As most of you know our entire cheese journey began with wanting to make the best bleu cheese in town. We have been patient and tried our hand with several other cheeses and getting lots of practice with "What's her name", Queso fresco, Juustoleipä, Cheddar and the infamous "chocolate milk trial". Though we feel very comfortable with our cheese making skills bleu was something we wanted to do together and with us being apart more often than together it has just had to wait. Joel and the kids came for our first Thanksgiving holiday and we thoroughly enjoyed every second we were together and one day we saw my dad at the Malt Shop and he threw out the challenge, "Do you guys want me to get you some raw milk to make cheese?" Our minds first went to "Na, that's ok- don't know where we'd find the time." But by the next day we were ready and decided bleu was the next cheese to be aged in our little cheese fridge. This process is very similar to every other type of cheese just some tweeking. There is the heating of the milk, then adding the cultures only this time we added the Penicillium Roqueforti AND actual Roquefort bleu cheese. We took about 1 Tablespoon of the cheese and smashed it into the milk then added it to the pot. We added the rennet and then cut the curd. After which we allowed the curds to sit as they released more whey then drained the whey. Then we set the curds in the moulds to set for 24 hours. We had to keep then at about 55 degrees so our basement was the perfect spot. As you can tell, we have a limestone basement which we will try and use to age the cheese and gain that bacterial flavor that is only mastered with limestone. As far as we know, no one has used the Oolite Limestone for aging bleu so it will be very exciting to see what comes of it. 24 hours we then cut the curd again into half inch cubes and added 6 tablespoons of salt. Yes, 6. We then placed them back to the mould and this time they all fit into the large mould. As more whey is expelled the smaller and firmer the curds get. We placed a 10lb. weight on top to aid in the pressing. The next few weeks are going to consist of flipping the cheese once a day then we will place the cheese in the fridge and let the magic begin.
I will keep you posted.