I was planning to post this in the next few days, but since at least four of you have asked me about this in the last day or two, I’m posting it sooner.
This recipe is from Home Cheese Making, by Ricki Carrol, the book I already mentioned that we’re using to guide us in our cheesemaking adventures! It’s called 30 Minute Mozzarella, pg. 134.
- 1 1/2 level teaspoon citric acid dissolved in water
- 1 gallon whole milk (not ultra pasteurized or you’ll end up with ricotta instead of mozzarella)
- 1/8 – 1/4 t. lipase powder (I didn’t use this), dissolved in 1/4 c. cool water and allowed to sit for twenty minutes)
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet, diluted in 1/4 c. cool unchlorinated water (if you leave tap water uncovered overnight, the chlorine will evaporate)
- 1 teaspoon cheese salt (optional)
While stirring add citric acid to milk at 55 degrees and mix thoroughly. (Add lipase now if using it.)
Heat milk to 88 degrees F over medium/low heat. Milk will start to curdle.
Gently stir in diluted rennet with up and down motion, while heating milk to between 100 – 105 degrees. Turn off heat; curds should be pulling away from sides of pot; they are ready to scoop out.
Curds will look like thick yogurt and have a bit of shine to them; whey will be clear. If whey is milky white, wait a few more minutes.
Scoop out curds with slotted spoon and put into 2 quart bowl. Press curds gently with hands, pouring off as much whey as possible. Save whey.
Heat reserved whey to 175 degrees. Add 1/4 cup of cheese salt to whey. Shape curd into one or more balls, put them in ladle or strainer, and dip into hot whey for several seconds. Knead curd with spoons between each dip and repeat process several times until curd is smooth and pliable. Use heavy rubber gloves when kneading.
Knead quickly until it is smooth and elastic. When cheese stretches like taffy, it’s done. If curds break instead of stretch, they are too cool and need to be reheated.
When cheese is smooth and shiny, roll it into small balls and eat while warm. (My daughter rolled them into ropes and made a three stranded braid instead.) Or place in bowl of ice water for half hour to bring the inside temperature down rapidly; this will produce consistent smooth texture throughout the cheese. Best eaten fresh, but if you wait, cover and store in fridge.
Yields between 3/4 – 1 pound of cheese.
If you make this and it turns out well, I’d love to hear about it!