Finnish Bread Cheese – Homemade Leipäjuusto

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Synonymous with Finland

When it comes to Finnish food, cinnamon rolls and this bread cheese = leipäjuusto. It is a non-fermented cheese with a chewy texture. The cheese itself doesn’t have much flavor, and it is served with cloudberry jam, which is also synonymous with Finland.

In Finland, it is a standard cheese that you can buy in any supermarket. But of course it is not so common outside Finland. However, it is easy to make at home, because it is not fermented.

Making Cheese with Rennet

As I said, it’s easy. But there’s one thing you need to get. Rennet.

Rennet is used to make cheese from milk. The main enzyme it works with is chymosin. In the past, it was taken from the fourth stomach of newborn cows and goats. Of course, this required slaughtering the cow or goat. Considering the stable supply and the burden on dairy farmers, extracts and cultures from plants and microorganisms are now widely used.
Rennet - Wikipedia

Let’s go through a brief look at how cheese is made using rennet.

Milk contains about 3.3% protein. Of that, about 80% is casein and about 20% is whey protein. The chymosin in the rennet reacts with casein to make cheese.

Casein forms clumps called micelles in the milk. These micelles are negatively charged and repel each other, making them very stable. This is why milk does not turn into cheese no matter how long you leave it.

Chymosin cuts the casein molecules at certain points.To be more precise, it only cuts off a certain part of the casein molecule, the κ-casein. The cut end dissolves in milk, but the remaining large part does not. They bind with other particles via phosphate and calcium to form a large mass that precipitates. This precipitation is the card from which cheese is made.

Is Rennet Essential?

Rennet is a must for making Leipäjuusto. However, it is a very difficult material to obtain in Japan.
One way to make cheese at home is to add lemon and vinegar to milk. Is it possible to make breaded cheese using this method?

A Taste of Finland at Home

As long as you have a rennet, it’s easy to make this Leipäjuusto. Please give it a try.
Here are some other Finnish recipes you can make anywhere.
Finnish Food for Everywhere
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Recipe

Finnish Bread Cheese – Homemade Leipäjuusto

Bread cheese served with cloudberry jam is a famous Finnish dish. It can be made at home as long as you have access to rennet, an enzyme for cheese.
Prep Time1 hr
Rest Before Cook6 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Servings4 people
INGREDIENTS
  • milk (unadjusted) 2 L
  • salt 1 tsp
  • rennet (liquid 1 teaspoon
EQUIPMENT
  • Measuring spoon
  • pot
  • Thermometer
  • silicone spatula
  • colander
  • Gauze
INSTRUCTIONS
Preparation
  • Put milk and salt in a pot.
  • Place the pan over medium heat and warm to 36°C.
  • Turn off the heat, add the rennet and mix well immediately.
  • Cover with a lid and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. During this time, the whole mixture will harden.
  • After 30 minutes, break up the chunks with a silicon spatula or ladle.
  • Cover with a lid and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. During this time, the whey (liquid) will separate from the curd (solid).
  • Place a colander over the pot. Line the colander with gauze.
  • Pour the contents of the pan into the gauze little by little. The whey will be separated and the card will remain on the gauze.
  • Wrap the card in the gauze and squeeze hard to remove the whey. The whey can be used for baking or ricotta cheese making.
  • Put the strained card back on the colander with the gauze, and weigh it down with a plate. *1
  • Place in the refrigerator and let drain overnight.
NOTES
*1
Form it at this stage. If you use a colander with a round bottom, you will get a dome-shaped cheese. If you want to make the flat shape you see in Finland, use a colander with a flat bottom, like a sieve.
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