Baby Gouda Cheese Making Recipe

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Gouda belongs to a category of washed curd cheeses that also includes Edam and Havarti. The names are derived from the locations where they were sold. Gouda and Edam are named after towns in the Netherlands and Havarti is named after the Danish farm where it was developed. Wash Curd Process The term washed curd refers to a specific part of the cheese making process. The washing process involves adding hot water to the curds after cutting, and removing part of the whey. Using hot water encourages more whey to be released and also washes away some of the lactic acid, creating a sweeter cheese. Washed curd cheeses are typically mild in flavor, stable and slow to age compared to many other cheeses. They are semi-firm in texture and may develop small eyes. They also generally have good melting properties. The difference between Gouda and Edam is the amount of milk fat. Gouda is made with whole milk, resulting in a finished cheese with 48% milk fat. Edam is made using part-skimmed milk, which results in 40% milk fat. Although larger sized Gouda and Edam can improve from aging over many months under specific storage conditions, the miniature versions, or Baby Gouda sizes, are meant to be eaten young. The cheese can still benefit from aging two to six months.



In a 6 quart or larger pot, gently heat milk to 90°F. Remove from heat. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon Mesophilic M starter culture over the milk surface and let it stand to rehydrate for 2 or 3 minutes. Then, gently and thoroughly stir the culture into the milk.

Add the prepared calcium chloride and stir it into the milk. Note the time and add the prepared rennet by mixing it into the milk with an up and down motion for about 1 minute. Using an up and down motion will result in the milk being still after you've stopped mixing and will facilitate curd formation.

Check the progress of the milk after adding the rennet by testing for gel development. (See: Test Gel Development).

When the curd makes a clean break, it is ready to cut. (See: How to Cut Curd).

Gently stir the curds for 5 minutes, cutting any large ones into ½" cubes while doing so. Let the curds rest and settle for 10 minutes. If the curds don't settle after 10 minutes, stir another 5 minutes and allow them to settle to the bottom.

Stir in one cup of 175°F water (from the pot of water you have heating for this purpose) in order to quickly raise the curd temperature. Stir gently for 10 minutes. Your curd temperature should now be 93-94°F. Let curds settle for 10 minutes.

Adjust the temperature of your pot of water so that it's 150-170°F, adding some cold water if it's too hot.

Pour off 3½ - 4 cups of the whey by carefully tipping the pot. You may need a free hand or lid to hold back the curds. The whey can either be discarded, or you can collect it into a separate container and use it to make ricotta cheese later. Replace the volume of whey drained off with an equal volume of hot water (150-170°F), stirring it in gently. You may need to adjust the temperature of the water you add so that the final temperature in the cheese pot is 100°F. Keep the curds at 100°F for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This can be done by placing the pot in a sink of water kept no higher than 110°F.

Meanwhile, prepare your cheesecloth for use in pressing the cheese by cutting two 9" squares and sterilizing them in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from the boiling water using tongs and run under cold water to cool them off enough for you to handle. Squeeze the water from the cloths and line the clean baby Gouda molds with them. Set aside for later.

Now test the curds to see if they will mat or stick together. Take a handful of curds and gently squeeze them together. If they stick together but are easily separated with your fingers, then they are ready to drain and press. If they do not mat, let them stay in the whey 5 minutes longer and recheck.

Pour the curds into a large strainer or colander and let drain for 5 minutes. If possible, place the strainer inside another pot or cover the curds in order to maintain the curd's temperature. The curds will press better if slightly warm.

Divide the curds between the two lined baby Gouda molds, fold the cheesecloth over the curds and place the follower on top.

Place a thin 1 lb. weight on top of each of the followers and press for 15 minutes. Four rolls of pennies are about the right weight. Be careful to keep the press and follower level. This will assure that the traditional Gouda shape will be formed.

After 15 minutes remove the weights, follower and carefully lift the cheese out of the mold by the cheesecloth. Unwrap the turn the cheese over and redress with cheesecloth. Place it back into the mold and replace the follower on top.

This time, place a thin 2-3 lb. weight on top of each of the followers and press for 15 minutes. Repeat the turning, redressing and pressing of the cheese using 2–3 lbs. of pressure until the rind is fairly smooth without gaps between curds. When the rind is smooth, leave the wrapped cheeses in the presses with weights on them overnight or up to 16 hours.


Prepare a brine for the cheese by combining ½ gallon water with 1 lb. cheese salt and bringing to a boil. Stir until salt is dissolved and remove from heat.

Stir in 1½ teaspoons of calcium chloride solution and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar. This will keep the rind from becoming gummy and bring the pH of the brine close to the pH of the cheese. Let the brine cool to room temperature before using. The temperature of the brine should be the same as the cheese.

After cheeses are pressed, remove cheesecloth and place the wheels in the brine solution at room temperature for 2 hours. You will need to lightly salt the exposed tops of the cheeses as they will float in the brine.

Remove from the brine and air dry on a bamboo mat or other suitable draining surface until the cheese is dry to the touch but hasn't dried so much as to form cracks. This could take up to 1 day depending on humidity.

Waxing Process

See: How to Wax Cheese

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