Farmers cheese

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<p>Chese Rauyn &amp; Herbed Cheese</p> <p>Fig.1 37. Fresh Cheese; from the Theatrum Sanitatis, Library Casanatense, Rome</p> <p>Making a Chese Rauyn in Period</p> <p>Milk products have long been a part of mans diet, there are many sources that document that a family could earn extra money by taking extra products they produced and sold them at market, there also seems to be a reoccurring phrase that speaks to this penne take pe curddys pat comen fro pe deye [dairymaid]. Products sold included butter, milk, and cheeses (soft &amp; hard). The medieval working class farmer was very thrifty, fresh butter was made then soft cheeses, then from the whey was made a second type of cheese or second butter, and then used the remaining liquid whey for baking or feeding to their animals (fig.1). Soft cheeses were consumed quickly and were inexpensive, hard cheese were more prized because they took longer to cure and were more expensive.</p> <p>It was necessary to devise ways to keep milk products as long as possible. The simplest form of cheese was a soft fresh cheese (not aged into a hard slicing cheese). Depending on the culture this type of cheese was called New Cheese, Farmers Cheese, Slipp-Coat Cheese, Neufchatel, or Chese rauyn. In the middle ages soft cheeses were found in nearly all cultures the English had soft cheese, hard cheese, green cheese ('Green' denotes freshly-made cheese which has not matured), and an herb-flavored cheese called Spermyse.</p> <p>Some types of soft cheese were named for the area that they were being made is in such as Neufchatel a Norman style soft cheese; it is believed that it was first mentioned in a text from the year 1035 A.D. in the Neufchatel-en-bray countryside. What I can document is that the Vikings brought cheese making with them to Normandy. I can document making and selling of cheeses by woman from the 10th to 16th centurys. The cheese can definitely be documented in 1543 in the ledgers of Saint-Aman Abby of Rouen where the cheese was called Neufchatel in the book A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye.</p> <p>The milk was collected often by the women of the house to be processed (fig.2 &amp; 3). In period they would have left whole milk to warm over night by the fire, they also added things like thistle and safflower juice, acid (vinegar or lemon juice), ale, or rennet to cause the milk to callboard, and a milk starter (a bacterial agent some times referred to as a live culture) was also added that acted as an agent to help back down the proteins in the milk so that the milk solids out separate out (the curds). The milk purchased for this project came from free range Short Horn Milking Cows and Belted Galloway. The raw whole milk that I used was low temperature pasteurized by me, then processed into the soft cheese.</p> <p>Another source of excellent information on milk, butter, cheese, and buttermilk was A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food Processing and Consumption. Though space does not allow here to go greatly in depth I will quote from this book in reference to butter, cheese, and buttermilk. The impression is that cheese was the most important dairy product; butter was made from the whey, and the buttermilk drunk. Consuming dairy products in this way makes an economical use of the resource.</p> <p>Fig.2 Women had charge of the domestic animals including milking, butter making, and cheese making production. (Bodleian Library, MS. Bodley 764, fol. 44)</p> <p>Chese ruayn &amp; Herbed Cheese</p> <p>My Lady of Middlesex makes excellent slipp-coat Cheese of good morning milk, putting Cream to it. A quart of Cream is the proportion she useth to as much milk, as both together make a large round Cheese of the bigness of an ordinary Tart-plate, or cheese-plate; as big as an ordinary soft cheese, that eh Market women sell for ten pence</p> <p>Medieval Method of making cheese:</p> <p>Take a gallon of milk from the cow, and seethe it, and when it doth seethe put thereunto a quart or two of morning milk in fair cleansing pans in such place as no dust may fall therein. This is for you clotted cream. The next morning take a quart of morning milk, and seethe it, and put in a quart of cream thereunto, and when it doth seethe, take if off the fire. Put it in a fair earthen pan, and let it stand until it be somewhat blood warm. But first over night put a good quantity of ginger, rose water, and stir it together. Let it settle overnight. The next day put it into your said blood warm milk to make your cheese come. Then put the curds in a fair cloth, with a little good rose water, fine powder of ginger, and a little sugar. So lash great soft rolls together with a thread and crush out the whey with your clotted cream. Mix it with fine powder of ginger, and sugar and so sprinkle it with rose water, and put your cheese in a fair dish. And put these clots around about it. Then take a pint of raw milk or cream and put it in a pot, and all to shake it until it be gathered into a froth like snow. And ever as it cometh, take it off with a spoon and put into a colander. Ther put it upon your fresh cheese, and prick it with wafers, and so serve it.</p> <p>Chese ruayn (Farmers Cheese)</p> <p>The flavor of this cheese tends to be a little more acidic.</p> <p> Modern Method:</p> <p>1-gallon whole milk (non-homogenized or note: Raw Milk will give you a richer cheese)</p> <p>a. There is an additional step here for me since I used Raw Milk. I needed to heat the milk for 30 min. to a temperature of 145, then place the pot immediately into a sink filled with cool water and ice if necessary to bring the temp of the milk down quickly, then after cooled place sterile clean container and proceed with cheese making steps below.</p> <p>4 oz. of mesophillic* cheese starter culture (I make my own and place it into ice cube trays, each cube is about 1 oz. so I use 4 cubs of starter (You can also use cultured buttermilk or a 4 oz. container of plain yogurt that contains a live culture).</p> <p>1 pint of heavy cream (I did not need to add this since I used organic whole milk that has been low temperature pasteurized but not homogenized) The reason for adding the Cream is to raise the milk fat content of the milk to make a richer cheese and improve the taste of the final product.</p> <p>3-4 drops of Rennet per gallon of milk used</p> <p>1/3 cup of cool water</p> <p>Coarse Sea Salt (salt to taste)</p> <p>Step One: making the Mesophillic starter:</p> <p>(Method used in Cheesemaking Made Easy by Ricki &amp; Robert Carroll)</p> <p>1. Sterilize a clean one-quart canning jar and its cover by placing them in boiling water for five minutes. </p> <p>2. Cool them and fill the jar with fresh skim milk, leaving inch of head- space. Cover the jar tightly with its sterilized lid.</p> <p>3. Put the jar in a big deep pot with the water level at least inch over the top of the jar lid. Put the pot on the burner and bring the water to a boil. Note: when the water begins to boil, and let it continue at a slow boil for thirty minutes.</p> <p>4. Take the jar out of the water, and let it cool to 72(, away from drafts. (To check the temperature, use the current room temperature, to avoid contaminating the milk).</p> <p>5. Inoculate the milk by adding the contents of the freeze-dried starter culture packet to the milk (still at 72() (the starter culture was purchased from a cheese supply company). 6. Add the power quickly, to minimize exposure to the air. Re-cover and swirl the jar every five minutes or so, to mix and dissolve the powered culture thoroughly. </p> <p>7. Put the jar where the milk temperature can stay at room temperature for fifteen to twenty-four hours during its ripening period. Sixteen hours usually does the trick, but can be left for an additional 8 hours.</p> <p>8. The culture will have the consistency of a good yogurt. It should separate cleanly from the sides of the jar, and the surface should be shiny. Taste it. It should be slightly acid and also a bit sweet. Chill it immediately. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days before using it. The remaining used produce should be placed in ice cube trays and frozen for storage (make sure to sterilize the plastic ice cube trays). When frozen remove from the tray and place in a plastic bag and place back into the freezer, </p> <p>each cube is equal to about one ounce of starter and keeps for about 1~3 months in the freezer.</p> <p>Step Two:</p> <p>Place milk into large pan (fig. 4). Warm milk, I prefer to take it out and let it come to room temperature (I have also used the in-direct warming method using a large metal pan in a sink of warm water) or until the it has raised to a temperature of milk to 72( F (I found due to the fact that I tend to keep my house cooler that I needed to warm the milk to 80~85(F). Add 4 ounces of mesophillic starter (four cubes of starter). Add 3~4 drops of Rennet (dilute Rennet to 1/3 cup of cool water). Let milk sit covered 12 to 24 hours or until a thick curd has formed or longer if necessary (the curd should have what is called a clean break stage, which is if a clean knife is put into the curd the curd should separate cleanly).</p> <p>Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander (fig. 4) and hang to drain for 12 to 24 hours or until bag has stopped dripping (I have left them for up to 48 hours to getter a better product).</p> <p>Place the curds into a cheese cloth-lined colander (fig. 6) and place the colander in a pot (fig. 5). Place a plate in the colander, resting on the bag of curds. Place a weight on the plate (the weight of two bricks is sufficient (wrap the bricks in a plastic bag)). Put the cover on the pot and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.</p> <p>Take the cheese from the pot and place in a bowl. Add sea salt to taste and knead into the cheese; mold the cheese by hand into four cheeses. You can add a variety of condiments if desired such as chopped chive, chopped garlic, etc.</p> <p>Observations:</p> <p>Day 1:</p> <p>2 gallons (256 oz) of whole fresh milk </p> <p>3 oz of water with 3 drops rennet</p> <p>Total starting weight 259 oz.</p> <p>Day 2: (24 hours later)</p> <p>Curds separated from the whey (a soft solid mass) </p> <p>Curds were cut (add in the draining process)</p> <p>Ladled curds into cheese cloth lined strainers splitting the amount evenly in thirds. </p> <p>Whey left after initial ladling process (170.67 oz)</p> <p>Hanging the bags of curds for draining </p> <p>Day 3: (24 hours)</p> <p>Liquid removed from bowls below hanging bags of curds amount of liquid (40.44 oz)</p> <p>Curd salted and placed back into cheese cloth and press added and put in refrigerato</p> <p>Day 4-5: (48 hours)</p> <p>Liquid removed from bowls (21 oz)</p> <p>Finished cheese (just under 27 oz)</p> <p>Additional salt to taste was added and cheese split into thirds</p> <p>Herb and roasted garlic added to each and placed in containers and refrigerated</p> <p>Herbed Cheeses</p> <p>Grene chese is not called grene by the reason of colour, but for the newness of itSofte chese, not to new nor to olde, is bestHarde chese is hote and dry, and euyllto digest. Spermyse is a chese the which is made with curdes and with the juce of herbesYet beside thesenatures of chese, there is a chese called rewene chese, the whiche, yf it be well orderyd, doth pass (surpass) all other cheses.</p> <p>The Good Housewifes Jewel also contains several recipes to extend the use of cheese that is old. They were doing this by also adding things such as ginger to change the flavor of older soft cheeses.</p> <p>In doing the flavored cheeses I choose two that were readily available in the middle ages regardless of the time period or country and were not costly. Other things I could have used for either flavor or color included saffron, ginger, and thyme.</p> <p>Herbed Cheese #1</p> <p>8 oz. of Chese ruayn</p> <p>1/3 cup finely chopped Garlic (Allium Sativum) </p> <p>Take 8 oz of the cheese made above and add a 1/3 of a cup of finely chopped Garlic (Allium sativum) (I prefer to roast my garlic and then add it). Place in a container cover and refrigerate.</p> <p>Note: this cheese is better if made ahead and allow to age for 3 to five days before use.</p> <p>Herbed Cheese #2</p> <p>8 oz. of Chese ruayn</p> <p>2~3 Tbl. finely chopped Dill (Anethum graveolens)</p> <p>Take 8 oz of the cheese made above and add a good handful of Fresh Dill (Anethum graveolens) (about 3 tablespoons). Place in a container add another tablespoonful of dill to the top and cover and refrigerate. </p> <p>Notes:</p> <p>This cheese is better if you make it 3~5 days in advance and give the flavor a chance to mature. </p> <p>Conclusion:</p> <p>This is a process I have been learning about for the last 2 years, I started a blog on MySpace page called Cheese 101 so I could keep track of mistakes and successes.</p> <p>Some of the things I learned was if my house is too cold the curd will not set, I can warm milk and add more Rennet, that if the milk used is near the end of the cows or goats lactation cycle the milk does not contain enough milk fat to set a curd. </p> <p>On adding rennet I learned early on that a little goes a long way and adding two much of something in the case of making cheese can be a bad thing. Adding not enough rennet and your curd will not set, but I have found that you can add a little more if necessary. Such as adding to much rennet will give it a rubbery texture. Adding to much lemon juice or vinegar will give the cheese a bitter or off taste. </p> <p>This last statement is important because it explains couple of written statement I found in period sources that talked about the time of year and the quality of the cheese products produced. For example in the spring and early summer the milk is rich and contains a large of amount of protein and milk fat due to new pastures and lactation for their young, so the cheese is going to be very rich in body and flavor. If the milk is in the fall then it is not as rich due to the decline of pasture feeding and that they are no longer lactating, so the cheese produced in the fall will take more milk to produce a pound of cheese due to a lower amount of protein and fat making the milk thinner (the cream that comes to the top is not as thick as in the spring/ summer milk).</p> <p>Part of the preservation of soft cheese comes in how dry can I get it (i.e. how much whey can I get out of the curd). This is done in several ways thru the process, by hanging, pressing, and salting. After the initial setting time and the curd is this wonderful mass I have just broke it into large chunks and placed it into the cheese cloth. But I have found that if I cut the curd (make it into small pieces) first that the whey separates better and gives me two things a dryer curd that will last longer and a better texture to the finished plain cheese (smaller and with more the looks of large cottage cheese chunks). When a soft cheese goes to the bad very fast it is the whey left in the cheese that goes bad first. With modern refrigeration I can keep these soft cheeses for up to 6 weeks. In period these cheeses likely lasted for a week to 10 days with root cellars or 3 to 5 days other wise. Although I did not find any information o...</p>