What is cheddar cheese?
As per the IDFA, cheddar is one of the famous cheeses in the US. The second rank is held by mozzarella. Cheddar cheese approximately accounts for 35.8% of all cheeses sold in the United States.
When you think of cheddar cheese, you might think of your favorite dairy recipes but, as a food lover, how much information do you have about cheddar? So, to begin with, here is a little bit of background.
The History of Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese got its name after the Cheddar village, located in Somerset, England. The origin of cheddar cheese can be traced to the early 12th century. After cheddar cheese’s production, English nobles fell for its flavor, and it was regularly served at royal dinners and parties. Moreover, King Henry II was so fond of this cheese that in 1107, he purchased over 10,000 lb. of cheddar cheese. Additionally, he also proclaimed that the cheese was the best in the country.
Today cheddar is manufactured and is imported and exported around the globe.
Cheesemaking has often been influenced by regionality. Historically, variations in local kinds of milk influenced the taste of cheese and apprised the tastes of those who ate it.
The most common type of cheddar available today is “bandage-wrapped” or “clothbound.” In this process, the cheese wheels are covered with cheesecloth. Afterward, with the help of lard or butte, it is secured and covered tightly and left to rind naturally. Since the older method does not allow for prolonged aging periods, clothbound cheddars come out to be less “sharp.” This isn’t to say that clothbound cheddar cheeses are bland or tasteless. Cheese lovers prefer this style as the cheese produced has an intricate and profound flavor. With conventional style cheese making, the cheese turns out to be— fruity, grassy, and earthy. This method of cheese making was once on the verge of extinction; however, it again gained popularity in the United States and the UK in the last two decades.
Now let us take a look at cheddar cheese powder.
Cheddar cheese powder
This cheese powder is often used in cheese recipe ingredient lists. Cheddar cheese powder is prepared from standard cheddar cheese that has been dehydrated to discard moisture to be kept for a long time.
Where is cheddar cheese powder used?
Cheddar Cheese powder is most widely used in cheese recipes for flavor. At times, fresh cheese can taste tangy or bland; however, adding cheese powder can dramatically alter the flavor.
One thing to notice is that cheddar cheese powder is intended to be used as a cooking ingredient rather than meant to be dusted on snacks. Before buying, look at the ingredients and ensure there are no additives or toxins.
How do I use cheddar cheese powder in my recipe?
Use cheddar cheese powder with mesophilic cheeses with lesser cooking time. After the milk is heated and before the cultures is added, add the cheese powder. Approximately 1/2 teaspoons to 1 gallon of milk is a standard ratio.
By seeing how much salt content does the cheese powder has, adjust the salt input in the recipe.
Powdered Cheddar Cheese: A Step-by-Step Guide
You can now make your own cheddar cheese powder with refined tastes.
You just have to pick the cheese that is chemicals- or preservatives-free and is the hardest, flavorful, and the sharpest.
Choosing a Cheese
It is simple to select the best cheese for powdering. You just have to look for the one with less moisture. Less moisture is necessary as it will be easier to turn this cheese into powder. Additionally, you can choose from Gouda, Asiago, or Authentic cheddar.
For milder tasting cheese other options include: French gruyere, Comté, Gruyere, and Emmental. Although they take a little more time to dry.
Dehydrator vs. Oven
Temperature setting should be low while dehydrating cheese. For best results, dehydrate cheese at 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit yields.
However, if you do not have dehydrators, you can use the oven also. You just have to set the temperature a little below 150 degrees Fahrenheit. In some cases, the oven’s setting only shows “warm.” The warm setting depicts that the ovens’ temp will be around 180- and 200-degrees Fahrenheit. But no need to worry. Simply heat the oven for 15 to 20 minutes and open its door (about 1 – 2 inches).
The Drying Process
For the drying process, the thickness of cheese should be as thin as possible. Moreover, if the cheese is quite soft, first put it in the freezer for about 30 to 35 minutes and then shave. Or else, it will break into pieces. With the help of a vegetable peeler, make thin strips resembling thin paper.
If you are using the oven, then before placing the baking sheet, first tightly cover the wire rack in cheesecloth. Now, with about 1/4-inch space, evenly spread the cheese onto the rack.
To see if the cheese is all dry, touch it. This is necessary because the drying time will vary according to the cheese of your choice. Every cheese has a different moisture content, and each oven has different temperature settings.
After the cheese is entirely dehydrated, use your fingers to crumble it. Your fingers might feel sticky, but it is worth it! Also, the oiliness will mainly depend on the cheese type you are preparing.
It will take almost 10 to 12 hours for soft and semi-hard cheese, and for hard cheese, the time taken can vary from between; it will take around 9 to 10 hours.
Putting All Together
Now is the time when we start grinding. Before you start, freeze the powdered cheese for about half an hour. After this, grind it in a grinder. Make sure that the cheese particles are fine. Now add this fine grind to the whey powder (1/4 cup) and mix well. Properly mix them together for getting a flour-like consistency and dryness. Try to pour the cheese. If you feel that the cheese does not have the required consistency, you can add one tablespoon of whey. Again, pour it to check and add more whey if needed.