A cheesemaking recipe for bloomy rind
Making brie cheese at home isn’t any more difficult than other hard cheese recipes. It’s just that it’s a needy little baby cheese and is demanding your attention on a daily basis for over a month. So if vac sealing and forgetting about it is your kind of cheese, this isn’t the one for you.
The other factor that makes homemade brie cheese an advanced recipe is it does require extra equipment, such as a particular hoop and an aging box, that will sit on your shelf until the next time you want to make brie.
But when you’re ready to build on your cheesemaking skill set and can add in the new supplies, it is wheel worthy of the work and one of the more impressive cheeses you can make!
I made my own hoop out of an old coconut oil bucket (7 ½ pound capacity). The bottom was cut off & holes were drilled through it for draining. The goal is a 7-8” diameter round with the ability to shape the cheese and drain off whey between the curds. (I wonder what is the diameter of a gallon-sized vinegar jug?) My only extra expense was for the unique cultures that grow the moldy, bloomy rind and an aging box which is simply a plastic container large enough to hold the cheese.
A Few Favorite Recipes to Make with Brie Cheese
Asparagus & Brie Puffed Pastry (Big mad I didn’t think ahead and make brie for asparagus season this spring.)
Cheese Ravioli (Use 1 part brie, 1 part parmesan & 6 parts ricotta cheese with salt to taste)
Garlic Butter Baked Brie (Make this. Make it now.)
Our favorite dessert with brie is simply to bake it in puff pastry and top with fried apples in double the maple sauce & candied pecans. I don’t find quick homemade puff pastry to work as well as store-bought because it takes longer to bake and though it is darn delicious, the cheese runs out before the pastry bakes. Sad, isn’t it?
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How to Make Brie Cheese
Brie is a “bloomy rind” cheese which refers to that dusty, velvety white mold rind enveloping that creamy paste in the center. Adding just a pinch of the specialty mold cultures ensures your cheese goes in the direction you want it to and the right molds grow. Not only do they create that protective rind, but the mold also produces enzymes that ripen the cheese, creating flavor and texture. These molds are perfectly safe to eat if that’s your cup of tea.
I have adapted my brie cheese recipe to vary depending on what the final objective is going to be. Do I want to serve a runny cheese that will be scooped up and ooze over the sides of a cracker? Or am I planning on cubing it for a poppable snack? (This is one of my children’s favorite snacking cheese.) Will I be folding it into puff pastry and baking it for a dessert?
These are the things to determine before getting started because what you do once the rennet has coagulated the curd will determine how runny or firm your cheese will be. For a runny cheese, you want to mess with that curd as little as possible. You will simply use your skimmer spoon to slice large horizontal pieces of curd and carefully place them in your hoop. This leaves more whey trapped in the cheese which will make it softer and a little more strongly flavored.
If you want a firmer curd, you can remove some of that whey in the cheese pot by stirring it for a couple of minutes to release the whey. Two minutes of stirring twice is a real treat when you’re used to standing there till your arm feels like it might just fall off after over an hour of stirring.
You’re welcome to download this recipe card to your device to save or print. Enjoy!
Find links to all of my cheesemaking recipes here.