Monday, April 20, 2015

Single Gloucester Cheese

The Single Gloucester cheese is a farmhouse cheese traditionally made in the Gloucester region of the UK.  This cheese is often associated with the Gloucester cow, a traditional Celtic breed from that region.  In the US, there is a lineback color variation with that name, but it is not the same animal at all.  To use similar milk, I would suggest Ayrshire, Kerry,  or Shorthorn.  You can, however use any breed, just keep the fat content in mind.

It traditionally was made with skimmed evenings milk and whole meal (whole milk, no fat removed) morning milk.  It was made in the spring and early summer.  The acidity of this cheese is lower and the curd ripens quicker than some other cheddar varieties.

Traditional wheels are 38cm diameter x 7.6 cm height and weigh 6.8-8 kg.  The curd is white to yellow depending on the time of year and the texture is open, with a soft body.  Like Dunlop, it is often eaten younger and has a mild cheddar profile.

Aim for 2.8-3.2% fat.  No heat treatment it needed for this cheese.  No color added to this cheese.
Mixed Starter Culture (MA400.1 or KAZU would be recommended as a simple farmhouse culture)

Warm milk to 80*F.  Add culture (0.125-.5%).  Ripen 45-75 minutes (depending on amount of culture added).
Bring milk up to 86*F.  Add rennet as per directions for rennet for this quantity of milk (note, I am vague here on qty so that you can adjust, ask to learn how to do that) to cut curd in 45-50 minutes.
Cut to size of maize (corn).  This is a larger curd than most cheddar, hence the more acidic paste. (3-6cm).  Let sit until you just see the whey on top of curd.  Stir slowly at first.  After the curd has started to develop 'skin,' start to scald.  This takes 10-12 minutes depending on how fast it acidifies.
Scald to 98*F.  Note, this is cooler than most cheddars, but this is also a lower fat milk.  Stir on and off until firm. (10-30 minutes generally.  What firm means will take time and someone showing you...).
Pitch curd until acidity of 0.13-0.14%.
Whey off and form tidy curd pack. (or no loose curds, make sure all in a pack)
Break curds into 10cm squares.  Let drain and break again.  Keep doing this until the size of walnuts.  They will be ready to salt when the curds are dry and firm.
Add 1.7% salt in last three breaks.  Stir to ensure even salting.
Put into warm hoops that have been warmed.  Make sure cloth is warm as well.  Press small pieces into the corners.  A coarse cloth is best for this press. 
Press at 250kg per cheese for one day.  Turn and redress with finer cloth.  Repress at 750kg per cheese.  Turn and repress for another 12-hours or to next day. 
Cheese is dressed with butter or lard for 1-3 months.  I will post a video of how to mind rinds later.  Clean off outer mold before eating (you can cloth bind as well).

For double Gloucester, you use two whole meal additions of milk (whole milk am and pm).  It is as it comes out of the cow.  You will cook to a higher temp (2-4*F generally, with higher fat milk getting higher temperature cook).  Curd size can also be smaller.

If a smaller qty of milk, you can gather curd in a cloth and press it lightly to keep curd warm and to get the same texturing effect that you would with larger quantities of milk. 

This makes sense to me.  If you have any questions, I will be glad to clarify them!!  Good luck and post any photos of attempts!


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