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{"activity_order":null,"activity_type":["Science"],"assignment_recipes":null,"author_notes":null,"cooked_this":0,"created_at":"2013-06-10T16:19:53Z","creator":null,"currently_editing_user":null,"description":"Skillful preparation and impeccable freshness are the keys to top-notch squeaky cheese curds. Perfecting the squeak requires that you create a mesh of long, elastic protein strands that will rub against the enamel of your teeth as you bite through one of these fresh-from-the-vat mild cheddar morsels.\r\n\r\nDoing this starts by \"ripening\" milk. This involves warming the milk to around [c 33], adding a mesophilic bacterial culture for cheese making, and then allowing time for the bacteria to lower the pH. This in turn causes milk proteins to begin to denature so that adding rennet later will create a cohesive curd.\r\n\r\nFor store bought milk, most cheesemakers prefer to add calcium chloride to restore free calcium depleted during pasteurization and storage. Free calcium increases the interaction of dairy proteins for a stronger curd. But if you have access to raw milk, you can skip adding calcium chloride.\r\n\r\nThe second step is to mix rennet enzyme into the slightly acidified milk and let it stand until a curd forms that will break clean. This means that when a blade or stick is inserted into the curd at an angle and then removed, there is no curdled milk clinging to the object.\r\n\r\nOnce the curd has set, it needs to be cut, cooked, and then drained of whey. Experienced cheesemakers know that it's important to cut the curd into small, equally sized pieces so that the whey drains evenly. \r\n\r\nCooking the curds at a slightly higher temperature causes the pH to fall further\u2014to around 6.1 to 6.2. The exact cooking temperature and time will make a noticeable difference to the consistency of the cheese curds. Often, this is a key step that makes one cheese different from another.\r\n\r\nFinally, the curds are then drained and held at a temperature between [c 37] to [c 42], which allows the strands of proteins to cross-link and knit the curd together. Doing this prepares the curds for the fifth step of \"cheddaring\" that is crucial to getting the squeak into your curds.\r\n\r\nCheddaring involves \"ditching\" the curd mass into slabs, stacking and flipping them, and repeating this stacking and flipping to expel whey trapped between grains of curd and developing the cohesive texture of squeaky cheese curds. Ultimately, this step makes the mass cohesive enough to \"mill\" into bite-sized chunks of curd.\r\n\r\nThe last step is salting the fresh curds. This not only makes them taste great, but actually keeps them from losing their squeak for about a day.\r\n\r\nBut after a day, the curds will inevitably lose their squeak. Even with salting, lactic acid bacteria in the cheese curds will continue to lower the pH, breaking down the long strands of proteins into smaller fragments, which don't have enough elastic strength to squeak under the bite of your teeth.\r\n\r\nYou can reinvigorate some of the squeakiness by gently reheating the curds\u2014a burst of microwave is ideal for this. Heating helps proteins reform some of those important long strands that imbue the curd with squeak. But careful you don't over do it, go to far and you'll simply melt the curd.","difficulty":"intermediate","featured_image_id":"{\"url\":\"https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/LzuA8GFfTtSTGeobo0kp\",\"filename\":\"Recipe_Cheese Curds15.jpg\",\"mimetype\":\"image/jpeg\",\"size\":256772,\"key\":\"1HqWC7g2T0q4hbmI2vib_Recipe_Cheese Curds15.jpg\",\"isWriteable\":false}","forks":[],"id":361,"image_id":"{\"url\":\"https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/6cDyDUXCQpREjcUIsv8A\",\"filename\":\"Recipe_Cheese Curds15.jpg\",\"mimetype\":\"image/jpeg\",\"size\":256772,\"key\":\"xkMUaYMETqOmKaQVU4qh_Recipe_Cheese Curds15.jpg\",\"isWriteable\":false}","include_in_gallery":true,"last_edited_by_id":8,"likes_count":2,"published":true,"published_at":"2013-06-20T18:27:40Z","show_only_in_course":false,"slug":"squeaky-cheese-curd-science","source_activity_id":null,"source_type":0,"summary_tweet":null,"timing":"","title":"Squeaky Cheese Curd Science","transcript":"","updated_at":"2013-12-08T08:33:51Z","upload_count":0,"used_in":[],"yield":"","youtube_id":"","tags":[],"equipment":[],"ingredients":[],"steps":[]}

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