It's easier to make cheese at home than you'd think!
Keyword cheese, how to, techniques
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 25minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Author Cultured Palate
2gallonswhole or skim milkwhole milk gives a larger yield than skim
3tspcitric acid powder
¼ tsp tablet (or ½ tsp liquid)rennet, dissolved in ¼ cup cool water
Pour milk into pot, sprinkle with citric acid and stir well. Milk must be cold or the citric acid does not work well.
Heat milk to 88F - 90F over medium heat. If you overheat - just let it cool back down!
Pour dissolved rennet into the milk while stirring.
Turn off the heat.
Stir slowly and after a few minutes, the milk will begin to thicken. Globs of white curd will separate from the liquid (whey). If it doesn't coagulate immediately, let the milk sit for about 30 minutes.
Once the milk has coagulated and the whey separated, turn heat to high and heat milk to 110F.
Place a colander over another pot and pour or spoon out the curds into the colander.
Continue to heat the whey.
Press whey out of the curds in the colander.
Place the curds back into the pot of whey and heat until 120 F.
With a spoon, lift the curds out of the whey - cool a few seconds, if necessary, and begin pulling and stretching it into a rope. The cheese will break apart at this point if it is not hot enough - just put it back into the whey and let it heat further.
After stretching it into a rope, return it back into the whey to heat back up.
Once heated again, stretch it again. Continue this process several times until it takes on a shiny, soft and smooth appearance. It should be ready by the time the whey reaches 150F - 160F. (If the whey gets too hot, the cheese will melt into it.) As the whey heats to higher degrees be sure to protect your hands and use gloves - it is hot!
You will know the mozzarella cheese is done when it no longer breaks and tears during the stretching process - it also becomes shiny and smooth in appearance.
Once stretched enough, pour 4 tsp (may use more if desired) salt on the counter.
Remove mozzarella from the whey and place it on the salt. Knead the salt into the cheese but work quickly as it must be hot to absorb the salt.
Place the cheese back into the whey briefly until it is hot.
Remove and roll into a log or place in the desired container.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Use as desired - grated, sliced...
To make a 4 gallon batch use 5 tsp citric acid and 1 tsp rennet.
You can freeze the mozzrella once it's ready
Before getting started, be sure to check out Cheese Making Basics for helpful tips, supplies and ordering information. If you are interested in cheese making, I would highly recommend the book, available from my affiliate partner, Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll – it is an excellent resource.