Bandaging a cheddar

Caps for the ends

Bandaging is an age old method of protecting cheddar cheese. A wheel of Cheddar is simply wrapped in a cloth bandage and sealed with lard. Here are some simple steps showing how it is done.

Cut two circles of cheese cloth slightly larger than the diameter of the cheese and a strip of cheese cloth slightly taller and slightly longer that it’s circumference.

Caps in place ready for the side bandage

Warm the lard so that it is spreadable with a knife. Place a circle of cheese cloth on the top of the cheese and work in the lard with a knife. Work from the centre out to the edges. Make sure the edges of the cloth are wrapped around the edges of the cheese and stuck to the surface. Repeat with the other end.

Place in the press for 1-2 hours at 30-40kg.

Bandage the sides

Remove from the press and apply the cheese cloth to the edge of the cheese with lard. Once again work from the centre out to the edge. Make sure the edges of the cloth fold over the top and bottom of the cheese evenly.

Return to the press overnight at 30-40kg.

Finished bandaged cheese ready for aging

The finished cheese should have a smooth coating of lard evenly distributed over the surface of the bandage. There should be no dry patches of bandage showing.

As the bandaged cheese ages, mold will form on the surface. This mold will, over time, dry out and the cheese will look rather rustic.

10 Comments

  • mooBlogger says:

    Hi Vanessa,
    Check out the photos page for images and dimensions of my 1kg and 2kg moulds.

  • Vanessa Mitchell says:

    Hi,
    I came and got chickens off you a few months back, they are doing great! hope you enjoyed the honey.
    My hubby has just finished making me a cheese press (in prep for our cow having her calf later this year). Could you put up a photo of your cheese molds for your cheddar and the size for 10 and 20L of milk? My friend is going to make me a couple of molds at pottey, but i want to make sure i get the right size. Thanks! GREAT web site!
    Vanessa

  • mooBlogger says:

    Yes you probably could.
    You may find that the bandage lifts as the cheese ages.
    Also any small cracks in the cheese are filled with lard when you press it and this prevents mold growth in the cheese.

  • Nabil says:

    Can we bandage the wheel without pressing?

  • mooBlogger says:

    Yes – it is 180mm diameter.

  • mooBlogger says:

    There are a couple of tricks you can use.

    1. Make sure the cheese cloth is thin and use only a thin coating of lard.
    2. Wait a few days after pressing before bandaging. The cheese will shrink slightly as it drys out.
    3. Cool the cheese down before bandaging – it will shrink.

    Hope this helps.

  • mooBlogger says:

    Yes it does fit. The key is to use a piece of very thin cheese cloth and to spread the warm lard on with a knife just like spreading butter on toast. Putting the cheese back in the mold after bandaging it and coating it with lard helps to force the lard into the bandage.

  • Samantha says:

    Oh and (lovely instructions BTW) do you put the cheese back in the mold with the bandage for pressing? Does it fit??? If you didn’t use the mold the cheese would schmoof everywhere wouldn’t it?

  • Nabil says:

    I have a question here on stage number three above.

    how can u put back the wheel inside the tight mold again without taking off the upper circle while inserting the wheel into the mold?

  • Samantha says:

    can you tell us the diameter of your truckle? So we can scale the weight?

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