Making Swiss Cheese
Inspired and modified from Kitchen Cheesemaking, Lue Dean
Flake, Stackpole books, pp. 82-85.
Swiss cheese is not one of the simplier cheeses to
make. One of the major differences between Swiss and other cheeses
is that a unique bacterium, Propionibacterium shermanii, is used to ferment the
cheese after it is formed into a wheel. This bacterium produces carbon
dioxide (hence the bubbles or "eyes" in the cheese), and propionic
acid which gives Swiss its unique bite.
Ingredients to turn a gallon of milk into a pound of Swiss
- 1 gallon fresh milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh yogurt (with equal parts L. bulgaricus
and S. thermophiles.)
- 1/4 teaspoon Propioni bacterium shermanii culture (pre-aged swiss cheese
with mold growth)
- 1/2 tablet Junket Rennet
- Warm milk to 95 F.
- Add small amount of milk to the yogurt and P. shermanii
cultures, stir to mix, whisk thoroughly into milk, let set 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dissolve ½ tablet rennet in 1/4 cup fresh cool
- Stir the dissolved rennet into the inoculated milk, cover
undisturbed for about 30 minutes until a clean break is achieved. If it
takes longer than 30 minutes, use more rennet next time.
- Cut the curd by making 1/8th inch vertical cuts in two
directions to make long 1/8th inch strips. Then whisk the strips with a pastry
whisk so that all levels of the curds are cut. Final curd pieces should
be the size of a wheat grain. Maintain temperature at 95 F.
- Hold the temp at 95 F for 30-40 more minutes, then slowly
increase the temperature with stirring to 125 F. Hold at 125 F for an
additional 45 minutes.
- Test for completed cooking by squeezing a handful of curds
into a ball. If it readily breaks up when rubbed between palms, it is
- Let curds settle, dip off some whey.
- Dip out the curds into a clean handkerchief suspended in a
strainer over a catch bowl.
- Pick up the four corners of the handkerchief, dip into whey
to loosen curds, then set in cheese hoop.
- Press for five minutes, remove, replace cloth, and press for
three more hours.
- Rinse cloth in saturated salt water, replace in press for
three more hours.
- Repeat rinsing of cloth in salt water and pressing for three
- Repeat rinsing of cloth in salt water and press overnight.
- Prepare saturated salt water bath: dissolve 5 Tbl salt in 16
oz water (some salt remains undissolved). Pour into a plastic container
slightly wider than the cheese, cool the salt solution down to 45 F.
Float cheese for two days in this 45 F brine, turning each day, sprinkle salt
on surface of cheese.
- Finally, place cheese on board at 50-55 F, 90%
humidity. Wipe and dry board daily for 10 days. Wipe the cheese
with salt soaked cloth and turn. Rub the cheese with salt at end of 10
- Move cheese to 70 F, 70-80 % humidity. Wipe with clean
salt water 2 times per week, continue for a month and a half.
should puff up as characteristic holes form.
- Final curing at 40-45 F takes 4 months to a year.
Idaho Web Design