Red Leicester Cheese #1
It’s been grey and cold here in the Mudgee district for the last few days as the Antarctic Vortex crashed its way across Australia, so what better way too spend a day inside than making cheese?
My cheese cave is rather low at the moment so I’m working on cheeses that take a few months to age. The ones I am focused on at the moment are are all cheddar type cheeses (which like to age at a slightly lower temp ). So todays cheese is Red Leicester.
You may wonder why red cheese ever come to exist. Cows milk is slightly yellow (unlike goats milk which is a pure white) This yellow colour is due to two things; The size of the fat globules and a substance called ‘Carotene‘. Carotene as the name suggests is what make carrots orange. Carotene is not only found in all sorts of vegetables but also greens and fresh spring grasses too. Cows eating fresh spring grass make the richest milk, so carotene tinged golden milk is a sign of quality milk. Cheese made from this milk ends up an orangey red rather than yellow, and that is why orangey red cheese are desirable – they indicate the milk used to make the cheese was very high quality spring milk.
Thats the theory anyway . In reality cows fed with lots of carrot and pumpkins have golden milk and make orange cheese all year round. Even more of a reality check – most orange / red cheese have simply had Annatto added.
I only used 6l of milk in this batch as I wanted to make some Halloumi with the other 4l.
- 6l of non-homogenised fresh milk
- 0.2g of MM100 starter
- 1.5ml of 50% CaCl solution
- 1.8ml of Annatto
- 1.7ml of 140 IMCU/ml rennet
- 18g of salt