What do you do when you run out of cheese? Instead of running to the store to buy some more, why not make it at home on your own? Maybe the idea has never occurred and you don’t know how to make cheddar cheese, but once you learn how to make it, you might be more inclined to try making it on your own every so often.
Of course, there are tons of uses for cheese, and I like to add mine to sandwiches or have a slice with crackers. When you make your own cheese at home, you will always have toppings for soup, salads, and more.
I believe that just about every food you can think of can be garnished with either cheese or chocolate to improve it. Why not learn how to make cheddar cheese sauce and cheddar cheese at home on your own?
Creamy, firm, and tasty cheddar cheese is a perfect addition too many snacks and meals and will come in so handy in your cooking. You’ll be able to save yourself money and possibly some trips to the grocery if you make it yourself.
Of course, you can also enjoy the benefits of controlling the ingredients that go in the cheddar cheese and how healthy it is for you. Making it at home means you don’t have to include any of the preservatives and additives that store bought cheddar cheese includes.
If you learn how to make sharp cheddar cheese on your own, this will be a skill you will use throughout your life, and I bet you’ll be glad you did it. I won’t cover every method here, like how to make vegan cheddar cheese, but I will give you a proven, reliable method to use for making cheese at home.
How to Make Cheddar Cheese at Home
You’re going to need a few kitchen tools to make cheese on your own. You will need cheesecloth and a cheese press, as well as cheese wax. Make sure you have all the necessary tools for this recipe before you try to start making it.
Most people don’t have what they need to make cheese at home already and you may need to buy a few items first. None of these are expensive items, but they are necessary for how to make homemade cheddar cheese.
How to Make Cheddar Cheese at Home
- 2 gallons of goat or cow milk
- Mesophilic culture, either ⅛ teaspoon of bulk mesophilic culture or one packet of direct set mesophilic a culture
- ⅛ tsp of diluted calcium chloride (dilute with 1/4 cup of water)
- ¼ tablet vegetable rennet or ½ teaspoon liquid animal rennet
- 2 tbsp of sea salt
- Heat your milk in a large pot to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and stir continuously.
- If you are using calcium chloride, which is optional, add it to the milk as it heats.
- Once the milk reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you can add in the culture and stir it in using an upwards and downwards motion. Then, cover the pot and allowed to firm it for an hour.
- Stir the milk to help it homogenize and then slowly fold in the diluted rennet slowly. Make sure you use an up and down motion to add the rennet, as that helps it work into the milk thoroughly ensures you get the most cheese possible from this batch.
- Take your mixture off of the heat and let the cheese set for an hour. It needs to set for long enough so that the way the curds separate from each other. How do you know if it is done? You will see a layer of way floating on the top, and this layer should be mostly clear. The curd should start to pull away from the sides of the pot.
- Use a knife and cut the curd pieces into 1/4 inch cubes. Let that set for five minutes but don't stir.
- Now, heat the curds slowly for about 30 minutes, allowing the curds reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the curd as it heats, and as you stir, the curds will start to get smaller. When the curds reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, keep that temperature and continue to stir for an additional 30 minutes. If those curds become too hot, you'll have to take them off the heat.
- Next, quit stirring and let the curds settle. It should take them about 20 minutes to settle completely.
- Pour out your curds into a colander and put the colander and milk curds into the cheese pot. Let that drain out for about 15 minutes. Then, take the colander out of the pot and place the curds on a cutting board.
- The remaining whey mass should look similar to jelly and be semisolid. Dump the whey out of the pot and cut it into 5 equal slices, then place it back into the pot and cover.
- Fill up a basin with water that is 102 degrees Fahrenheit and put your curds and pot into it. Keep the temperature of the curds at around that level and turn the slices every quarter hour for the next two hours. This process turns your mixture into cheddar, giving the cheese its particular flavor.
- Once the two hours are over, your curds should look firm and shiny. Take them out of the pot and slice them into cubes that are about half an inch in size. Then put them back into the pot and cover the pot, and place it into your basin of water.
- Let the pot sit there for about 10 minutes and then stir it gently with a large spoon. Repeat this step two more times.
- Take the pot out of the sink and add salt and stir once more.
- Use a cheesecloth to line cheese press and place your curds in there. Wrap up the cheese with the cloth and then press for 15 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.
- Take the cheese out of the press and unwrap it and then flip it over. Wrap it again with a new cheesecloth and press for 12 hours at 40 pounds of pressure.
- Then take the cheese out of the press and unwrap and flip it again. Wrap again in cheesecloth and press for 24 hours at 50 pounds of pressure.
- Take the cheese from the press and allow it to air dry for two or three days. When it is finished, it will be dry and smooth when you touch it. Then, use your cheese wax and wax the cheese. Age it at a temperature between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit for duration of at least 60 days.
How to Make a Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Now, I want to show you how to make a cheddar cheese dip, which can be used for cheese sauce or cheese soup. If you want to know how to make cheddar cheese popcorn, you can use this sauce and drench your popcorn with it. Of course, it can be used for a lot of other different dishes as well.
I make cheese sauce at home from a roux. This is simply a mixture of melted butter and flour with milk to give it a saucy texture. I heat that and add in shredded cheese until the cheese melts. This is a simple cheese sauce rule.
If you’re looking for how to make cheddar cheese soup, I start with the roux, and then add my other ingredients needed for the soup. If I’m making a cheesy soup like this, I use tons of cheddar to give it a very cheesy flavour. Then, I may add chives or bacon bits for garnish. If I want to make it a little chunkier, I will add boiled potatoes and perhaps a few other veggies.
How to Make Cheddar Cheese Powder
Would you like to make your own cheddar cheese powder at home? You need to start by rendering out the fat from the cheese, which you do by microwaving a thin layer of cheese on parchment paper for 30 seconds at a time, and continue to do this until the cheese has completely melted.
Then, let the cheese cool through little while and pull the cheese from the parchment. Place your cheese onto a paper towel and allow it to cool all the way. The cheese will become crispy as it cools down.
After your cheese has cooled, break it up into small pieces. Next, place it into a food processor and pulse until it is ground up evenly. This should take about 45 seconds. Add in some cornstarch and pulse once more to mix them. You can store your cheese powder in an airtight container in the fridge for as long as three weeks.