The technique of applying a rub to cheddar not only helps to ward off mould by acting as an alternative to waxing, but also has the added value of enhancing the cheese with the additional flavours found in the rubs contents.
Paprika is a popular choice for this method, as the cheese ages the paprika flavour permeates into the cheese giving it a mild kick. Over time the ageing of the cheese will develop a lovely orange-red rand due to the coating of the paprika blend.
What you will need:
- Pressed cheddar curd. (This can be made through the use of our Mad Millie Artisan Cheese Kit following the cheddar cheese recipe).
- Smoked paprika
- Olive oil
- Mixing bowl
- Once curds have been pressed for 12 hours, remove the cheddar from the cheese mould and air dry on a cheese mat or rack until the cheese develops a natural dry rind (air drying on the kitchen bench is fine but make sure you cover it with a mesh food cover or something similar).
- Allow cheese to dry for two to three days before applying the rub.
- Once cheese has air dried for a few days, brush and clean off any mould or loose powder.
- Prepare the mix of paprika with just enough olive oil to create a thick paste. We would suggest starting with 4 Tbsp of paprika to 1.5 Tbsp of olive oil.
- The cheese is then rubbed with the blend of paprika and olive oil until it is well coated. Wait a day or two and repeat the rub. Two to three applications of the rub should be sufficient to protect the surface. If it does dry out you can rub a small amount of oil onto it again. The oil keeps the mould from attaching to the surface of the cheese.
- Continue to age according to Mad Millie Cheddar Cheese Recipe.
- This technique can be replaced with other ingredients such as ground peppercorns or dried herbs.