How to make homemade gruyere cheese. But first, what is gruyere cheese? For those of you who may not be familiar with gruyere cheese, but you’re looking for a new cheese recipe to try, this cheese is very similar to Swiss cheese.
It’s texture is more velvety or creamy than Swiss cheese, and it tastes like a well-aged Swiss cheese. It also has smaller holes than Swiss cheese and its rind is reddish-brown or rust coloured. Gruyere cheese originally was made in Switzerland,
but the French have made a very popular type of gruyere cheese as well. Because the wheel of gruyere cheese is put into a salt brine, it is a little on the salty side. When used in cooking, this cheese melts well. So gruyere cheese is used in everything from mac-and-cheese dishes to fondues.
So here is the homemade gruyere cheese making recipe:
You will need 3 ½ to 4 gallons of whole cow’s or goat’s milk.
Place the milk into a large clean pot, then place the pot into a warm water bath. Increase the temperature of the milk to 34 degrees C or 92 degrees F.
Take ¼ cup of the warm milk and add ½ tsp of thermophilic “C” culture powder and 1 tsp of proprionic bacteria to it. Then mix thoroughly into the pot of milk.
Keep the temperature the same and let the milk ripen for 10 minutes.
Now it is time to add the rennet. Mix 1 tsp of liquid rennet in ¼ cup of cool water, then stir into the milk. (Note: If your milk is homogenized, you must add 1 tsp of calcium chloride before adding the rennet. Otherwise the curds will not set.)
The curds will set in about 30 minutes. Do not stir during this time period and keep the temperature constant at 34 degrees C or 92 degrees F.
Once the curd is set, cut into ½ inch cubes.
After the curds are cut, slowly over the time frame of an hour, increase the temperature to 56 degrees C or 132 degrees F. To keep the curds from matting, you will need to continuously stir during this hour. The curds will shrink in size, as the temperature rises.
Let the curds rest for 5 minutes.
Line a clean strainer or colander with a clean cheesecloth and then drain the curds into the colander.
Place the curds into your cheese press, which has been lined with a fresh cheesecloth. Always make sure you dampen the cheesecloth before placing the curds into it.
Press the cheese for 15 hours or for overnight.
After taking the wheel of cheese from the press, place it into a saturated salt brine for about 24 hours. Turn the cheese over once during this time frame.
Now take the wheel of cheese out of the brine and set uncovered in the fridge to air dry for about 6 days.
Once the rind has dried, take the wheel out of the fridge and set on the kitchen counter at room temperature for 21 days. The cheese will begin to swell or bulge as the “holes” characteristic of this cheese form inside of it. But do not place in direct sunlight.
Smear or rub the rind of the cheese with a little buttermilk to give it the rust color during the 21 days.
Place the gruyere cheese back into the refrigerator to age. This will take four months or longer. Keep the humidity between 80- 90% during this time. (Please note that the level of altitude will affect the size of holes in the cheese.)
Now you can enjoy your own homemade gruyere cheese.