Friday, 30 July 2010

Further Adventures in Cheese - Gouda!.

Growing by leaps and bounds this month, we at Forging Fromage made homemade Gouda! A little more complex than the cheeses we started off with, this one is the first to be aged after great pressing.
I realized the hard way that I really needed to start pressing my cheese in something with a flat bottom - because every time I had to flip this one over and re-press it, it got a little crumbly with the reshaping. Ultimately that gave mine a porous texture, and I would like to try it again with a different mould, but the flavour was mature and very tasty nonetheless.
For our companion cheese we made an old favourite, yogurt cheese. I have a strainer set that came with my yogurt maker and make yogurt cheese quite often right in my fridge. For me it is the great inexpensive and healthy substitute for chevre, ricotta or cream cheese, depending on the application. If you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for?
I am still working on my cheddar - and yes, I have made some flat-bottom moulds for it - and the next cheeses will be announced around the second of August. Feel free to join us in our cheesy challenge.

Gouda Cheese Making Recipe

Gouda along with Edam, originating from Netherlands, is one of the original washed curd cheese. Other washed curd cheeses are Havarti & Danbo from Denmark, Jarlsberg & Fontina from Sweden, and Colby from USA.

Washed curd cheeses are called "sweet" cheeses by cheese makers as "sweet" is a term used to describe the body of the cheese with good flexibility, however, they are also slightly sweet in taste. They are unique as heat is added to the curds and whey not by heating the vat, but directly by removing whey and adding hot water.

Gouda, unlike some other washed curd cheeses, include a pre-pressing of the curds in the whey. Without this step, open textured cheese is the result.

Gouda, and other washed curd cheeses are a good stepping stone after soft cheeses for new cheese makers as 1) they mature fairly quickly, making the learning curve quicker, 2) do not require heavy pressing forces, thus less equipment required, and 3) because they form close knit and chemically tight rinds, are well suited to simpler rinded methods such as waxed or natural rind, and thus are easier to age.


* 1 US gallon/3.6 liters Fresh Cow's Milk.
* Optional: Calcium Chloride if using pasteurized milk.
* Mesophilic Starter Culture of your choice, either manufactured or 4 ounces/115 ml of homemade.
* Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup/50 ml cool water, amount depending on package directions and your experience with that brand.
* Salt for brine.
* Optional: 1 tablespoon/7 grams Cumin Seeds or 2 Teaspoons/4 gram Mustard Seeds for flavouring.

Curd Making

1. Warm the milk to 90°F/32°C.
2. Add Starter Culture (and optional Calcium Chloride) dissolved in small amount of water and mix thoroughly with a whisk to make the culture (and CaCl2) uniform throughout the milk.
3. Cover and let the culture ripen at same temp for 10 minutes.
4. Trickle in diluted rennet stirring constantly with a whisk for 2-3 minutes to evenly distribute.
5. Cover and let the milk stand at 90°F/32°C for 1-2 hours until a clean break is achieved.
6. Cut the curds into 1/2 inch/1 cm cubes.
7. Allow the curds to sit for 10 minutes to firm up.
8. Slowly raise the temperature of the milk to 100F/38C over 45 minutes. During this time, gently stir the curds every few minutes so they don't mat together.
9. Once the curds reach 100°F/38°C, stop any stirring and allow the curds to settle.
10. Carefully remove and discard ~2-3 cups/0.5 litre of whey from the top surface and replace with same amount of 100°F/38°C water, and then stir gently to break any large lumps of curd.
11. Cook the curds at 100°F/38°C for another 45 minutes, every 15 minutes remove same volume of whey, replace with same volume of warm water, and then stir to break any large lumps of curd.
12. Drain the curds by pouring through a cheesecloth lined colander, discarding whey.

Curd Pressing

1. Place the curds into a cheesecloth lined mold.
2. Press the cheese at ~15 pounds/7 kg for ~15 minutes.
3. Remove the cheese from the mold and cheesecloth, turn, replace in cheese cloth and mold and press again at ~15 pounds/7 kg for ~30 minutes.
4. Remove the cheese from the mold and cheesecloth, turn, replace in cheese cloth and mold and press again at ~15 pounds/7 kg for ~12 hours.
5. Remove the cheese from the mold and cheesecloth, turn, replace in cheese cloth and mold and press again at ~15 pounds/7 kg for final ~12 hours.


1. Remove the cheese from the press and cheesecloth, place in saturated brine solution for 3 hours, be certain to turn the cheese over every ~45 minutes to ensure even rind development.
2. Remove from bath and pat dry with paper towel and discard paper towel, (you will notice the outer surface has become firmer).


1. Place the cheese on a drying mat in 50°F/10°C and 80-85% humidity Cheese Cave to ripen for 3 weeks. Turn and wipe the cheese daily with clean cloth dipped in brine solution.
2. If too thick a rind begins to develop, place an overturned bowl on top of the cheese, or place it in a covered container to raise humidity. However, continue to turn the cheese daily and do not wrap it in plastic.
3. Eat as young Gouda or wax and age additional 3 months for medium or 9 months for extra aged Gouda. If you wax the cheese, continue to flip the cheese every 3 days or so.


1. Boil Cumin or Mustard Seeds covered in ~4 ounces/125 ml water for 15 minutes, add water if required.
2. Drain seeds, keep and cool flavoured water.
3. In directions above, stir in cooled flavoured water before adding Starter Culture.
4. In directions above, mix boiled seeds into curds before packing into cheesecloth and mold for pressing.