Cherkesi Cheese – A Great Feeling

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Cherkesi Cheese

One the great things about teaching people to make cheese is when I find out that they actually went home and continued to make cheese.  In the Koshercurd cheese making workshop you will leave with wonderful cheese that you made, but when you get home you will find an ebook with many more recipes to continue what you have learned in the class.

This summer I was blessed with the visit of IMG_20150810_120534a couple that was traveling from the Shomron, and was looking for something fun to do.  They had contacted me wanting to know if I would give them a cheese class.  I told them that I would we scheduled the day they would visit.  Well, I thought that it would be more fun if we could get a small group together and we were able to get a fun day together with a mini workshop.

Now after doing these workshops for quite some time, I know that many that have taken them have not continued on or if they did, they did not let me know.  So when I get a phone call, or email from someone that was in the class and wants to make a cheese that was in the ebook that they received, then I know that they were bitten by the koshercurd nerd bug, and they have started a wonderful hobby.

The great feeling came on a Thursday.  I received the phone call from C.  She wanted to know if I thought that a Lemon dressing would go well with the Cherkesi cheese that she wanted to try to make.  I told her that it would go great as the acidification of the cheese was created by Lemon juice.  I just told her to make sure that she sends me pictures and that she enjoys the process of making this semi-soft cheese.

Well, I finally received the email that stated the following:

“Bh it came out awesome the dressing I made enhanced it and worked wonderfully it was gone within half an hour of being placed on the table a huge hit..”

Now you understand why I just get a great feeling when I feel that I actually helped someone be able to make a part of their life just a little bit more special and different.

Cherkesi Cheese

Here is the wonderful Cherkesi cheese that was made by Chagit for her family’s Shabbat to be enjoyed by all that were there, I wish that was there as it looks wonderful.

Thank you for the great feeling and looking forward to hearing more about your cheese making.

 

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Finally, Making Camembert

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Camembert, Just Do It

camembertWell after many months of putting this off, I finally decided to do it.  This cheese by many is considered to be a rather difficult cheese to make.  I would tend to agree.  I started out with two, and ended up with only one in the end.

What seems to be the tricky part is the combination of temperature and humidity.  If it is too cold the Camembert  won’t grow the wonderful fuzz that gives it the wonderful color as well as taste, and texture.  What is actually happening is the white mold is eating the cheese the same that it is providing a barrier against other molds.  This is held under control by the addition of salt as well as the correct temperature and humidity.  If the humidity is to wet, the mold will also not grow in a way that will cling to the cheese.  This is actually what happened with mine.  As it is rather hot right now, I think that the opening/closing of the fridge door had a lot to do with what happened to the cheese.

Today (17/8/2015) I picked it up to turn over, and the center felt as though it was ready.  I thought that it 20150817_152821was strange as it had about another 3 weeks to go.  I decided to open and see what was there.  Well it poured out a creamy sauce and the center was like cream cheese,  The mold had formed nicely, but seemed to have slipped off the cheese.  Taste was amazing though.  My wife and I ate the entire little wheel.

I will wait until fall before I attempt this cheese again.  I have started a baby brie, but I think that the conditions right now will bring this cheese as well to early ripening.

The Whey to make Camembert

This recipe will make about a 1/2 kilo of cheese.  Should be 2-4 cheese molds depending on the size of your Camembert mold.

Milk – In Israel use Tnuva sack milk only or if you are able get raw milk use that.   The whole process will take around 6-7 weeks from the time you start until you end.  5 hours  to make the cheese 5 hours to drain the cheese and 6-7 to age.

Ingredients:  You will want to use either Flora Danica mesophilic culture (OUD) or Sacco MW036N (OK/CY) culture P. Cadimum  mold powder this will either be OUD or OKD for Chalav Stam or Valiren P. Cadimum for (OK/CY) Calcium chloride Liquid Bulk (OU) Badatz Jerusalem (Granuals) Liquied Rennet  (OK), and Sea Salt (non iodized)

  1. 3 liters whole cow’s milk
  2. 1/4 tsp.  Flora Danica or MW036N Culture
  3. 1/8 tsp. P. Cadimum
  4. 1/4 tsp Calcium Chloride
  5. 1/4 tsp liquid rennet dissolved in 1/4 c. un-chlorinated water
  6. 4 tablespoons salt

1.) In a stainless steel 4-6 liter pot, heat the milk to 90F/32C.  Once target is reached turn off the heat.

2.) Sprinkle the starter and mold powder over the milk and let rehydrate for 5 minutes.  Mix well using a slotted spoon in a up and down motion.  Cover and maintain the target temperature and let the milk ripen for 1.5 hours.  Add calcium chloride and gently stir in the rennet in the same way.  Cover and let sit, maintaining the target temperature.

3.) Cut the curds into 1/4- to -1/2 inch pieces and let sit for 5 minutes.  Gently stir with slotted spoon to prevent matting, then pour off 1/3rd of the whey.  Add the salt and gently stir to incorporate.

4.) Ladle the curds into a 4-inch Camembert mold set on a draining rack over a tray, let drain at room temperature until the cheese is firm enough to flip, about 2 hours.   Flip the cheese every hour for 5 hour or until it stops draining.

5.) Take the cheese out of the mold an put it in a ripening box.  Place a wadded piece of wet paper towel in a corner of the box with the cheese to keep the humidity at about 85%. Place the box on the bottom of the refrigerator.  Flip the cheese daily.  After 5 to 10 days the cehese should have around 75% mold coverage.  When the cheese is fully covered in white mold, remove it from the box, wrap it in foil or cheese paper, and put it back in the refrigerator for another 5 weeks.  It is ready when the center begins to feel soft.  Consume within 2 weeks and enjoy.

IMPORTANT: The temperature is very hard to control when making this cheese you will want to have your house be around 68-70F or 21-21C.  The fridge needs to be around 50F/10C.

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Mini Mozzarella Workshop equals FUN

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MINI MOZZARELLA WORKSHOP

Taking our Mini Workshop is not only tasty, but fun as well.  This mozzarella workshop is great for all family members as well as couples.  You will learn about cheese making, what makes cheese kosher, taste some wonderful home made cheese, and finally make your very own Mozzarella that you will be able to eat or garnish the way that you want.  Truly a great way to get out of the heat, and have a great time.

Mozzarella WorkshopIMG_20150810_114649IMG_20150810_130009IMG_20150810_120534IMG_20150810_130004IMG_20150810_120528IMG_20150810_115516IMG_20150810_115523IMG_20150810_120019IMG_20150810_114736IMG_20150810_114727IMG_20150810_114659IMG_20150810_114631IMG_20150810_114651IMG_20150810_114649

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The Heat of The Summer WOW!

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Heat of the Summer

Heat of the SummerThis summer is hotter than ever… with the temperatures being registered as the highest ever in years.
Here we are in the midst of the travel season, families with children and babies are trying to enjoy the coolness of the springs and the Kinneret and not understanding how dangerous being outside in heat of the summer at mid day.  Now I have to admit that it is not that great staying in the air condition when children have vacation from school either, so I would like to recommend two things you could do while school is still out and summer heat is still blazing:
1.  we recommend not going to the water aka Kinneret or swimming pools during the hottest times of the day (10am -4pm).  Two weeks ago our son almost got a heat stroke as we had been in the Kinneret before 10am and believe me int was terrifying.  Please go the springs, the Kinneret, and the beach in the late afternoon.
Or if you are traveling North and looking for something totally different….
 Mozzarella Workshop
We at koshercurds are HOLDING A SPECIAL MINI MOZARELLA WORKSHOP (WITH AIR CONDITIONING) in our home in Katzrin.  A truly great for family or couples and a great way to get out of the heat of the summer.
Call to Schedule: 058-674-7710 (English) 050-674-7710 (Hebrew)
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Kosher Blue Cheese Culture UPDATE!

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Making Kosher Blue Cheese at home

A few months ago I wrote about the certificate update (click here) to read that article.

Well today in my email I received this news:

This K-ID has been updated by the certifying  agency (OK Kosher Certification).

The K-ID changes include:
Issued Date changed
From: 2015-04-13
To: 2015-07-05
Kosher Status change
From: Pareve
To: Dairy
Restriction change
From: OK SYMBOL
To: OK D SYMBOL

So we are back to making the blue cheese the original whey that it was made.  Read the article here to learn how to make your own blue cheese mold.

 

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Getting Ready for Shavuot

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Shavuot are we ready!

shavuotWhat have we done.  The last 7 weeks we have been working on ourselves (counting the Omer) to be spiritually ready to receive the greatest gift to the Jewish people ever.   Everyday we have been working on fine tuning ourselves just right.  We have waited and waited and the time has finally come for us to get the Torah.  Not as individuals, but as a collective unit.  We all will receive the Torah this Sunday again just as or Neshamas received it over 3000 years ago.

So what does this have to do with making cheese?  Great question.

spicymozzarellaAs we all know there is a minhag to have a dairy meal during the holiday of Shavuot.  My family has only dairy meals and I make a lot of cheese for this one day holiday here in Israel.  This year I made Spicy Mozzarella, Ricotta (my wife makes the best lasagna), Halloumi (without mint) Fresh Feta, and Caerphilly.  Yep, all of those for our festive meals.

I gave a workshop the other night and the one thing that many people want to know is does it take a long time.  Well the answer is sort of yes.  What I mean to say is that the preparation of making the cheese does take time, just like making sour dough bread.  You are creating a new thing out of something that was already there.  We need to warm it up, and let it get ready to change into something that is worth eating and this can take time. But the final product is what you had in mind and the taste is what you were looking for.  In the end the time invested was well worth it.

I thought that this was very much in sync with what Hashem had in mind when he took us DrainandDryout of Egypt so many years ago.  The journey was long and hard. But we were not just going on a tour, we were going through a change.  A change that was needed in order for us to be who we are , Am Yisrael a nation that needed to become warm in order to receive the Torah.  That is one of the reasons that Amalek attacked us.  We were getting to warm, wewere getting fired up about the Torah.

Today is no different, in the Alter Rebbe’s siddur we are told Fresh Fetato remember leaving Egypt every day.  We need to remember that everyday is a new day with new challenges, but we have the strength to go on and by learning a bit of Torah everyday we are renewing our connection with not only Hashem but his world.  We can become warm again and make the changes that are needed to make this a better place all.

Mozzarella 002Since the second night of Pesach until tonight, we have been counting the Omer, refining ourselves, becoming warm for the reception of the biggest light ever given.  This has been happening daily and we are finally ready, each and everyone of us to receive the Torah. Like the making of cheese (L’havdil) we are already here. But everyday we need to change in order to become great.  Yes, it does take time.

Wishing all of you

Chag Shavuot Semach

May you receive the Torah with Simcha and Pinyumut.

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Blue Cheese Is Now Super Kosher Easy

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Blue Cheese – No need to be Blue Anymore

blue cheeseI love when the kosher world makes updates to products.  Yes, sometimes they are a warning but other times they are a real pick me up such as the one that I received in my email today.

 

Dear Rabbi Wheeler,
You are subscribed to K-ID VWM-MQXK by Sacco Srl . This K-ID has been updated by the certifying  agency (OK Kosher Certification).

The K-ID changes include:
Issued Date changed
        From: 2014-09-10
        To: 2015-04-13
Kosher Status change
        From: Dairy
        To: Pareve

Restriction change
        From: OK D SYMBOL
        To: OK SYMBOL

What does this mean for all of us that want to make a nice CY Blue Cheese.  It means that we don’t have to create a culture like I outlined here in a previous post.

I am looking forward to being able to supply this product to all of you and will keep you posted.

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Pesach Kosher V’Semach

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I know that I have not been writing for about 3 months.  To be totally honest, I just really didn’t have anything special that I wanted to write about.  Writers block, and friends moving back to the states really have taken their toll on me.

Never the less I really want to wish all koshercurd nerds a very Happy and Kosher Pesach.

UPDATE

The new Chalav Yisrael starter cultures have arrived in Israel including PC for Camembert and Brie.

Working on the Camembert workshop.  If you are interested in hosting this workshop in your area (Israel) please fill out the form below

Looking forward to hearing from all of you and what cheeses you are currently making.

 

 

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Mehadrin Blue Cheese at Home

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Making your own Chalav Yisrael Blue Cheese culture

blue cheese

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.

PR A Sacco Chalav Stam Kashrut Certificate.
PR A Sacco Chalav Stam Kashrut Certificate.

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.

 

 

 

 

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Caerphilly does it in Tzfat

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Caerphilly (pronounced carefilly) Workshop success!

caerphillyYesterday, I completed a great hard cheese workshop in the holy city of Tzfat. The cheese that we made is a wonderful cheddar type cheese from Wales. It is called Caerphilly. There are a few wonderful elements to making this cheese. The first is that the taste is AMAZING, and the second is that it is ready to eat within 2 weeks time after pressing. So that means by the end of Chanukah it will be ready. The group that came was amazing. The atmosphere was one of excitement.

We did start later than I wanted, but it didn’t seem to bother people from having a great time and getting the cheese from pot to press in time.

This cheese is one of my favorites and I am sure that it will be the hit with many of the participants as well.

As the process of making a hard cheese takes several hours there was enough time for talk and tasting of some fresh cheeses that I had brought for people to sample.

I think that my favorite picture is the thermometer standing by itself in the curds after they have set.  This was a first for me.

At the end of the entire process everybody walked away with about 1kg of Caerphilly cheese that they took home to dry and then age.

I am looking forward to hearing from all that took part in the workshop with regards to how their cheese tasted as well as what the family and friends thought.

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