Mozzarella is a semi-soft, sliceable Italian cheese. Traditionally, Mozzarella cheese was made from water buffalo milk.However,with the evolution of cheese making technology, Mozzarella cheese today can be made from cow, goat or sheep milk. It can be even made from powdered dry milk with cream. Moreover, with cheese making supplies available for retail, Mozzarella is a good cheese to make at home, where you can enjoy the fresh taste of the cheese, with no preservatives added.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 6-quart (or bigger) heavy stainless steel or Enamel pot (no aluminium)
- Thermometer sensitive to at least 43.3C
- Slotted spoon
- 2-quart microwaveable bowl
- Latex gloves
- 1.5 teaspoons of citric acid
- 1/2 cup of cool water
- 1/4 teaspoon of liquid rennet (or 1/4 of rennet tablet)
- 1/4 cup of cool, unchlorinated water
- 1 gallon of pasteurised whole milk
- Bowl of ice-cold water
Disinfect your working surface area with your household sanitiser.
Wash your pot thoroughly in warm water. An important step to perform before starting making Mozzarella is to remove any residues that may interfere with the process of making cheese.
Fill your pot with warm water, and place on a stove top on high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and place your utensils in the boiling water. Let sit for ten minutes.
Remove utensils from boiling water and allow them to air dry. Discard the water from the pot and allow it to air dry.
Dissolve 1.5 teaspoons of citric acid in 1/2 cup of cool water. Set aside.
Dilute 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/4 rennet tablet) in 1/4 cup cool, unchlorinated water. You can use distilled water. Regular tap water has a high percentage of chlorine, which will stop the action of the rennet (forming the curds). Set aside.
Pour 1 gallon of pasteurised whole milk into the clean pot. Place on stove top over medium/low heat and then add the citric acid solution while stirring.
Immerse the thermometer in the milk and heat to 32.2 degrees C. The milk will start to curdle. Stir in the diluted rennet solution slowly, with an up-and-down motion, while the milk is heating to 37.8C.
Turn off the the heat. Wait until the curds (the solidified part of the milk) have pulled away from the pot and have a bit of a shine. The whey (the remaining liquid) should be clear. If the whey is still milky, wait a bit more.
Scoop out the curds with the slotted spoon and place in the microwaveable bowl. Put your latex gloves on and press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible.
Microwave the curds on high for one minute. Drain off the rest of the whey. Fold the the curds over and over to distribute the heat throughout the curds. Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each, kneading and removing excess whey after each time.
Knead quickly until the curds are smooth, shiny and stretch like taffy. Roll the cheese into small balls. Place the cheese in a bowl of ice cold water for 1/2 an hour to bring the inside temperature of the cheese down rapidly, which will ensure the smooth texture of the cheese. Eat immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator.
Tips and warnings
- You can order the rennet and citric acid online, from cheese making supplies companies such as New England Cheese Making Supply Company. This particular company also sells kits that contain the ingredients needed for making Mozzarella at home.
- One teaspoon of cheese salt could also be added to the Mozzarella for additional flavour.
- Mozzarella is best eaten fresh. Its fridge life is about two days before it starts loosing its texture.
- The recipe above yields about one pound of Mozzarella.
- Exercise caution when kneading the Mozzarella, as it gets very hot (about 62.8 degrees C at that point).
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