Introduction: How to Make Great Homemade Mozzarella
HUGE thanks to everyone that has viewed this instructable! Without you amazing 290,000 people I would not have been featured and then included not one, but TWO eBooks, the How to Make Cheese and How to do Absolutely Everything: In the Kitchen books, and as of January 2013, the How to do Absolutely Everything has been sold as hard copies and I am receiving a copy for my input into it. Gigantic thank you to everyone!
After an interest in cheese I always wanted to make my own. This is my own adaptation of the recipe found here . I have used this recipe a few times and it didnt work as well as I hoped... So I took my time thinking through what changes I could make.
I hope this helps everyone that wants to make their own great mozzarella.
Step 1: What You Will Need:
Whole Fat milk - I used one litre (uk) as this was just a quick batch for fun.
Rennet - liquid or tablet. I used a liquid version. Use as the packaging instructs
Bottle of Water
Cheese Cloth / White Muslin Cloth - For straining curds
Stainless Steel Pot
Cheese Press (optional)
Step 2: Gently Heat the Milk
Pour your desired amount of milk into your stainles steel pot (aluminium pots will affect the reactions later on)
Constantly stir the milk so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and to prevent a skin forming.
At this stage, DO NOT HEAT PAST 80°F
Step 3: Adding the Citric Acid
At this stage, whilst the milk is still under 80°F, you will have to add the citric acid.
The acid will lower the pH of the cheese and give mozzarella its characteristic stretchy texture.
For every litre of milk, you add a quarter of a teaspoon of citric acid.
I made 1 litres worth of cheese, a quarter teaspoon. But if you are making 4 litres worth you will add a whole teaspoon.
Add the powder and make sure you mix it through thoroughly. You will notice that some of the milk will curdle and stick to your spoon. This is normal.
Step 4: Adding the Rennet
Now that you have added the citric acid, you have to heat up the milk to 90°F
Turn off the heat just before the thermometer reads 90°F.
Measure out a quarter of a cup of bottled (unchlorinated) water. follow directions of the rennet packaging.... My bottle of rennet says 'for every litre of milk, add 5 drops'
So for my recipe, 1 litre of milk, I added drops of rennet to a quarter cup of bottled water.
Mix the rennet through the milk for at least 30 secs. Leave the milk alone, off the heat, for at least 20 mins to curdle.
Step 5: Check for a Clean Break
After you have waited for the milk to curdle, you have to test to see if the milk has indeed curdled.
To test this, dip your clean finger into the milk and bring it back out. If you have a clean break, your curds are ready.
The second picture is NOT a clean break. I left the milk for a few minutes before I tested and took the third picture.
Step 6: Cut and Cook the Curds
Now cut the curds in a criss-cross pattern and turn the heat back on high.
Mix the curds, you don't want them sticking to the pot.
Cook the curds for around 10 mins until it looks like picture 3.
Step 7: Straining the Curds
To strain the curds, set up your large bowl, with your cheese cloth/muslin over it.
Pour the curds and whey into the bowl. The liquid whey will pass throught the cloth and the solid cheese curds will remain in the cloth.
KEEP the whey for later on. Also keep the pot handy.
Step 8: Cheese Press (optional)
If you own a cheese press, you can use it now.
Place your curds, still in your cheese cloth, inside the mould and insert into your press.
Press for 10 mins.
Alternativley, I made a quick homemade press with the water bottle used earlier, and a mould that came with a cheese making kit.
Step 9: Chop and Salt
Now you have your curds, either pressed or not, give them a rough chop (if pressed) and salt the curds.
Step 10: Prepare to Stretch Curds
Pour your whey from the large bowl, back into your pot on a high heat. Rinse out the bowl and fill with cold water. For ease place the cheese cloth back into the bowl to catch the curds wen they are stretched.
Place a medium sized curd onto your spoon and lower it into the hot whey. Leave the curd to heat up to the temperature at which it will stretch. This is around 160-165°F.
When the curd streches, you know the whey is at the correct temperature for the rest.
Step 11: Stretching Your Curds
Add all of the curds into the whey to heat up. Leave them for a few minutes.
You might want to place your cheesecloth back into the whey to catch all the curds again.
When the curds are hot enough, gather them with your spoon then shape them by hand.
The curds will be very hot. Most internet sites recommend wearing rubber gloves to keep yur hands cool. I recommend it as well.
I formed my mozzarella balls by kneading the curds in my hand until it started to look smooth. If the curds ever feel more resilient, place them back into the whey to heat them. When you are happy with the smoothness of the mozzarella and it is in an authentic ball form, place them into your bowl of cold water to set the shape.
Step 12: Finished Mozzarella
You have now just made your very own Mozzarella.
I don't know how long the cheese will last in the fridge as I always use it straight away.
Mozzarella is best stored in slightly salted water, in an airtight container in the fridge.
Step 13: How to Make Absolutely Everything!
Just received this through the post this afternoon, thought I'd share it with all of you people who made it happen. For anyone purchasing the book, this instructable's on page 24