Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making Parmesan with Dannon Nicholes

Dannon holding his latest Parmesan
He's jumping right into the "hard" stuff!

Ricki's daughter, Sarah, always has her eye out for new cheese bloggers and she recently found Dannon Nicholes at Dannon's Big Cheese.  Dannon has only been making cheese for 6 months, but his results look amazing!  (We keep telling you how easy it is!)

Dannon actually has 2 blogs; one is a great cheese blog with clear pictures of his cheese making, and the other is a blog with tips and advice about going to Disneyland.  (Dannon and his family used to go there twice a year when they lived in Utah, but now they have moved to Hebron, Kentucky and he says they will soon be checking out Disney World in Florida.)

Dannon's enthusiasm about all things Disney is contagious and after you check out his blog, you might end up taking a little trip (just a warning!).

When we asked him about being one of our guest bloggers, he said,

I have only been making cheese for a relatively short time, mainly because my wife said I needed a hobby and that I also needed to learn patience.  So, after taking a class at the local library, I started making cheese.

I first got Ricki's book at the library and since this past July have made lots of cheese; probably Mozzarella (30 minutes) a dozen times, Brie, Cheese Curds, Manchego twice, Farmhouse Cheddar twice, Parmesan, and Jarlsberg twice.

Parmesan
By Dannon Nicholes at Dannon's Big Cheese

First lets start with the Parmesan. It is going to take 9 months to age before we can eat it.

The ingredients I used are as follows:

2 gallons milk (whole, 2%)
A packet of thermophilic starter
1/2 tsp calcium chloride in 1/4 cup cool water
1/2 tsp liquid animal rennet in 1/4 cool water (or 1/4 tsp liquid vegetable rennet)


Instructions:

Heat milk over low heat (double boiler) to 94ºF.
Sprinkle thermo B over milk and mix well with whisk.
Add calcium chloride and rennet, gently whisk for 1 minute.
Let set for 45 minutes at 94ºF (until a clean break).


Now whisk curds gently to cut curds into pea size pieces.
Let set for 10 minutes.
Slowly raise temp to 124ºF over 1 hour.
Let set at 124ºF for 10 minutes.




looks like cottage cheese after the curds are drained


Drain curds in muslin cloth for 5 minutes.
Put into mold and let drain another 5 minutes.
Apply 10 lbs for 30 minutes then flip.
Apply 10 lbs for 1 hour then flip.
Apply 20 lbs for 12 hours. 


using my press for the very first time


I then prepared a salt brine and soaked the cheese at 52ºF for 12 hours (the cheese weighed 1 lb and 12 ounces before brining).



After brining I dried the cheese with  cheese cloth and let air dry for 3 days.

Now, it is aging in my cheese cave at 50º, where I first flipped it every day for about two weeks and am now just flipping it every week or so.  I have also rubbed olive oil on it now to help keep the cheese from drying out.  


This cheese has been hard trying to keep the mold off and I think one reason is because I do not have very much air flow.  So, I should probably get a fan. 


my cheese after brining

my cheese right now after being aged and rubbed with olive oil

(Note:  This article will be continued in 9 months if Dannon can wait that long!)

6 comments:

shannon i olson said...

oh how exciting! I must say all the temperature control worries me. I cant keep my stove at a constant temp let alone anyplace in my house!! what would I do? this cheese looks just yummy, nice job

Greg said...

Thanks for bringing this blog to my attention. I'm a new cheese maker as well and am ready to tackle my first hard cheese. I'm going to use Dannon's blog to help me along.

Emily said...

Thanks Dannon! My husband and I just tackled cheddar and are excited to try the parm! You're blog will be a help!

Garth Walker said...

It's actually very easy to hold the curds for long periods of time at these temps... if you are heating the curds over a water bath, 94 degrees is relatively close to the ambient room temperature; close enough that the water will loose heat very slowly and maintain the temperature of the curds for the appropriate time.

Garth Walker said...

It's actually very easy to hold the curds for long periods of time at these temps... if you are heating the curds over a water bath, 94 degrees is relatively close to the ambient room temperature; close enough that the water will loose heat very slowly and maintain the temperature of the curds for the appropriate time.

Garth Walker said...

It's actually very easy to hold the curds for long periods of time at these temps... if you are heating the curds over a water bath, 94 degrees is relatively close to the ambient room temperature; close enough that the water will loose heat very slowly and maintain the temperature of the curds for the appropriate time.