Friday, February 20, 2009
home made mozzarella.
We get two gallons of fresh from the cow milk from a local farmer each week. We often make our own yogurt, yogurt cheese, and cream cheese, and sometimes butter. We have been wanting to delve deeper into cheesemaking, but just haven't done too much yet. After seeing a quick segment on a PBS gardening show about making mozzarella, I decided it looked like a fun and easy project to do with the boys.
Yesterday we looked up a recipe, and discovered that we had all of the ingredients needed already! This is so easy to make and the cheese is so good. Other than the time we waited for milk or whey to heat up, this took almost no time at all and was very simple to do.
::making fresh mozzarella at home::
*This recipe is adapted from the book Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
2 tsp citric acid
1 gallon raw or whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
1/4 tsp liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup water (we use the vegetable rennet from here)
1 Tbsp sea salt
candy thermometer to check liquid temps
Pour the milk into a large pot, put on the stove on low/med-med heat. Add citric acid to the milk and mix well. Stir in the diluted rennet with an up and down motion, continue heating until the temperature reaches 105ºF. Turn off the heat and let the curd set for 5-10 minutes.
Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon (or strain them with a fine mesh strainer) and put them into a large heat resistant bowl. Press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible into a bowl. Reserve the whey.
Pour the whey back into the pot and heat it to at least 175ºF degrees. Add salt to the whey and stir.
Ladle the hot whey over the curd in the bowl (just to cover) knead the curd with 2 wooden spoons until the curd is smooth and pliable.
The internal temperature of the curd needs to reach around 165 degrees to become pliable and stretchy. If the curd breaks, it needs to be reheated (by pouring more hot whey over the top). If you want to add any dried or fresh herbs, do now. I added a teaspoon of an herb mix I put together which included ground pepper, dried garlic, and an italian herb mix.
Pick the curd up with your hands and quickly squeeze into a ball, tucking the ends under to make smooth. Go fast, will set immediately.
Eat immediately while warm, or if you want to store it for later, place your balls of mozzarella into a bowl of very cold water (you can add more salt if you want, to help intensify the cheese flavor). Let sit a few minutes. Wrap and store in the fridge! Eat within a day or so.
Yield: 3/4 - 1 pound