Jump to content

Make Your Own Fresh Mozzarella


cjsadler
 Share

Recommended Posts

This takes about 30 minutes, but it's well worth it. Here's the set-up:

step12gf.jpg

1 gal pasteurized whole milk (skim works too-- more on that later, just don't use ultrapasteurized milk of any sort)

2 tsp citric acid

1/2 tsp rennet

2 tsp kosher salt

The rennet (an enzyme) I bought at Wegman's. It's vegetable rennet (there's also animal rennet, which vegetarians will want to avoid). The citric acid I purchased at an Indian store (I'm not sure whether they use it for paneer or what-- I just use lemon juice to make it).

Equipment wise, you need:

Some sort of small mesh skimmer

a dishwashing glove (you'll see why later)

a microwave safe bowl

a digital thermometer

The basic idea here is to seperate the curds (solids) from the whey (liquid) of the milk.

Pour the milk into a large pot on medium heat. Sprinkle in the citric acid:

step22ml.jpg

Stir gently with a wooden spoon to distribute the heat. Once you reach 88 degrees, add in the rennet:

step43kf.jpg

Stir very gently, so as not to break up the curds which will start forming:

step58lv.jpg

step66ow.jpg

Edited by cjsadler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you hit 105 degrees, take the pan off the heat and work quickly to skim out the curds,

keeping them intact as much as possible:

step76zd.jpg

step83bh.jpg

Drain off any whey that's accumulating and microwave the bowl for 1 minute (You may need to adjust the microwave times depending on the size/power of your microwave). Mine's a fairly new 1.2 (I think?) cubic ft model.

step100ws.jpg

Remove the bowl and knead the curds, while letting excess whey drain. Don your dishwashing glove, 'cause the curds will be quite hot (apparently guys in Italy who make the cheese have asbestos hands and don't need a glove) Knead for a minute or so until the curds start to come together a bit and cool slightly.

step99tc.jpg

Microwave again for 35 seconds. Sprinkle the salt over the curds and knead and drain again. Knead a minute or so-- the curds should be coming together now.

step114lr.jpg

Microwave one final time for 30 seconds. The cheese should almost look like it's melting. Drain the excess whey and knead until the cheese is shiny and can be stretched like taffy. Careful not to overknead or the cheese will get tough (However, the bit of chew that the cheese gets can actually be somewhat pleasant-- you might even prefer it kneaded a bit more). If the cheese is no longer shiny, you've likely over-kneaded.

step124dw.jpg

Now shape the cheese as desired. You'll end up with about a pound of cheese. I usually just shape it into a log. The cheese will still be hot, so you'll have to roll it around from time to time as it cools to ease into the right shape.

step133hy.jpg

step149ay.jpg

You can use skim or 2% milk as well. Reduce the rennet to somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp. The final product is surprisingly good. It's a bit denser and less tender, though.

Edited by cjsadler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh - I know the first one - in what section of Wegman's would one find rennet?

The rennet was with over by where the organic/health food stuff is, near some baking ingredients, I think (sorry, but it was awhile ago that I bought it and I can't quite remember). I heard Rodman's sells the rennet in pellet form, which are supposed to work fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What can those of us without a microwave do to make this?

Good question. Sorry I can't be more helpful with this, as I haven't tried it myself, but one method is to heat the whey to 185 after you've removed the curds. Knead the curds a bit, then instead of microwaving, either ladle the hot whey over the curds or gently place the curds directly back into the pot of whey to warm and soften them. Then knead, drain and repeat until you get the cheese to come together in a pliable state.

Edited by cjsadler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good question.  Sorry I can't be more helpful with this, as I haven't tried it myself, but one method is to heat the whey to 185 after you've removed the curds.  Knead the curds a bit, then instead of microwaving, either ladle the hot whey over the curds or gently place the curds directly back into the pot of whey to warm and soften them.  Then knead, drain and repeat until you get the cheese to come together in a pliable state.

Thanks for the info. I will give this a shot and report back on my results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw an episode of "Food 911" on the Food Channel with Tyler Florence making mozzarella from cheese curds--he covered the curds with very hot water for a moment, then lifted them out, kneaded and stretched them. I would venture to guess that the archives on the Food TV web site would yield instructions from that episode.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw an episode of "Food 911" on the Food Channel with Tyler Florence making mozzarella from cheese curds--he covered the curds with very hot water for a moment, then lifted them out, kneaded and stretched them. I would venture to guess that the archives on the Food TV web site would yield instructions from that episode.

Thanks! I found the link to the recipe, but no video. Here is my favorite line, "Submerge both of your hands in the ice water for as long as you can stand it, because you're about to stretch the mozzarella in boiling hot water."

I think those dishwashing gloves might work out better IMO.

Edited by mdt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the link to the recipe from Michael Chiarello's Napa episode where he made mozzarella. Sounds like Chris is going one better by making his own curds rather than using pre-seperated curds. No microwave needed, though. Edited by shogun
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The rennet was with over by where the organic/health food stuff is, near some baking ingredients, I think (sorry, but it was awhile ago that I bought it and I can't quite remember).  I heard Rodman's sells the rennet in pellet form, which are supposed to work fine.

I found rennet in the baking section at Whole Foods. Citric acid is also known as sour salt in the kosher food section. I picked up both this morning and will give this a try toward the end of the week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What can those of us without a microwave do to make this?

cjsadler answered this question, but I looked it up since I was curious, and the Ricki Carroll book, which also has a "30-minute mozzarella" recipe, says this:

If you don't have a microwave, you may want to put on heavy rubber gloves at this point. Heat the reserved whey to at least 175F. Add 1/4 cup of cheese salt to the whey. Shape the curd into one or more balls, put them in a ladle or strainer, and dip them into the hot whey for several seconds. Knead the curd with spoons between each dip and repeat this process several times until the curd is smooth and pliable.

Ricki also recommends optionall adding lipase powder for stronger flavor, fwiw. I've made a few other things from the book (my Gouda recipe is from it, and I've tried a few of the soft cheeses too), but never tried the mozz. Might have to give that a try if I can make it to the farmer's market tomorrow for milk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I made my own mozz last week and it came out quite nicely except that the texture was a little off. The curds came together OK but it never got to that shiny and stretchy phase. The texture before it went in the fridge was somewhere between mozz and chevre. Even after it firmed up in the fridge, it was still a little on the creamy side.

I used whole milk instead of 2% so I wonder if that comes into it at all. Any ideas what might have happened? Was it kneaded too much? Too little? Too much time in the microwave?

The recipe/method I followed is consistent with what cjsadler posted here, and with many others on the 'net. I microwaved in a fairly new microwave for 60 secs, 35 secs and 30 secs. It seemed like the hotter I got the cheese, the more it approached a stretchy consistency but it never got there (which is why I think temperature may have been the problem).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We've already finished off the first attempt and I'd like to make another batch later this week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Followed the instructions pretty much exactly. Looked very good, aesthetically. Ended up rubbery. Maybe over-kneaded? I don't know. It also didn't melt (we made eggplant parmesan) in the oven. Was a fail. Sad! The spaghetti amatriciana came out pretty good. But the cheese really bummed me out.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...