Squeaky cheese curds are a cooked cheddar-style cheese 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?)
Learning to Make Cheese
Making cheese curds is a good place to start for anyone wanting to experiment with homemade hard cheese. It involves all the same steps as cheddar, without the aging process. So it doesn’t require a proper cheese press, waxing or an aging cave.
If you want to make a simple aged cheese, then try farmhouse cheese, which is a simplified version cheddar cheese.
This recipe assumes that you have a basic knowledge cheesemaking, if you are uncertain about any of the steps, or need more information on the equipment and supplies, please read through all of the Cheesemaking topics.Print
Squeaky Cheese Curds
Squeaky cheese curds are a fresh variation of cheddar cheese. It is a simple cooked curd cheese that doesn’t require waxing or aging. Homemade cheese curds have a unique “squeaky” texture. They are perfect for snacking or on poutine.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Cheese
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Canadian
- 4 Liters of milk
- 1/2 package of mesophilic culture (see notes)
- 1/4 tsp of liquid rennet in 2 tbsp filtered water
- 1/4 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 the temperature for 90 minutes.
- Stir in calcium chloride, then the rennet, mixing thoroughly.
- Maintain the heat at 90F and let the milk rest for 45 min to set the curd.
- When the curds show a clean break, cut the curds into 1/2″ cubes.
- Cook the curd by gently stirring every 5 minutes for the next 1/2 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. The curds will have 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.
- 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 acidify the milk. If using homemade culture you may want to test the acidity (affiliate link) of the cheese before setting the rennet.
Keywords: diy, homemade, poutine, curds, cheddar, cheesemaking, fall, winter