This recipe will teach you to make traditional Swiss cheese in the comforts of your own home.
Heat the milk to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the starter and mix well.
Remove 1/4 cup of milk from the pot and add the propionic shermanii to it. Mix thoroughly to dissolve the powder. Add the mixture to the milk and stir. Cover and allow the milk to ripen for approximately 10 minutes.
Make sure that the milk's temperature ALWAYS remains at 90 degrees. Add the diluted rennet and stir gently with an up-and-down motion for approximately 1 minute. If you are wanting to use farm fresh cow's milk, top stir for several minutes longer. Cover and let the milk set at 90 degrees for approximately 30 miutes.
Using a curd knife and a stainless-steel whisk, cut the curd into 1/4 inch cubes.
Keeping the curd temperatures at 90 degrees, gently stir the curds for approximately 40 minutes. This is called fore-working and helps expel whey from the curds before they are heated.
Heat the curds by one degree every minute until the temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take approximately 30 minutes. Maintain the temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for another 30 minutes, stirring often. The curds must be cooked until they reach a stage called the "proper break." To test for this, wad together a handful of curds and rub it gently between your palms. It the ball readily breaks apart into individual particles, the curds are sufficiently cooked. If they are not sufficiently cooked, they will be too soft to hold the cheese together. Let the curds set for approximately 5 minutes.
Pour off the whey and reserve it for other recipes.
Line a 1 pound mold with cheesecloth and place it in the sink or over a large pot. Quickly ladle the curds into the mold. You do not want the curds to cool. Press at 8-10 pounds of pressure for approximately 15 minutes.
Remove the cheese from the mold and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Turn over the cheese, re-dress it, and press at 14 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes.
Repeat the process but press at the same pressure of 14 pounds for 2 hours.
Repeat the process but press at 15 pounds of pressure for 12 hours.
Make a saturated brine bath by combining the salt and water in a noncorrosive pot; stir well. Remove the cheese from the mold, peel away the cheesecloth, and soak the cheese in the brine. Sprinkle the remaining pinch of salt on the surface of the floating cheese. Refrigerate the brine and let the cheese soak for 12 hours.
Remove the cheese from the brine and pat dry. You can reserve the brine for other recipe uses if you so desire. Place the cheese on a clean cheese board and store between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and at 85 percent humidity. Turn the cheese daily for one week, wiping it with a clean cheesecloth dampened in salt water. Do not wet the cheese.
Place the cheese in a warm, humid room, such as the kitchen, with the temperature between 68 and 74 degrees fahrenheit. Turn it daily and wipe it with a cheesecloth dampened in salt water. Do not wet the surface of the cheese. Let the cheese set for 2-3 weeks, until eye formation is noticeable. The cheese will swell somewhat and become slightly rounded.
Age the cheese at 45 degrees Fahrenheit. and at 80 percent humidity for at least 3 months. Turn the cheese several times a week. Remove any surface mold with cheesecloth dampened in salt water. A reddish coloration on the surface of the cheese is normal and should not be removed.This recipe will make about 1 pound of cheese. If you an additional pound, just double the recipe.