This has been Revised a little bit because some people have had a little trouble with the original. Even I had a few bad batches. The main differences are the times in the microwave. Follow the instructions carefully and you should end up with an almost 100% foolproof batch of Mozzarella Cheese
If you like fresh home made Mozzarella Cheese then try out this Instructable. If you have never had fresh Mozzarella Cheese, try it out any way. There is a world of difference between the packages stuff you buy in the store and the cheese you make yourself. It will only take a couple hours out of your life but it will be well worth it.
There are a lot of recipes on the internet but a lot of them seem to skip an important step or 2 or don't really explain it well enough, so I have made many batches through trial and error combining things that I have learned and experimented with (so you don't have to) and come up with this recipe that seems to work real good.
There are also a lot of recipes out there saying make Mozzarella Cheese in 30 minutes. Realistically, it ain't gonna happen if you want to do it right. Plan on it taking about an hour and a half to 2 hours. As you make more batches you can cut it down to maybe an hour or so.
I use whole milk for mine but you should be able to use skimmed, 1%, or 2% milk also. If you have access to farm fresh milk your even better off and I'm jealous. You can also use goat, buffalo or camel milk.
Step 1: Equipment You Will Need:
1. At least an 8 quart pot either enameled or stainless steel. (Do not use aluminum, cast iron or other reactive pots)
2. Thermometer. (A candy thermometer will probably work but a good digital thermometer is much better for accuracy.)
3. A couple measuring cups or something to dissolve the Citric Acid and Rennet in.
4. A big strainer to strain the Curds from the Whey.
5. A long sharp knife to cut the Curds up with.
6. A slotted spoon to stir the Curds and dip them out with.
7. Large bowl for the drained off Whey. (Glass is best)
8. Small bowl to put the Curds in. (Glass is best)
10. Nylon netting for draining Curds. (I use this with the strainer. You can get this stuff at most fabric stores. It is just nylon netting. Get the plain white and probably not the colored stuff)
11. Plain white cloth if you want to make Ricotta Cheese with the Whey that is left over.
12. Small strainer to dip out the curds.
1. 1 gallon Milk. Let the milk set out either in the gallon container or in the pot until it gets to about 50 degrees. (I have only used whole milk, although you can also use 2% or skimmed milk. Do not use ultra-homogenized milk though. If you are lucky enough to get milk fresh from the farm, that's even better)
2. 1 Rennet tablet crushed. (The Rennet tablet is used to coagulate the milk. You can also use liquid Rennet if you can get it. You can get The Rennet tablets at a lot of specialty or smaller stores and it is usually in the pudding aisle or in the Ice Cream section with the chocolate, nuts and stuff. About $2.00)
3. 2 teaspoons Citric Acid divided. 1 teaspoon is dissolved in water and the other one is sprinkled directly into the milk. (The citric acid is what gives the cheese it's stretch. Get it at some health food stores for around $4.00 for 4 ounces or at a pharmacy which can cost $12.00 to $14.00)
4. 1/2 cup water divided in 2. (Do not use chlorinated water. Bottled water is fine.)
5. 1 - 2 teaspoons salt.