Here is what you will be needing to make your own mozzarella cheese.
- Raw Milk (1/2 gallon)
- Citric Acid
- Thermometer ( this one happens to be digital but this is not necessary)
- Rennet (pictured below)
- a heavy bottom pot
- strainer (metal sifter, or colander works nicely)
This is Rennet. It can be found with the custards, puddings and Jellos in your grocery store. Well, not in my grocery store. I had to go to a whole foods/natural foods store to get this. If you are lucky you will have it in your local grocery store.
Here is the disclaimer about using raw milk. Read it. Then know that you will have better luck making cheese because this milk has not gone through the homogenization process. The sort version of homogenization is: a process of quickly heating milk and then quickly cooling it back down. This will combine the fat molecules so that they will not separate out from the rest of the milk. Thus, giving the milk a creamier look, a longer shelf life and a less pronounced flavor. It also makes it harder to make mozzarella cheese.
Here is citric acid. I found this at my local beer and wine making store. I am sure you can find it on line if you don’t have a beer/wine making store near you.
Here we go! Pour your milk into a heavy bottom pot.
Dissolve 3/4 teaspoon of the citric acid in 1/2 cup of water. Add this to your milk on the stove.
Add a ADDITIONAL 1/2 t. of citric acid directly into the milk. (important step I often forget.)
Note the temperature on the right. This is the number we are going to be following.
Gently heat your milk to 90 degrees. When I say gently I mean put it on a medium heat for several minutes. Not to blast it on super high to shock it up to 90 degrees.
Meanwhile…..This is 1/4 tablet of Rennet.
This is a 1/4 tablet crushed.
Here is where I can improve. I think my thermometer is not calibrated correctly.
At this point of 90 degrees you should be able to pull back the curd in one motion and reveal a light yellow/greenish whey.
I was checking it and had the ‘great’ idea to stir it. DO NOT STIR IT!! You will have better luck than this. Than upon further reading it may take up to 100 degrees for the curds to form and separate from the whey correctly. So next time I will be more patient. Story of my life!
Once YOU have your curds separated from the whey properly it will look similar to a flan sitting in milky water. I would show you a picture but I don’t have one. Hopefully next time I will get everything correct.
With a clean knife cut the curds into 1 inch cubes.
Add your Rennet water and slowly stir and continue to heat the cheese. All the curds will start to pull further away from the whey. You are looking for a temp of 110.
Use a colander/strainer to fish out the curds. Save the whey. You can use it to make ricotta. (Blog post to come in the future.)
Use a wooden spoon to squeeze out more whey.
Now plop it it in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds on high. Note that more whey had extruded itself out of the cheese.
Warning: The cheese is VERY hot at this point. Use a spoon to fold your cheese over and over so that more and more of the whey comes out.
When your hands can stand it, pick the cheese up and start working the cheese into a ball.
Fold it over and over on itself.
Ta Da!! You now have made mozzarella! Store this in salted water in a sealed container. Enjoy!!