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.
See your street as it was 11 years ago! ...
- 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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