Farmhouse Hard Cheese

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Farmhouse cheese is a basic hard cheese that doesn’t need any special equipment. See the notes to create your own cheese press and cheese cave with items already in your house! Experiment with waxing, bandage wrapping, or making a washed rind cheese.


Units Scale
  • 1gallon whole milk
  • 1/2 packet of powdered mesophilic starter or 1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp of rennet mixed in 2 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1/4 tsp of food-grade calcium chloride in 2 Tbsp filtered water (if using homogenized milk)
  • 1 Tbsp salt (non-iodized)


  1. This is not a beginner recipe. Please read up on how to make cheese for more details about any of the steps.
  2. Heat milk to 90F (32C).
  3. Stir in culture and maintain at 90F for 45 minutes.
  4. Stir in calcium chloride, then add the rennet, mixing thoroughly. (If you’re using tablet rennet, then follow the instructions on the package).
  5. Maintain at 90F for 45 min and do not stir.
  6. When the curds show a clean break, cut the curds into 1/2-inch cubes.
  7. Cook the curds by stirring the cut curds every 5 minutes for the next 1/2 hour, slowly raising the temperature to 100F (38C).
  8. Line a strainer with butter muslin and pour the curds into it. (Save the whey! See notes).
  9. Hang the curd in the butter muslin and allow to drain for 1 hour.
  10. After an hour, place the curds into a bowl. Break the curds into small pieces and mix in the salt.
  11. Pack the curds into a cheese mold lined with butter muslin. Press at 11 lbs for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the cheese, re-wrap it and turn it over, press at 22 lbs for 10 minutes.
  13. Re-wrap the cheese again and turn over, press at 44 lbs for 12 hours.
  14. See the section above for 4 ways to finish the cheese. (Fresh, waxed, washed, or bandage-wrapped).
  15. Age farmhouse cheese at around 55 F (13 C) and 75% humidity for 1 to 4 months.


  • Sanitation is key to making hard cheese. It’s the only way to ensure that the cheese is cultured with exactly the right strains of mesophilic bacteria.
  • If you don’t have a cheese press, then make your own using heavy objects from around your house. The cheese won’t be as firm if it isn’t pressed at 44lbs, but you will still get a semi-hard slicing cheese pressing with 11 lbs for the full 12 hours. Just flip twice, as directed, to evenly press the cheese.
  • Don’t throw out your whey! The sweet whey from cultured cheese can be used to make ricotta. Here are a few other ways to use up whey.

Keywords: simplest, beginner, waxed, washed, bandaged, aged, cheddar, traditional, diy