Saturday, March 28, 2009

Making Mozzerella Cheese



One of the first books I read after moving to our farm was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I am sure many of you are familiar to this book. For those of you who are not, it is an inspirational book about a family on a quest to eat locally for 1 year.

The recipe that I followed comes from the their link above but I was unable to cut & paste it. (probably for copyright purposes) So I found another link that had nearly the same directions.

The recipe below is from Ricki Caroll. I encourage you to take a peek at the site because it has pictures to go along. I will take better pictures next time.

The above are the two ingredients you need and I bought them at the local natural food store. You will also need salt and 1 gallon of milk (I used organic raw milk from a local farm)


How to make this cheese :


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 unchlorinated water and set aside to use later.


Add 1.5--2 tsp. of citric acid to 1 cup cold water and stir well. Now pour cold milk into your pot. Then add the citric acid in a thin stream as you briskly stir the cold milk. This will bring the milk to the proper acidity to stretch well later. Next Heat this milk to 90F As you approach 90F you may notice your milk beginning to curdle slightly due to acidity and temp....NOTE... if having problems with milk forming a proper curd you may need to increase this temp to 95 or even 100F ...

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 105For 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, poring off as much whey as possible. Reserve this whey to use in cooking or making ricotta.

Next 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.

Option:--A substitution of reconstituted dry milk and cream is very viable and is a great option if you can not find the right type of milk--Lipase may be added to the milk to provide a typical italian cheese flavor--If you want a softer texture, do not let the curd set as firm and work less when draining and kneading.. this will make a moister cheese.

This recipe is called "30 Minute Mozzarella". And if you read the directions closely (I did not...no big surprise there) it is quick and easy!

The whole family liked it. We ate some warm, cold, and we finished it up today making some bagel pizzas. The only thing I would do differently is add more salt. I now understand why cheese is so expensive. The end result from 1 gallon of milk is a modest size mozzarella ball. (I will weigh it next time)



14 comments:

Angie said...

I have yet to make this, i need to get off my lazy bum, I will check the local health store next time, ordering was one way of procrastination(thanks for that)You make it sound easy, so i will have to try it!

fullfreezer said...

I've always been curious about making cheese. I've heard several people say it's easy. Maybe I'll finally have to get off my bum and try it. Well, maybe in a few months when the dust has settled in my life.
Judy

jenn said...

You're the inspirational one! This looks cool - gonna give it a whirl.

What is rennet exactly??

Don said...

you are always doing cool things! thanks for sharing. I wm going to make some cheese in the next few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes. I have a milk farmer nearby and wilol drop in and see about some fresh milk.

citygirl said...

So cool! Thanks for posting about this. I am going to try it too!

Mare said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us this recipe. I had one from Mother Earth News but i cannot find the issue the recipe was in. This sounds just like the one i misplaced! Thanks again!

Amy ~ 12 Acres said...

Interesting experiment. Seems we were both doing some cooking experiments this weekend. Homemade mozzerella sounds great.

Patrice Farmer said...

Thats so easy. I need to try it with goats milk. Thanks.

YD said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I can't wait to give it a try.

cheesychick said...

Hey, I don't want to sound like a "cheese nazi know it all", but if ya'll want, you can save yourself some money with the citric acid and just use vinegar or lemon juice. Try one or the other and sometimes, depending on what the milking animal is eating, you will get slightly different tastes. Plus, even though the citric acid comes from the health food store, the name, "acid" just doesn't sound right! I personally like the vinegar, and sea salt will have a much better outcome with the taste as well. (Or regular cheese salt too.)

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

ever since I read Kingslover's book, I've wanted to make mozzerella cheese but just haven't tried it yet. I love Kingsolver's book soo much that I'll recommend it but won't loan out my copy. :-)

Country Girl said...

THANKS FOR ALL THE COMMENTS.

JENN, I HAD A GOOD IDIA WHAT RENNETT WAS BUT I LOOKED IT UP AND THIS IS WHAT WINKIPEDIA SAYS....

"Rennet is a natural complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to digest the mother's milk, and is often used in the production of cheese. Rennet contains many enzymes, including a proteolytic enzyme that coagulates the milk, causing it to separate into solids and liquid . The active enzyme in rennet is called chymosin or rennin (EC 3.4.23.4) but there are also other important enzymes in it, e.g., pepsin or lipase."
CHEESY CHICK, THANKS FOR THE ADVICE. THIS WAS MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT CHEESEMAKING SO I AM CLUELESS. SOUNDS FROM YOUR NAME YOU'VE HAD A BIT OF EXPERIENCE WITH CHEESE MAKING :)

JOANNA, I WISH I OWNED A COPY AND WILL SOMEDAY. I BORROWED ONE WHEN I READ IT.

Lynnie said...

Every time I see rennet listed as an ingredient, I think "That sounds really scientific and scary! It probably isn't really even available around here!" So I'm glad you showed a nice, normal, ordinary box of it! Makes the whole process seem a little more doable!

Farm Chick Paula said...

Wow, this sounds wonderful, Kim!