Sunday, July 29, 2012

how cheesy--Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

Who knew making mozzarella cheese was so simple!?

Ok, maybe my husband should ask that question....because he made this.  

He's been talking about making cheese for a while.  Here's a tutorial of sorts. 

Here's the recipe:

1 Gallon whole milk
1 teaspoon citric acid
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/4 non chlorinated water
1/4 tablet rennet

dissolving rennet

 Dissolve rennet in cool non-chlorinated water.  We forgot the water at the store so we he ran to the 

closest gas station for a bottle of water.

 You need at least a 6 quart stainless steel (not aluminum) pot where you will add a gallon of whole milk that has come to a 50 degree temp.  This is where you add the citric acid.  Then after the rennet is dissolved, you pour it through a slotted spoon into the milk.  Bring the milk to 105 degrees.  Now originally the recipe called for it to be brought  to 90 degrees, but the milk wasn't curdling like it should so we called a cheese expert and she said bring up the temperature.  We suspect that it was the rennet we bought at the grocery store.  When we he does this again, we are going to get the really good rennet.  So just a word of advice, if you choose Junket rennet, use more and increase the temp until it curdles properly.  Some say don't use it, but it did the job, it just needed some TLC.

 After stirring in the rennet, don't stir again until curds form.

After the milk curdles, you strain it in a wire strainer and separates the curds from the whey, and let drain.  After it drains, you are going to knead it like bread dough and add salt.  We added only one teaspoon, but we think it could have used a bit more.

 Then, after it had been kneaded, you microwave it about three or four times for 30-45 second intervals until it is stretchable.  You then stretch it like a good ole fashioned taffy pull.  You stretch and pull it until it's shiny.  I would recommend using thick rubber gloves.  Clean ones.  That cheese is HOT and you don't want to ruin your experience by burning your hands in the process!

 Then after it is stretched to it's limit, you throw it in an ice water bath....ahhhh.

After it cools, slice that baby up and enjoy.  It firms up even more after being refrigerated for a while.  We all loved it.  It'd be great on homemade pizza, but it didn't last long enough.  

If you've ever wanted to make cheese, but  haven't dared, do it!  I dare you.  It's not as hard as it seems.