Monday was a busy day, what with making a small vat of Tasty Yorkshire and running a cheese making class.
As usual, we ripened the milk for about an hour and a quarter at 30 oC whilst Stu did the same in the small vat, only he added annatto.
Annatto is a naturally intense dye which can range in colour from bright yellow to deep orange and is derived from the seed or extract from the achiote tree, which is native to Latin and South America. It is used to colour cheese and can also be found in Coloured Cheddar, Double Gloucester and Red Leicester.
After ripening, we renneted and covered John and Emma’s small vats whilst they popped into Hawes to sample the delights of the town.
After renneting, we had a long discussion about how the size of the cut can vary the type of cheese you are making. We initially cut into 2″ cubes, left the curd for 5 minutes and very, very gently stirred it with our hands as the surface temperature was quite cool,
compared to that around the sides. Stirring does reduce the size of the cubes but not too much and it still always amazes me that you can start off with large cubes that shrivel to the size of coffee beans.
We then stirred for about two hours and took the whey off. Emma’s vat was running slightly faster than John’s so she was the first to form a block with her curd. John followed shortly afterwards and we cut into cubes, added salt and milled.
We will be sending John and Emma their two cheeses next week after giving them a head start maturing. It was a pleasure to have them with us and we both wish them well in their home cheese making endeavours.