Robiola is a perfect cheese for a home cheesemaker. It is produced in the Langhe Hills just south of Torino, Italy.
What You Need
1 gallon of milk
1 packet of our Buttermilk culture
Liquid Rennet (either animal or vegetable)
A good thermometer
A knife to cut the curds, and a spoon or ladle to stir the curds with.
2-3 of our BasketMold (M332) to drain the curds
Butter Muslin for lining the molds and draining
Calcium Chloride can be added for pasteurized cold stored milk and will help to form a firmer curd using about 1/8-1/4 Tsp per gallon of milk.
What To Do
1. First, you need to heat the milk to 72F. You can place this in a pot in a sink of warm water or heat it on the stove. Be sure to heat it slowly and stir it as it heats if you heat it on the stove.
Once you have heated the milk, add the culture by sprinkling it on the surface to avoid it caking and clumping. Let it sit for 2 minutes so that the powder can re-hydrate before stirring it in.
Now let the milk sit for 4 hours while the initial acid develops before adding the rennet. The longer you let it ripen, it will cause the rennet to work on the milk much quicker due to the higher acid.
2. Once the milk has developed acid, you will add about 4 drops of single strength liquid rennet and stir for 1 minute.
To allow the rennet to do its work and coagulate the curd, allow the milk to sit for 25-40 minutes. After this, you will find that the milk has thickened and may hold a good cut as shown at left but do not worry if it still seems very soft. Don’t cut the curd though. Let the milk sit for another 8-24 hours.
When you see this whey rising, you can be sure that the curd has developed enough acid to be briefly cut and ladled to the forms.
3. The curd is ready to be cut and release the first of the whey. Begin with making a larger 1.5″ vertical cross cut with the knife and then let it sit for 3-5 minutes so that the whey can be released and become slightly firmer. You can make another cut using a spoon and cross cutting to break the curds into bean sized prices or a bit larger. Remember the larger the cut, the moister the final cheese.
When you’ve made the final cut, the curds can be stirred for about 5-10 minutes to allow the curd pieces to firm up. You can let the curds settle while you prepare the molds and draining cloth.
Use a spoon to remove the whey down to the level of the curds.
4. The moist curd can now be transferred to a mold lined with butter muslin. Set the molds on a rack above a sink to catch the whey as it drains. You can use the whey for other things during baking.
Once you have transferred all the curds to the molds, place a cloth over the top and turn the cheese in the form to encourage a nice even surface.
After around 5-10 minutes, the cheese will be firm enough to be handled. Lift the cheese from the cloth and turn onto the cloth in a basket and re-wrap. Allow this to drain for another 45-60 minutes.
The cheese will be well firmed after this period. You can remove the cloth from the cheese. The final draining can now commence, taking around 12-18 hours.
After the final draining, the cheese should be floated in a saturated brine for 60 minutes. If the draining isn’t long enough, the acid of the cheese will be too high.
5. When the cheeses are removed from the brine they should be dried off in a cool room for about 4-6 hours. They can then go to the aging space at about 80-85% humidity and 52-58F for at least 4 days. They should be turned daily and wiped with a light brine if mold appears. At the end of this period, they will be ready for the table as a very fresh cheese.
If you continue to wipe with brine every 2-5 days (as needed) to keep the mold growth down, the cheese may ripen for up to 30-40 days. It will change considerably in texture and flavor as the proteins continue to break down.