Tomme is a simple, rustic, every-day hard cheese with a natural rind (though you can wax it if you want). Tomme is actually a generic term for a class of cheeses made in Switzerland or in the Alps. There are many versions of Tomme, and this is one of my favorite go-to cheeses to make.
Total time until completion: 2-5 months—3 hour to make the cheese, 4-7 hours to drain and press, 12 hours to brine, 2 days to dry, and 2-5 months to age
- 4 gallons whole milk
- ¼ tsp mesophilic culture (MA4000)
- 1 tsp calcium chloride diluted in ¼ C cool non-chlorinated water
- ½ tsp rennet diluted in ¼ C cool non-chlorinated water
- Heavy brine (21%): 1 gallon water, 1.75 pounds salt, 1 Tbsp calcium chloride, 1 tsp white vinegar
Wondering where to find cheese cultures? Check out our resource section for cheesemaking.
- 18-quart stainless steel pot (or larger)
- 32-quart pot for water bath
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Perforated skimmer or spoon
- Knife to cut curd
- Draining container
- Stainless steel cooling rack
- 1 large tomme mold, 7 ½-inch diameter
- 2 and 5 pound weights for pressing
- Container for brine
- The Cave Aging Chamber
How to make Tomme:
- Sanitize all equipment and prepare a clean workspace.
- Warm milk to 70ᵒF/21ᵒC in a hot water bath.
- Sprinkle the cheese culture on the surface of milk and let stand for about 5 minutes. Stir gently for 3 minutes using an up-and-down motion to draw the cultures into the milk.
- Increase milk temperature to 90ᵒF/32ᵒC in hot water bath.
- Add diluted calcium chloride and stir using up-and-down motion for 1 minute.
- Add diluted rennet and stir using up-and-down motion for 1 minute. Still milk. Cover pot and maintain a temperature of 88-90ᵒF (31-32ᵒC) for 45 minutes, or until a clean break is achieved.
- Cut the curd into ½-inch cubes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Increase the temperature gradually until the curds have reached 100ᵒF/38ᵒC, about 1ᵒF every 2 minutes or 1ᵒC every 3 minutes (which should take about 20 minutes). Hold the temperature at 100ᵒF/38ᵒC for 20 minutes, stirring gently. At this point check the curd’s texture. When torn apart, the curds should have even texture. They should also be pliable. Feel them in your hand, squish them between your fingers, and get a sense for what their consistency is. With time, you will be able to tell what the proper texture looks and feels like. If the curds have not yet developed the proper texture, give them 10 more minutes before moving on to the next step. Let settle for 5 minutes.
- Ladle off whey to the level of the curds. Ladle the curds into a cloth-lined colander, then transfer to a prepared tomme mold after 5 minutes. During draining and pressing, aim to maintain a temperature of about 70-80ᵒF (21-27ᵒC).
- Press the cheese lightly with a 2 pound weight. Flip after 30 minutes. Continue pressing for an additional 3-6 hours at 5 pounds, flipping every hour.
- Remove cheese from the mold and place in a cool 21% brine. Brine for 12 hours at 50-56ᵒF (10-13ᵒC), flipping halfway through.
- Remove cheese from the brine and allow to dry at room temperature for 2 days, turning periodically.
- At this point, you may oil the rind (or wax the cheese if you prefer). Age at 52-55ᵒF (11-13ᵒC) and 80-85% relative humidity for 2-5 months. Continue to maintain the rind (if unwaxed) by brushing and oiling.