I made mozzarella cheese to go with the tomatoes and basil leaves I harvested at Lisa’s vegetable garden. I have seen several different versions of this recipe on the internet including the one from Ricki’s at cheesemaking.com. The first time I made it, it was perfect and took only 30 minutes. The second time I tried the same recipe, my milk didn’t curd at all. So make sure you have pasteurized and NOT ULTRA PASTEURIZED milk when you try this at home.
- 1/4 vegetable rennet tablet
- 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water
- 1 gallon milk
- 1 1/2 tsp citric acid
- salt, optional
- Crush rennet tablet and dissolve in water. Set aside.
- Pour cold milk in non-reactive pot (stainless steel). Sprinkle citric acid and stir a few times.
- Heat milk on medium until it reaches 90F. Add rennet mixture and continue stirring for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Large curds will appear and begin to separate from the whey (the clear, greenish liquid).
4. Using a long knife that reaches to the bottom of the pot, cut into the curd in 1 inch squares. Put back on the stove and heat until it reaches 105F, carefully stirring the curds around. Turn heat off.
5. With a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, scoop the curd into a large glass bowl. (If it’s still too liquid, let it set for a few more minutes). Press the curds gently with your hand and pour off as much whey as possible. Microwave curds on high for 1 minute, then drain off all the excess whey.
6. With a spoon, press curds into a ball until cool. Microwave two more times for 30 seconds each, and continue to drain the whey and work cheese into a ball. When cheese is cool enough to touch, knead it like bread dough until smooth.
7. When you can stretch it like taffy, it is done. You can sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons salt into the cheese while kneading and stretching it. The cheese will become stretchy, smooth and shiny. It is now ready to eat.
8. Shape it into a ball, log or golf-size balls, then store in a solution of 2 teaspoons salt to 1 cup water.
Notes: Most ingredients can be purchased at Cheesemaking.com as part of a kit or individually. I rennet tablet can be used to make 4 gallons of milk into cheese. You can also check the following for supplies:
- http://www.thecheesemaker.com ( I bought supplies from here to make cambozola cheese)