Recipe by Elisa72
This recipe makes wonderful FRESH mozzarella! Cheesemaking is a little tricky, so this certainly isn't foolproof (my first attempt at mozzarella had great flavor but bad texture) but the results are well worth the effort, if not the first time, then the second or third...This recipe is from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. (http://www.cheesemaking.com) Their site has recipes, instructions, ingredients and equipment - pretty much everything you need to make cheese - as well as a photo tutorial of the mozzarella-making process.
Top Review by gingerkitten D
I was really amazed to be able to create homemade mozzarella at home. I actually sort of messed this up, but still managed to create mozzarella. I substituted lemon juice for the citric acid. It works, but it seems to be pretty slow for getting the curdle going. I used about 8 tbsp of lemon juice. I have a canning cookbook that had a conversion chart between using lemon juice and citric acid, that said, I would not try to make this with lemon juice again. Also, if you have a Kitchen-aid with a dough hook, I highly recommend that for the kneading phase. Even with gloves that cheese is dang hot. The kitchen-aid, does a nice efficient job of it. My cheese came out sort of harder than most fresh mozzarellas ( I think I over kneadeded it) but it was the perfect firmness for grating onto a pizza.
- 1 gallon milk (see notes below)
- 1⁄4 rennet, tablet or 1⁄4 teaspoon liquid rennet
- 1⁄4 cup cool un-chlorinated water (most bottled water is un-chlorinated)
- 2 teaspoons citric acid
- 1 teaspoon salt
Directions See How It's Made
- The Milk: Make sure the milk you use for this cheese is NOT ULTRA- PASTEURIZED--Homogenized milk will work fine. --Fresh farm milk will also work well but we encourage you to try with 1 gallon of store bought whole milk first.--Low fat milk will work but the cheese will be drier and less flavorful.
- You will need:--A 6 to 8 quart stainless steel pot. Aluminum or cast iron will not work.--A stainless steel or strong plastic slotted spoon.--A two quart microwave safe mixing bowl--measuring spoons--A thermometer which will clearly read between 80 - 120 degrees F.
- Prepare your work area: Do not prepare any other food while you are making cheese. Put all food products away. Move all sponges, cloths and dirty towels away from your work surface, wipe your sink and stove with soap and water. Finally use your antibacterial cleaner to wipe down all surfaces.
- Process: Crush 1/4 tablet of rennet and dissolve in 1/4 cup of cool un-chlorinated water and set aside to use later.
- Heat the milk to 90F and add 1.5-2 teaspoons of citric acid. This will bring the milk to the proper acidity to stretch well later.
- As you approach 90F you will notice your milk beginning to curdle due to acidity and temperature.
- When at 90F add your rennet (which you prepared in previous step) to the milk and stir in a top to bottom motion for 30-60 seconds -- then stop.
- Now turn the heat off (it may continue to rise as high as 105F or so).
- Let the milk remain quiet for the next 3-5 minutes during which it will form a curd. A longer set will result in a firmer curd.
- Cut the curds into a 1" checkerboard pattern and then scoop with a slotted sp0on into a heat proof bowl to be used in the microwave. (If the curd is too soft at this point let sit for another minute or so).
- You will now press this curd gently with your hand, pouring off as much whey as possible. Reserve this whey to use in cooking or making ricotta.
- Microwave the curd on HI for 1 minute. You will notice more whey has run out of the curd. Drain off all whey as you did before.
- Quickly work the cheese with a spoon or your hands until it is cool enough to touch (rubber gloves will help since the cheese is almost too hot to touch at this point).
- Microwave 2 more times for 35 seconds each and repeat the kneading as in the last step. Drain all of the whey off as you go.
- Knead quickly now as you would bread dough until it is smooth and shiny. Add salt near the finish.
- At this point the cheese should be soft and pliable enough to stretch like taffy.
- It is ready to eat when it cools.
- Form it into a ball and drop into ice water to cool and refrigerate.
- When cold you can wrap in plastic wrap and it will last for several days but is best when eaten fresh.