Simple Jack Cheese is a rich and creamy cheese that goes well with fruits. From the name itself, simple jack cheese is easy to make. It also has a short aging time. Here is a step by step guide to making simple hack cheese from home.
Aging Time: 3 months or more
Yield: approximately 450g of Simple Jack cheese
1. 3.7 L (1 gallon) of whole milk (not ultra pasteurized)
2. 1 cup of heavy cream
3. ½ teaspoon of MA 11 mesophilic starter culture or Flora Danica
4. ½ teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in ¼ cup unchlorinated water
5. Cheese salt
6. Butter or lard
1. Large pot
3. Curs knife or curd cutter
4. Large colander
5. Cheese cloth or butter muslin
6. Cheese hoop
7. Cheese press
1. Pour the milk into the pot. Slowly heat to 31.60 C (89°F) for 20 minutes. Using a water bath instead of direct heating is recommended.
2. Remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle the mesophilic starter culture on the milk’s surface. Allow the culture to rehydrate for 5 minutes.
3. Gently stir the milk in up and down motion. Make sure to stir well to fully mix the culture to the milk.
4. Cover the pot and leave the milk to ripen for 45 minutes. Make sure you keep the milk’s temperature at 31.60 C (89°F) during the ripening process.
5. Add the rennet. Stir well in an up and down stroke.
6. Cover the pot and let it set for 40 minutes.
7. Check for a clean break. Cut the curds into ½ inch cubes. Allow to heal for 5 minutes and stir. The curds are fragile at this point so stir gently.
8. Gradually increase the temperature to 38.30 C (101°F) over the next 30 minutes. Constantly stir to prevent the curds from sticking together. The curds should become firm and shrink to the size of small beans after this process.
9. Maintain the target temperature. Ladle out some of the whey, leaving only an amount up to the curds’ surface. Continue to slowly stir for 45 to 60 minutes.
10. Pour some cold unchlorinated water (around 100 C or 50°F) until the temperature goes down to 260 C (79°F). Allow the curds to rest at this temperature for 4 minutes.
11. Line the colander with a damp cheese cloth or butter muslin. Put it on top of a large pot enough to capture the whey.
12. Ladle the curds to the cloth lined colander.
13. Toss and mill the curds with your hands for 30 minutes to prevent it from matting.
14. Add some salt and mix well with the cheese.
15. Line a cheese hoop with cheese cloth or butter muslin. Transfer the cheese into the hoop.
16. Press at 450 g (1 lb) of pressure for 15 minutes.
17. Remove the cheese from the hoop. Undress, flip and redress. Place it back in the mold again again. Press at 11 kg (25 lbs) for 10 hours.
18. Take the cheese out of the mold. Remove from the cheese cloth and air dry at 210 C (69°F) for 24 hours.
19. Rub butter or olive oil on the surface of the cheese. Bandage with cheese cloth. Age for at least 3 months, flipping it once a week. After aging, you may vacuum seal it and store it in the fridge until it is used for consumption.
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