Bel Paese cheese recipe

Bel Paese is an Italian creamy semi-hard cheese with a flavor that can be compared to mozzarella and fontina. It has the acidity of mozzarella and the nutty notes of Alpine cheese.

This Italian cheese pairs well with fruits, such as apples, pears, and figs. Because it has good melting properties, it is often used in stews, grilled panini, focaccia, or on pizza. It can be eaten with fruit wines, such as dry red wine or white wine.



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      Preparing (1h 40min)
      • Before starting work, disinfect all surfaces and utensils that may come into contact with milk.
      • Determine if the milk is suitable for cheese making. It must go through the bactericidal phase (usually, cooled milk from the previous day is fine). If you have a pH meter, the milk pH level should not be outside the pH 6.55-6.85 range (which is rare). After pasteurization, the acidity of milk can increase rapidly (the pH number becomes lower). In this particular recipe, milk with a pH of 6.66 was used after pasteurization and cooling.
      • Pasteurize the milk: heat it to 65C and hold it at this temperature for 30 minutes. You can also heat it to 70C and hold it for 15 minutes.
      • Rapidly cool the milk, for example, in a cold bath to 42-43C (this may take 15 minutes).
        Processing (3h)
        • Add cheese cultures Lactoferm MSE 0.7g, Lactoferm MST 0.7g, and Geotrichum Candidum on the tip of a knife.
        • Wait 5 minutes and stir the cheese culture into the milk.
        • Leave for 1 hour.
        • Add calcium chloride - 2.5ml, annatto - 8 drops, and rennet - 1.5ml and stir into the milk within 30 seconds. Calcium chloride and rennet must first be diluted with 50ml of pure water before adding to the milk.** Calcium chloride and rennet must be added separately (see video).
        • After adding rennet, the time it takes for the milk to thicken (form a solid curd) must be recorded to determine the flocculation point. The flocculation point is typically 3 for most cheeses. This means that if the milk has thickened in 12 minutes, then the next step can only be started 36 minutes after adding rennet (12x3=36 minutes). The acceptable time for curd formation is 10-15 minutes. If it is shorter or longer, the cheese's physical properties will change.
        • In our case, the milk thickened in 15 minutes, so the cutting took place after 45 minutes.
        • We start the cutting process. Cut with a 1-1.5cm gap both vertically and horizontally. Do not stir!
        • Leave for 5 minutes to allow the whey to separate.
        • Stir the mass continuously for 35 minutes. Be careful at first, then stir more intensively.
        • Leave for 5 minutes for the cheese grains to settle.
        • Drain off a small amount of whey (about 10-15%).
        • Within 10-15 minutes, collect the cheese grains with a plastic cheese mat or something else and form a solid mass.
        • Drain off the whey if you already have PH 6.23.
          Pressing and salting (3h 40min + 5h)
          • The total pressing time is 3 hours and 40 minutes. Although there is no specific order for how often you turn the cheese and increase the weight, here is one example of a process you can follow: First press: 20 minutes (with a weight that is heavy enough to drain the whey through the mold). Second press: 1 hour (turn the cheese and increase the weight). Third press: 2 hours and 20 minutes (turn the cheese and increase the weight).
          • The salting time is 5 hours in the refrigerator. After half of the time has passed, turn the cheese over for even salting.
          • After salting, the cheese needs to be dried with paper towels and placed to dry at room temperature for 2 days on a mat.
          • Let the cheese mature in the refrigerator at 13C with a humidity of 95%.
          • Wipe the rind with a 5% salt solution twice a week.
          • After 1.5 months, the cheese is ready to eat.
            We look forward to your feedback!
            ** The time of milk coagulation (thickening) depends on the quantity of calcium chloride and rennet. It can be adjusted for best coagulation time, which should ideally be 12 minutes. For instance, if the first time your milk has thickened after 20 minutes, then increase the next dose of enzyme.

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