10/29/14

Easy Homemade Mozzarella Cheese in about 30 minutes - (Lots of pictures and links to specific ingredients included)




I will put links to the actual products I order, own and use, at the end of this post so you can see exactly what I use. Once you invest in a few key ingredients, you won't have to order them again for a long time because you only use about 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of them for each batch.  Keep your rennet and lipase in the freezer and it will last at least 6 months.

When you make mozzarella, you can throw out the whey (the liquid) but I beg you - please don't!  That whey is all you need to make delicious and amazing Ricotta cheese!  Just assume on the days you make a batch of mozzarella, you'll take another 15 minutes to make a batch of ricotta as well.  Two wonderful cheeses from 1 gallon of milk!  (I will try to get the ricotta recipe up as soon as I can.)

Homemade Mozzarella

1 gallon whole milk - not 'ultra' pasteurized
1 t citric acid - dissolved in 1/4 c cold water
1/4 t lipase - dissolved in 1/4 c cold water
1/4 t liquid rennet (or 1/4 of a tablet cheese making rennet) - dissolved in 1/4 c cold water
1 t non-iodized salt (use cheese salt, sea salt, kosher salt, ice cream salt, Himalayan salt, etc.)

Pour the milk into a clean stainless steel pot.
Heat to 55 degrees.
Add lipase water mixture and stir slowly.
Add Citric Acid water mixture and stir slowly.
Heat slowly to 90 degrees. Remove from heat.
Add the rennet water mixture, stir slowly but stir well for 10-20 seconds.
Cover and let stand 5-10 minutes.
During this time the curd should separate from the whey and become a firm jello like layer on top.
After 5-10 minutes check for a clean break with a knife or frosting spatula.
Cut a checkerboard pattern across the curd to cut it into 1 inch cubes.
Swirl the pot a little and put back on heat.
Slowly heat to 105 degrees.  Remove from heat.
Swirl the pan again (no need to stir, but you can if you must).
Slowly spoon out the curds with a slotted metal spoon into a colander sitting inside a large bowl to catch the whey - or if you only have a wire strainer, line it with cheesecloth or a gauzy fabric so the curds don't get stuck in the wires.
Pour the last bit of the curds into the cloth from the pan.
Set the whey to the side, you don't need it for this recipe any longer.
Gently press on the curd to press out a bit more whey liquid.
Place in a microwaveable bowl.
Microwave 1 minute.
Drain again.
Knead and press to get more whey out.
Drain.
Microwave 35 seconds.
Knead and press again and drain.
Add your salt.
Microwave 20-30 seconds more and continue to knead and pull.
You can wear food safe heat resistant gloves if you have them as you are microwaving to get the cheese hot so it will stretch - and you will kind of burn your hands a bit.  It's hot!
You are hoping to be able to stretch it like taffy.
If it breaks more like bread dough, it's not hot enough.  Heat again and stretch again.
If you've reheated 3 times and it's still not quite as stretchy as you would like, that's ok, it will still look and taste great.
Form whatever shape you want (twist or balls, etc.) and plunge them into a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes.
Remove, wrap and refrigerate.



 


Read through the directions, and look at the photos so you know
what to have ready or on hand before you begin.

HINTS AND HELPS

You need rennet - liquid or tablet (either vegetable or animal).
Do not use the Junket brand in the grocery store - it's made for custard and you want
a thicker curd than that.  Get real rennet or you may not end up with a good curd.
Citric acid and lipase -  Lipase is kind of optional; some people don't use it, but it adds flavor.


Heat your milk S L O W L Y so you don't scorch the bottom
and you never accidentally boil it.


When you mix your citric acid, lipase and rennet with water, do NOT use chlorinated water,
as chlorine kills the rennet.  If you do use tap water (which is chlorinated), 
add a bit of milk to it to neutralize it first.
 

  Have a thermometer.  You HAVE to know the correct temperature
of your milk.  Some people have a digital - I bought a super cheapy on Amazon,
calibrated it right before starting so I knew it was on target.  

 This is the "clean break" you look for after adding the rennet.
When you insert a knife or icing spatula you can see it is thick, like jello
and breaks away from the liquid whey under it.

Cutting across, turning the pan and cutting across the other way
gives you cubes.  This is giving the curds more surface area so the 
whey can separate from it.

Heating to 105 degrees before removing from the heat and starting to drain and knead.

 

After you heat to 105 and remove from heat, you can let the curds sit for 5 minutes.
During this time have your colander or strainer ready over a bowl to catch whey.
Have your cheese salt ready.
You can also get your bowl of ice water ready.

Starting to remove the curds from the whey.
 

Pour the last of the curds in.  The yellow liquid is the whey you will be
pressing out gently and draining off.

After the 1 minute microwave to heat it, press and drain.


This is after the second microwave, knead and drain.
You can see it all comes together.
Keep heating and pulling until it pulls like taffy.
Yep, it's hot - you'll get burned hands if you don't have food safe gloves.


Shape into whatever shape you wish.  I do balls.  Plunge in ice water 5 minutes.


SO GOOD!  The salt brings out the flavor so you don't need anything else,
but you CAN add whatever herbs you wish to it.  (Basil, chives, etc.)





These are the products I ordered from Amazon and Used;

Lipase Powder-Italase-(mild) 1oz
NOW Foods - Citric Acid 100% Pure - 4 oz.
Organic Liquid Vegetable Rennet, 2oz.
Gerber Birdseye 10 Count Flatfold Cloth Diapers, White (24in x 27in)


         



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