Squeeky cheese curds are a chedder-style cheese curd that hasn’t been fully pressed and aged. They are a delicious snack, and really work well as a melting cheese for pizza or poutine! (How can you tell that I’m Canadian?)
Making homemade cheese curds is a good place to start for anyone wanting to experiment with homemade hard cheese, because it involves all the same steps, without the aging process.
This recipe assumes that you have a basic knowledge of how to make cheese, if you are uncertain about any of the steps, or need more information on the equipment and supplies, please read through Cheesemaking 101.
- 4 Liters of milk
- ½ package of mesophilic culture (see notes)
- ¼ tsp of liquid rennet in 2 tbsp filtered water
- ¼ tsp of calcium chloride in 2 tbsp filtered water (if using pasteurized milk)
- 1 tbsp salt (non-iodized)
- Heat milk to 90F (32C). Stir in the culture and maintain temperature for 90 minutes.
- Stir in calcium chloride, then the rennet, mixing thoroughly.
- Maintain heat and let the milk rest for 45 min to set the curd.
- When the curds show a clean break, cut the curds into ½″ cubes.
- Cook the curd by stirring every 5 minutes for the next ½ hour, while slowly raising the temperature to 110F (43C).
- Once you have reached 110 F, maintain the temperature and continue stirring every 5 minutes for another 30 minutes, so the curds have been cooked for a total of 1 hour.
- Line a strainer with butter muslin and pour the curds and whey into it.
- Hang the curd in the butter muslin and allow to drain for 30 minutes.
- Twist the muslin tight then press the cheese with 8 lbs of weight for 2-3 hours.
- At that point the curds will have knit into one solid mass. Break them up with your fingers and sprinkle on the salt.
- The curds will be "squeaky" for the first few hours. Otherwise you can store them in the refrigerator and use within 4 weeks.
- Detailed information on how to make cheese and the ingredients and equipment needed can be found at Homemade Cheese 101.
- The best milk for cheesemaking in non-homogenized, if using homogenized milk then add the calcium chloride.
- You can replace the mesophilic culture with a 1/4 cup of milk kefir or a 1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk. The flavour will be slightly different, but it will still acidify the milk.
- Cheese curds are perfect for melting on poutine, chili cheese fries or pizza. If you want to make a slicing cheese, check out this recipe for an aged farmhouse cheese, which is a simple version of an aged cheddar cheese.