Bondon is a French cheese made in Normandy, mostly in the Rouen area. It can be made with either cow’s milk or goat’s milk. You will, of course, get a different flavour depending on what milk you choose to use.
- Two litres of full cream or low-fat milk
- Four drops of Calcium Chloride, diluted in 2 tablespoons of non-chlorinated water
- One dose of Hard Curd Mesophilic Starter Culture
- Two drops of Liquid Rennet diluted in 2 tablespoons of non-chlorinated water
- Medium pot
- Cheese thermometer
- Stainless steel one-piece spoon
- Stainless steel one-piece ladle
- Large stainless steel or enamel colander
- One 90 cm square tight weave cheese-making cloth
- Piece of string
- Somewhere to hang your cheese to drain
- Cheese mould or two cheese boards
- Six-kilo weight or a cheese press
1. Place your milk in a medium pot and heat milk by direct heat to 20°C. Remove from heat and add the Calcium Chloride solution, stir well.
2. Add the Hard Curd Starter Culture and mix well.
3. Add the Rennet and mix well.
4. Cover and let stand for 24 hours, undisturbed and in a warm place. Ensure that the temperature of the milk mixture does not drop below 20°C. It will set and begin to release some whey.
5. Line a large colander with your cheese-making cloth. Carefully ladle your curds into the lined colander and allow to drain for a few minutes. Tie the corners of the cheese-making cloth together and hang, using the string. Drain for 6 to 8 hours.
6. If you are using a cheese mould and follower, take the cheese down and remove the cheese from the cloth and place it in the mould lined with fresh cheesecloth. Place the follower on top and then press the cheese for 5-6 hours with 6 kg of weight. I am using the Green Living Australia cheese press.
7. If you are not using a cheese mould and follower take the cheese down but do not remove the cheese from the cheesecloth. Using the cloth as a bag, twist the top to use up the excess space that has been created by the cheese draining and place this bag on a cheeseboard. Place another cheese board on top and then place 6 kg of weight on top. Press the cheese between the two boards for 5-6 hours.
8. Remove the cheese from the cheese mould (or from the cheese bag) and place it in a bowl. Add salt to taste.
This is a great substitute for cream cheese with a greatly reduced fat content. You can also add herbs for variety. This cheese is excellent served on crackers or toast with spiced chutney. Bondon cheese can be eaten right away and will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.
I hope that you enjoy this simple cheese as much as I do.
As always, live well.