Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

2014-09-26
  • Yield : 16-18oz
  • Prep Time : 2:000 h
  • Cook Time : 0m
  • Ready In : 2:000 h

I mentioned this to some people on vent a while back during one of our raids, so I thought I should post some pictures of the finished product. I tried making it once and never really got a good curd formed. I think the milk I used the first time was ultra-pasturized which is a no no. Here is the reslt of the second attempt. The end product tasted very good and my wife liked it enough that she has given approval for me to make more or possibly even try hard cheese. – Bruinbain

http://www.instructables.com/id/Great-Mozzarella-Cheese/?ALLSTEPS

Equipment:
1. At least an 8 quart pot either enameled or stainless steel. (Do not use aluminum, cast iron or other reactive pots)
2. Thermometer. (A candy thermometer will probably work but a good digital thermometer is much better for accuracy.)
3. A couple measuring cups or something to dissolve the Citric Acid and Rennet in.
4. A big strainer to strain the Curds from the Whey.
5. A long sharp knife to cut the Curds up with.
6. A slotted spoon to stir the Curds and dip them out with.
7. Large bowl for the drained off Whey. (Glass is best)
8. Small bowl to put the Curds in. (Glass is best)
9. Microwave

Optional:
10. Nylon netting for draining Curds. (I use this with the strainer. You can get this stuff at most fabric stores. It is just nylon netting. Get the plain white and probably not the colored stuff)
11. Plain white cloth if you want to make Ricotta Cheese with the Whey that is left over.
12. Small strainer to dip out the curds.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon Milk. Let the milk set out either in the gallon container or in the pot until it gets to about 50 degrees. (I have only used whole milk, although you can also use 2% or skimmed milk. Do not use ultra-homogenized milk though. If you are lucky enough to get milk fresh from the farm, that's even better)
  • 1 Rennet tablet crushed. (The Rennet tablet is used to coagulate the milk. You can also use liquid Rennet if you can get it. You can get The Rennet tablets at a lot of specialty or smaller stores and it is usually in the pudding aisle or in the Ice Cream section with the chocolate, nuts and stuff. About $2.00)
  • 2 teaspoons Citric Acid divided. 1 teaspoon is dissolved in water and the other one is sprinkled directly into the milk. (The citric acid is what gives the cheese it's stretch. Get it at some health food stores for around $4.00 for 4 ounces or at a pharmacy which can cost $12.00 to $14.00)
  • 1/2 cup water divided in 2. (Do not use chlorinated water. Bottled water is fine.)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons salt.

Method

Step 1

1. Pour 1 teaspoon Citric Acid into 1/4 cup unchlorinated water and stir. Crush the Rennet tablet and pour it into the other cup of unchlorinated water. The Citric Acid should be dissolved by the time you have to use it. Most of the Rennet will be dissolved but there will still be some residue left. 2. If you haven't done so already, pour milk into your pot. Make sure the milk is around 50 degrees when you pour in the Citric Acid

Step 2

1. Pour the dissolved Citric Acid in the milk and stir for 1 minute. 2. Sprinkle the other teaspoon of Citric Acid in the milk and sir for another minute. You will probably see the milk start to curdle very shortly.

Step 3

Heat milk to 88-90 degrees F. Stirring occasionally. This is not an error. You are not trying to pasteurize the milk. If you get it too hot or too cold, the Rennet will not make curds. Use a low heat so it doesn't go past the 88-90 degrees. It should take about 10-15 minutes.

Step 4

At 88-90 degrees turn off the heat and stir in the Rennet solution for 15-20 seconds. Cover the pot with the lid and LEAVE IT SET UNDISTURBED FOR AT LEAST 15-20 MINUTES until you can get a clean break. I usually let mine set for 15-30 minutes. Time is not critical here as long as you get the clean break. When you poke your finger into it and move for an inch or so and lift it out, the Curd and Whey should separate shortly. If it is still liquidy (Is that a real word?) and sticks to your finger let it set a while longer.

Step 5

Cut the Curd. Cut the Curds into 1/2 inch cubes from top to bottom as shown. Then do the same thing at a 45 degree angle.

Step 6

Let the Curds set undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.

Step 7

Apply low heat and heat to 108 degrees. Apply low heat and stir the curds occasionally to keep them separated until they reach 108 degrees. This will take about 15 minutes. The Curds will shrink and start to sink as the Whey is expelled from them.

Step 8

Turn off the heat. Turn off the heat and continue stirring every few minutes for an additional 20 minutes. The Curds will keep shrinking.

Step 9

Drain the Curds into a strainer or colander and let set for about 15 minutes. Either use a small strainer to dip them out or just pour into the big bowl through the large strainer. Let the Curds drain until no more Whey comes out of them. This might take 10 - 15 minutes. You can either dump the Whey or save it to make Ricotta.

Step 10

Pour the Curds into the smaller bowl and break them up with your hand a little bit.

Step 11

Place the Curds in the microwave on high for 30 - 45 seconds. If you have it on too long you will cook the Curd and it will turn to mush. Better a couple shorter cycles than one that's too long. The Curds will start to separate from the Whey. I have an 1100 watt microwave. If yours is a different wattage you might have to adjust the time.

Step 12

Using the slotted spoon or your hand GENTLY squeeze the Whey from the Curd. Pour off the Whey.

Step 13

Microwave again for 15 - 20 seconds and pour more Whey off. As you are gently squeezing the Whey out work it into a ball also.

Step 14

Put back in the microwave for another 20 seconds. Add Salt. At this point if it's warm enough it should start to become pliable and stretchy. YEAH!!!!. Grab 1/3 to 1/2 and lift. It should start to stretch under it's own weight. If not put it in the microwave for a few more seconds. As you work through the stretching process also knead it like bread a couple times. If necessary microwave occasionally until your cheese looks like the last picture.

Step 15

At this point knead it like bread dough into a ball. If it breaks apart on you just put it in the Microwave again for a bit. As soon as it is nice and smooth and shiny it's done.

Wrap in plastic or put in a Zip lock bag and refrigerate if you can keep from eating the whole thing right then and there. That’s when it is at it’s best. It should keep in the refrigerator for at least 6-10 days. I keep my fridge set just this side of freezing so things keep a lot longer.

With the left over Whey you can make great Ricotta Cheese. If you would like to check that Instructable out go to:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Great-Ricotta-Cheese-From-Whey

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