Making your own Chalav Yisrael Blue Cheese culture
I love Blue cheese. I love Stilton, and I love Gorgonzola. However, making these cheeses at home for the Chalav Yisrael cheese maker is not so easy. The cultures are expensive, and they are not available for the Chalav Yisrael home cheese maker.
This has been a real problem for me, and for many out there that would really like to make these cheeses, but not able to find the culture.
Penicillium roquefortii is the culprit and this mold is available in a kosher form. It would be Chalav Stam, but then the price comes into play. It is around $17.00 for about 2 grams. That’s pretty expensive.
So you can’t truly appreciate how excited I was when I came across this recipe for making my own Blue Cheese culture (Penicillium roquefortii). At last, I will be able to make some these wonderful cheeses.
I will share the secret with you on how this culture can be grown and harvested giving you fresh and natural Penicillium roquefortii to add to what ever cheese you wish to make and then add the blue vein along with the flavor.
The key ingredient is fresh Sour Dough bread. If you purchase from the store make sure that it is only sour dough starter, flour, salt and water. I know that this is a blog about cheese and cheese cultures, but I feel that if you really want a taste of the past you should make your own bread as well. The way this culture was grown for years.
Lets get started:
As there are many recipes out there for making sour dough, I will give you the one that I have been using for weeks now with great results. It is simple and requires two simple things. Flour and Water.
How its done
3/4 cup + 2 Tbls flour
1/2 cup water
For five days you will repeat this step.
The only step: Mix the above ingredients in a glass container (about 1 liter/quart). Leave the lid ajar or cover with cheese cloth.
On day five either make bread or continue doing the same thing. If you will be taking a break from feeding the starter then put the lid on tight and place in the fridge. When you are ready to start up again, take 1/2 of the starter out and get rid of it and continue on with the “only step”.
When you want to make bread you will need the following:
1/4 cup water (I use look warm)
2 cups starter
4 cups flour (add more if too sticky)
2 Tbls salt
1 Tbls olve oil
More water (this you will have to feel what is right for you)
Dissolve the starter in the water
Add the Flour, Salt and Oil
Mix well adding water to make the dough (should not be tacky) Knead about 8 minutes
Cover with plastic wrap (i put a match box with striking side against the plastic to speed up the rising time) and place in a warm are to rise. This will take about 2-4 hours. If left over a 24 hour period of time you will now have a bread that is 99% Gluton Free.
Take out and knead for another 5 minutes
Seperate into two loaves and let sit for 20 minutes on backing sheet
Cover and let rise until double in size
Bake (hottest setting your oven will go) spritz water into the oven after they are in to create a steam that will form the crust.
30 minutes take out if ready
Okay, now that we have our sour dough bread lets take a bit of chalav yisrael blue cheese and place on the bread. Put in your plastic container and cover for about 1 week. The mold should take over the entire piece of bread.
Once the bread is totally consumed by the blue mold you want to dry it out. Open your plastic container and leave it out for another week. The bread will dry out. Put the likd back on and the molded bread will be preserved for many years.
To User the Mold
To use the mold you will need to transfer some of the mold to the milk that you are making your cheese. You break a small piece of bread into about 1 tsp of water. You would strain the liquid into the milk at the same time as you are going to add your starter culture to the milk. You will not notice and effect of the mold on the cheese until it begins to grow on it surface and if you have pricked the cheese to make aeration holes you will see that they are starting to fill with blue mold as well.
Well, there you have it. Now all you need to do is get ready to take my Molded Cheese workshop which will be coming out in a few months to make this Blue Cheese.
If you are interested please leave a comment below with the city (In Israel) that you are living in.