In order to start making your own homemade Gouda cheese, you have to begin by making mesophilic starter culture. Now, the one and only ingredient for mesophilic starter culture is buttermilk.
Pour two cups of buttermilk and let it sit for 6-8 hours at room temperature, until it has reached a yogurt-like form. Once it reaches this form, you will put the liquid into an ice tray and freeze it. That's it for mesophilic starter culture.
There are only two more ingredients needed to make Gouda cheese; rennet tablets and store-bought milk.
Warm the milk to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, then add 4 ounces of mesophilic starter culture (about 4 ice cubes). Next, dissolve 1/4 of a rennet tablet into cold water. Hot water will destroy the rennet enzymes. After that, pour the rennet into the milk and stir for about five minutes. Let it sit for 1-2 hours.
When the milk reaches a firm curd, cut the curd into 1/2-inch squares. Set it in the oven at 102 degrees. Once the curd reaches 102 degrees Fahrenheit, carefully remove 3 cups of whey from the top surface. Replace with 3 cups of water. Reheat to 102 degrees and repeat the process 3 times.
Drain the cheese into a cheese hog or onto paper towels, then press the cheese with 45 pounds of weight for 3-1/2 hours. Pat dry the cheese, then stick in the refrigerator and let it age for up to 25 days.
Don't forget to flip the cheese about every 3 days. And congratulations, you've just made Gouda cheese.
This was Cooking with… Chef Cameron Davis, Chef Sam Plva, and Chef Skyler Hughes.