrunk in size to grains of rice...
I let them settle to the bottom of the pan for 5 minutes and poured off the whey.
Changed the cheesecloth for a fresh one and reversed the mold; pressed at 10 pounds for 30 minutes.
Changed the cloth again and pressed it at 15 pounds for 2 hours.
Have you noticed a pattern? The extra weight is pushing all the liquid whey out to make a dry, dry cheese.
By this time, it was midnight.
Time to go to bed!
Removed it from the brine and put it on a clean wooden board.
Turn the cheese daily for the first two weeks, then once per week for the first two months. This helps it dry evenly.
I am not good at remembering... I'm a "set it and forget it" type of gal. I had to program my cell phone with an alarm to remind me to "turn the cheese."
After a couple of months, this is what happens....
a brown, dusty mold. eeeeewwwww.
Cheesemaking Supply Company, and they assured me this was normal.
Dip a clean brush in the salt water and brush the mold off.
Let it air dry a couple of hours, and put it back in the cheese 'cave.'
Is all this work worth it? I will let you know in a few months!