Home-made Derby cheese
Traditionally, this cheese is made with 50% evening milk and 50% morning milk. However, not having my own cows, this is not possible, and unless you live near a farm that is registered to supply unpasteurised milk, probably not for you either. This version is made with pasteurised shop bought milk.
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- 4 litres pasteurised full-fat milk
- A small pinch of DVI or 2 ml liquid starter
- 1.5 ml calcium chloride, mixed with a little cooled, boiled water
- 1.5 ml rennet (animal or vegetarian), mixed with a little cooled, boiled water
- Brine, made with 180 ml salt [12 level tablespoons] per 1 litre of water
- Sterilise all equipment
- Heat the milk slowly, using a double boiler until it has reach a temperature of 29 degrees C.
- Stir in the DVI or liquid starter and leave for 15 minutes.
- Add the calcium chloride and stir throughly.
- Stir in the rennet, stir and leave in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, until set.
- Cut the curds into 1.2 cm cubes and slowly heat, stirring until the temperature reaches 36 degrees. This should take 15 minutes.
- Allow to settle for 15 minutes.
- Drain off as much of the whey as you can and transfer the curds to a piece of cheesecloth.
- Tie the cloth at the top and tighten every 15 minutes for one hour as the whey drains. A sterilised plastic clothes peg is useful for this.
- Take the curd from the cloth and cut the curd into 4 strips.
- Stack the strips on top of each other and cover.
- After 30 minutes, put the inner curd strips on the outside and leave for another 30 minutes.
- You then need to dry-salt, so weigh the curd, cut it into pea sized pieces.
- Add the salt. If you have a kilo of curd, add 14g of salt, or for 500g curd add 7g. You will need to work this out accurately depending on your exact weight!
- Mix well.
- Line your mould with clean cheesecloth (although personally, I did not actually line mine).
- Press lightly for 1 hour and then increase the pressure a little for each hour afterwards.
- Then leave under full pressure for 24 hours.
- Remove the cheese from the mould, turn, and replace in a clean cheesecloth.
- Press under maximum pressure for a further two days.
- Briefly place the cheese in brine (for about and hour), then seal in water at 66 degrees C for one minute.
- Allow to dry, paint with rapeseed oil and wrap in a bandage until mature - about 2 months.
- Unless you have a cave handy, the fridge is probably the best place to mature your homemade cheese although it's really going to be too cold. After discovering the top shelf of my often-opened fridge could be as much as 5° C warmer than the bottom, I've decided to mature my cheeses there. As all fridges differ, check various areas of your fridge with a thermometer to find the area that is around 11°C [51° F], the ideal 'cave' temperature.
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