How to Make Cheese Curds
- Start by heating the milk to 96 degrees F. When it reaches that temperature, set a timer for 90 minutes (this needs to be done so you can measure the process from “ripening through scald”) and continue with the recipe.
- Next, add the measured calcium chloride and the packet of C201 thermophilic culture to the milk. Make sure the temperature of the milk is 96 degrees F to ripen for at least 30 minutes.
- After the time is over, mix in the liquid rennet and ¼ cup of cool water. Stir it into the milk slowly for 30 seconds.
- In 6 to 10 minutes, the milk will begin to form into a gel and in 18 to 25 minutes, it will begin to firm and set.
- At this point, you will have curds so begin cutting them in ¾-inch cubes. Wait for at least 3 minutes and then start stirring. Make sure the temperature stays at 96 degrees F. While you are stirring, you will see the curds getting smaller.
- Now, the curds can start heating at 116 degrees F for a minimum of 30 minutes. As more whey is coming out of them, the size will start shrinking. Let the curds cook for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how dry you want them to be.
- After they have cooked, put them in a cheesecloth liner colander so they can drain. Hold the cloth by its corner, hang it for 15 to 20 additional minutes, and then twist it tightly so the curds are pressed together.
- For pressing, you will need to put a small place on top of the curds for a smooth surface. Put 8 pounds of weight on top of it and let it sit for 1 to 3 hours.
- After the curds have solidified, you can start breaking them into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle salt on them. Now the curds are ready to be eaten!
- Cheese curds are popularly eaten in Quebec, Canada.
- In the United States, cheese curds are referred to as “squeaky cheese.”