Easy Farmhouse Cheddar Recipe: Cheese At Home The Farmhouse Way (2024)

You may think that it’s very hard to make your own cheese at home, but there are actually quite a few cheese recipes that are very easy. Cheese making has been always an important part of traditional farm cooking. In this article, we will review the many good reasons you should take up cheese making at home. We also share a quick and easy farmhouse cheddar recipe. Read on to learn more.

What You'll Learn Today

  • Why Make Your Own Cheese?
  • Where Do You Start?
  • Easy Farmhouse Cheddar Recipe
    • What You’ll Need
    • Here’s What You’ll Do {10 Steps}
      • Cheese Making In The Early 19th Century

Why Make Your Own Cheese?

Easy Farmhouse Cheddar Recipe: Cheese At Home The Farmhouse Way (1)

Making cheese is a rare skill these days but it doesn’t have to be. It’s actually quite simple to make your own cheese, and when you do you’ll have quite a feather to put in your cap. Homemade cheese is always the perfect thing to bring along to potlucks, picnics and parties.

When you make cheese at home, you can always be certain that it’s made with the very best ingredients. Cheese that you purchase in the store is sure to have a number of additives to enhance its longevity, color and/or texture.

Cheese you make it home will have only what you put in it. You will have complete control over the quality of the ingredients you use. If you want all natural, organic, GMO free cheese, you can make just that.

Cheese making gives you an opportunity to not only learn a new hobby but also to learn about where your food comes from.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a farming community, you may be able to strike up a relationship with a local dairy farmer and to know not only the location of your source of milk, but also her name.

Your kids can help you make cheese. It’s an easy safe kitchen activity that teaches responsibility, chemistry and a bit of math. Once your kids have helped you a time or two, they may be happy to receive cheese starter kits as gifts on birthdays and holidays.

Even poorly made cheese is usually very tasty. As you get started, you may not make perfect cheese, but even if the texture seems all wrong, go ahead and drain it and salt it and give it a try. It may be quite delicious! If you can’t eat it as is, you can always use it in cooking.

Practice makes perfect, and the more you try the better you’ll get.

Where Do You Start?

Easy Farmhouse Cheddar Recipe: Cheese At Home The Farmhouse Way (2)

The steps to making all sorts of cheese are fairly similar and fairly easy. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can branch out and make soft cheese, crumbling cheese, hard cheese and more.

When you make your own cheese, you have the best quality product for the lowest price. Start-up with cheese making is inexpensive, and you may already have some of what you need in your kitchen.

Basically, you’ll need a cooking thermometer, a large pot, some clean cheesecloth and a cheese culture.

Here’s a simple recipe to get you started.

Easy Farmhouse Cheddar Recipe

What You’ll Need

To make two pounds of fresh cheddar, you’ll need:

  • Two gallons of whole milk. You can use cow’s milk or goat’s milk from the store or raw.
  • One packet of direct-set mesophilic starter. Alternately, you can use four ounces of prepared mesophilic starter.
  • Dilute half a teaspoonful of liquid rennet (i.e. half a rennet tablet) in a quarter cup of cool, chlorine-free water.
  • One tablespoonful of cheese salt.
  • Cheese wax or olive oil.

Here’s What You’ll Do {10 Steps}

1. Depending on the type of milk you have, heat it to either 85°F (goat’s milk) or 90°F (cow’s milk). Gradually stir in the starter. Put the lid on the pot and let the milk and starter rest for approximately forty-five minutes.

2. Stir in the diluted rennet using a gentle up-and-down motion. Continue stirring for approximately a minute. Take great care if the milk you are using is fresh, whole cow’s milk. Stir constantly for a full minute with the bottom side of the ladle submerged by about half an inch. This technique will ensure that any risen butterfat gets stirred into the mixture thoroughly.

Put the lid on the pot and keep the mixture consistently warm for forty-five minutes. As above, 85°F is ideal if you’re using goat’s milk, and 90°F is ideal if you’re using cow’s milk. When enough time has elapsed, the curd will break clean.

3. Using a long, sharp knife slice through the curd in a criss-cross pattern about half an inch apart. The end result will be a cubed pattern on the top. See the video below for a demonstration.

4. Put the pot into another large pot filled with hot water. Increase the heat under the pot gradually until the curds’ temperature measures 100°F. This entire process should take about half an hour. The temperature should not rise by more than a couple of degrees every five minutes.

Throughout this process, stir through the curds gently to prevent them from becoming matted. As the curds heat up, they will become smaller. As this happens, the amount of whey (liquid) will increase.

5. Remove the container from the heat, put the lid on and allow it to sit for five minutes. Line a colander with cheesecloth. When the five minutes are up, pour the curds and whey through the cheesecloth. Retain the whey because you can use it in place of milk or other liquids in baked goods. The result is a very light and flavorful product.

6. Tie up the corners of the cheesecloth to create a bag. Hang this bag up in a warm area that is free of drafts. Let the whey drain for an hour.

Put the drained curds into a large bowl and break them into pieces with your fingertips. Add salt.

7. Line a mold with cheesecloth and press the curds into it. Fold the cheesecloth neatly over the top of the curds. Put a 10 pound weight on top of this for ten minutes.

8. After ten minutes, tip the cheese out of the mold and peel the cheesecloth away. Turn the cheese over, wrap it in fresh cheesecloth, put it back in the mold and put 20 pounds of weight on it for another ten minutes. Do this again, but finish up with 50 pounds of weight left in place for twelve hours.

9. Tip the cheese out of the mold, peel off the cheesecloth and allow the cheese to air dry at room temperature until it has developed a rind and the surface is completely dry.

This process may take between two and four days. If the weather is dry, the time will be shorter. Humid weather will cause a longer waiting time. Throughout this process, turn the cheese several times daily so that it will dry evenly all over.

10. At this point, you can coat the cheese with wax, or you can rub it all over with olive oil for protection. Allow the cheese to age for a month in a warm, dry, draft free setting. Turn the cheese daily to ensure that it dries and ages evenly.

There are so many uses for cheddar in your kitchen. I love to add a bit into my homemade farmhouse soup.

Cheese Making In The Early 19th Century

Looking for more food inspirations? Here is our guide to cooking carp on a farm grill, or even a farm raised alligator.

Easy Farmhouse Cheddar Recipe: Cheese At Home The Farmhouse Way (2024)


What's the difference between Farmhouse Cheddar and cheddar? ›

Farmhouse Cheddar is a more rustic version of traditional Cheddar and is made with the exclusion of the traditional cheddaring process of stacking and milling. Farmhouse cheddar tends to be slightly drier and crumblier than traditional Cheddar but still has a full and sharp flavour.

What is farmhouse style cheese? ›

Farmstead cheese, less commonly known as farmhouse cheese, is produced from the milk collected on the same farm where the cheese is produced. Unlike artisan cheese, which may also include milk purchased and transported from off-farm sources, farmstead cheese makers use milk only from animals they raise.

What are the ingredients in cheddar cheese? ›

Cheddar cheese is made with the same ingredients as most other cheeses – milk, salt, rennet, and a bacteria culture. The bacteria is added to cow's milk to acidify it and the rennet is added to curdle it. The curds are strained to separate the liquid whey, then heated to release more whey as the curd melts together.

What is English Farmhouse Cheddar? ›

Our Farmhouse Cheddar is a classic, made in the traditional English style. It is natural in color and has a delicate mild buttery flavor. Subtle hints of fruit can be tasted in every bite while its finish is smooth and creamy.

What does West Country Farmhouse Cheddar taste like? ›

Ford Farm's award-winning West Country Farmhouse Cheddar is a delicious, mature variety with a range of delicious yet contrasting flavours from sweet and creamy to tangy and nutty. Encased in wax to preserve its freshness.

What are the three types of cheddar? ›

What are the different types of cheddar cheese? Cheddar cheese comes in mild, sharp, and extra sharp varieties. Mild cheddars are aged from 3 to 6 months, while sharp cheddars are aged 9 to 12 months. Extra sharp cheddars are generally aged up to two years, though some cheddars are aged as long as 10 years or more.

Does farmhouse cheese melt? ›

Since it's not aged long, Farmhouse Cheddar does melt fairly quickly. The longer Cheddar ages, the less moisture the cheese will contain and the harder it is to melt.

Can I make cheese with sour raw milk? ›

Turns out, you probably have everything you need to make cheese in your kitchen right this minute. When faced with a carton of old milk and a few tablespoons of vinegar you can actually repurpose the liquids into a snack: in this case, a crumbly or creamy cheese.

What kind of cheese was the old government cheese? ›

Government cheese is "pasteurized process American cheese", a term with a standard of identity. It is produced from a variety of cheese (Cheddar cheese, Colby cheese, cheese curd, or granular cheese), made meltable using emulsifiers and blended.

Which cheese is easiest to make? ›

Make chèvre. It is the world's easiest cheese. Or, if you do not have access to goat's milk, make fromage blanc. The process is just the same, and the results are just as impressive.

Is it cheaper to make your own cheese? ›

Depending on the type of cheese you prefer, making your own cheese is less expensive than purchasing it from your local supermarket because you don't have to factor in the manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and freight costs.

Which is the best cheddar cheese in the world? ›

Tillamook's Sharp Cheddar Voted Best of Class

Tillamook's Sharp Cheddar took Best of Class in the Sharp Cheddar (6 months to 1 year) category at the 2024 World Champion Cheese Contest. As one of our favorites, it came as no surprise that the Cheddar took top prize in its category.

What does vintage cheddar taste like? ›

This is true 'Vintage' Cheddar. Extending the maturing time allows the cheese to develop more depth and breadth of flavour, resulting in a more vibrant, nutty cheddar with very low lactose (<0.1%). A real treat – gluten free and suitable for most who are lactose intolerant.

What is the difference between American cheddar and British cheddar? ›

Fans of the "barnyard-y," "musty" flavors that are typical of traditional English cheddars leaned toward Keen's, while those who favor more "butterscotch-y" cheddars preferred the American cheeses. The only factor that tipped the balance in favor of the domestic cheddars was price.

What is the difference between cheddar and vintage cheddar? ›

Sharp/Matured: Aged from 6 to 12 months. This style becomes drier and more crumbly, yielding a robust and pungent flavor. Vintage: Aged from 12 to 24 months (or even longer!), this cheddar is strong, savory, and crumbly, with small calcium lactate crystals throughout, for a subtle salty crunch when bitten.

What are the 2 types of cheddar? ›

Types of Cheddar

Mild cheddar is young and smooth, with a subtle, buttery taste. Medium cheddar has a slightly stronger flavor, while sharp cheddar has a tangy and robust taste that pairs well with bold flavors.

What is the difference between types of cheddar? ›

The longer a cheese is aged, the more pronounced and sharp its flavor. This is what distinguishes mild cheddar (typically aged for just a couple months, with a smooth, not too distinct taste) from more flavorful, pronounced sharp cheddar (aged up to a year or longer). One type of aged cheddar we love is Alpine.

What are the different types of cheddar cheese? ›

It is sold in several varieties, namely mild, medium, sharp, extra sharp, New York style, white, and Vermont. New York–style cheddar is particularly sharp/acidic, but tends to be somewhat softer than the milder-tasting varieties.

Which cheddar is best? ›

Kerrygold Reserve

Kerrygold is kind of like the king of cheddar cheese. We tried three of their fancy varieties—in addition to Reserve, we tasted the Skellig and Dubliner cheddars—but this one really delivered what you expect from a good Irish cheddar.

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