Homemade Cheese Curds
These delicious homemade cheese curds are mild in flavor and have that fresh curd squeak when you bite into them! We won’t judge if you have these as an entire meal.
- 2 gallons whole milk
- 2 oz buttermilk
- 3/8 tsp calcium chloride diluted in 1/8 cup cool, non-chlorinated water
- 1/2 tsp single-strength liquid rennet, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool, non-chlorinated water
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- Pour the milk into a small stainless pot. Fill a larger pot half-full with water. On the stovetop, set the smaller pot inside the larger pot, and warm the milk to 90°F.
- Add the culture. Cover, and keep at 90°F for 1 hour.
- If using calcium chloride, add it now. Pour it onto the ladle, and stir well.
- Add rennet mixture by pouring it over a perforated ladle to help splatter it more evenly across the top of the milk.
- When the milk is still, cover and let set for about 45 minutes.
- Cut the curd into 1/2 inch pieces. Let the cut curds set, covered, at 90°F for 5 minutes.
- Using a spoon, gently stir the curds.
- Slowly begin raising the temperature of the curd over the next 30 minutes until it reaches 100 to 102°F.
- Hold the temperature and keep stirring for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. The curds should feel springy.
- If you’re looking at pH, you should be between 6.2 to 6.10.
- Let the curds settle for about 5 minutes.
- Gently press them to the bottom of the pot with the backs of your hands to form a solid mass.
- Scoop this mass out and place it in the colander.
- Set the colander in the pot. It should not touch the whey.
- Check the temperature of the curd with a thermometer and keep it at about 98°F. Cover, and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Cut the slab of curd into two pieces; stack them on top of each other. Cover, and let set for 15 minutes.
- Restack by flipping both pieces and moving the bottom piece to the top. Continue restacking every 15 minutes for about eight flips.
- To check the texture of the curd, tear it, it should be similar to cooked chicken.
- Place the pieces of curd on a cutting board and cut into strips that are 1 inch wide. Cut the strips crosswise into pieces that are 2 inches long.
- Place the pieces of curd back in the warm colander and sprinkle with half the salt.
- Stir for a few minutes. Cover and let set for 5 minutes to allow the salt to start absorbing.
- Add the remaining salt and stir well.
- Let the curds cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally so the salt continues to absorb. Once you can’t see any more salt, the curds are ready.
Try adding spices like garlic and herb or cajun when you add the salt for a different taste.
Inspired by and adapted from: Cheese Making