Well, my neighbors got me thinking about making my own food, so today I attempted to make mozzarella. For a first try, I won’t like, it was better than it could have been, but I have higher standards for myself, so I didn’t think it was so great. Others, however, did enjoy it. I have to say that the quality of milk that you use is the biggest thing. I used a gallon of Hood whole milk. I think even at this level, it is too pastuerized to come together the way you would prefer. Whole raw milk would like result in the smoothest mozz but the curds that I was able to create were very small.
Here are the ingredients and the basic steps
1 gallon of whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid
1/4 teaspoons rennet, combined with 1 cup water
1 to 2 teaspoons salt, to taste (pref Kosher)
- sprinkle citric acid into a cool empty non-reactive stockpot. Pour 1/4 cup water over it to dissolve it.
- pour milk in and combine
- put pot over medium low heat and heat to 90 degrees. If you see curdling, this is ok.
- Remove the pot from the burner and pour in the rennet/water mix.
- stir for 30 seconds, slow wide turns. bring contents to a stop, cover and leave it alone for 20 minutes
- using a knife or flat spatula, cut the curd into a large checkerboard
- put back on heat, stir gently until curds and whey come to 105 degrees.
- using a slotted spoon or long handled strainer, transfer the curds to a collander. Set it over a bowl if you want to keep the whey.
- once the curds have drained off as much as you think they can, transfer the curds to a microwave safe bowl, and heat for 1 minute on high.
- drain the whey that has come out, and put back into the microwave for 30-40 seconds.
- repeat #10 once or twice more.
- take cheese out of bowl, knead it and work in your salt. you will likely undersalt it the first few times you make it. Stretch the cheese, and fold into a ball like you would with dough.
- place cheese ball into an ice bath until it is completely cool.
- ENJOY !
My first attempt came out more like a really rustic mozz or a firmer ricotta. I think that the quality of the milk that I used had a lot to do with that. The curds that were created were quite small, instead of the thicker curds that a better milk would have produced.
These are some of the pictures of the process and end result. And like any thing – practice makes perfect.