Fast & Easy Mozzarella Making Recipe

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Due to a request in the General Wine Making Forum I am posting this recipe for a Mozzarella cheese making recipe that takes about 30 - 45 minutes to make.
As I stated in my original post (in the general wine making forum) any of the supplies needed in this recipe can be purchased at various cheese making supply companies that are found online. Simply google cheese making supplies and the list will be quite large. I recommend The dairy connection but that is just my preference.
Anyway, here is the recipe. If anyone has any questions I will answer them as soon as I find the time. I try to check this site every day or so but sometimes life gets too busy, even for that. :)
PLEASE read through the recipe several times before attempting to make this cheese. It's not complicated but the more familiar you are with the recipe the happier you will be with the results.
This will NOT make American style "pizza cheese" but instead a semi firm curd, mild flavored, mozzarella. It will be different from what you are familiar with but it is still an enjoyable cheese.

Equipment:

6 to 8 quart stainless steel cooking pot
slotted spoon (s.s. or heavy plastic)
thermometer (analog or digital but probe must be stainless steel)
measuring spoons (s.s. or plastic)
microwave oven and microwave safe bowl
heavy rubber gloves (not required but certainly beneficial)
strainer (plastic is fine)
cheese cloth
s.s. knife or icing spatula that will reach the bottom of the pot.

Ingredients:

1 gallon of whole store bought milk (make sure it is not ultra pasteurized. I use Prairie Farms brand but I don't know if this is available in your specific area)
1-1/2 to 3 tsp. powdered citric acid
1/4 tsp liquid vegetable or animal rennet (I prefer veal rennet)
Approx. 2 quarts of ice water in a tupperware container
Salt to taste (I usually add about 1/2 - 1 tsp.)

Procedure:

The most important step in making cheese is sanitation. For those of you that are familiar with wine making this is nothing new.
In cheese making you can never be clean enough so practice the same sterilization methods you do with your wine making.

1. Pour milk into s.s. pot and add 1-1/2 tsp - 2 tsp of citric acid. Stir in well.
2. Slowly heat the milk/acid mixture to 90 degrees F. Remove pot from heat.
3. Dissolve 1/4 tsp. of liquid rennet in 1/4 cup of distilled water and add to milk.
4. Allow milk to set quietly for 5 - 15 minutes until a curd is formed. Because of the citric acid the milk might not set into a solid mass but you will see the curds, (solid pieces) separating from the whey, (liquid).
5. Once curd is formed use your knife to cut the curd into 1" squares. This is accomplished by first cutting the curd one way and then rotating the post to cut curd in the other direction. When you are finished you will see a checkerboard pattern in the curd.
6. Line your strainer with cheese cloth and use your spoon to transfer the curd to the strainer, leaving the whey behind.
7. Allow the residual whey to drain and the curd to firm in the strainer. You can lightly press the curd to aid in whey drainage. Also, I like to lift the edges of the cheese cloth which will help the whey to drain more quickly. You want to get as much whey out of the curd in the shortest amount of time.
8. Transfer the drained curd to the microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1 minute. While the curd is heating, put on your sanitized rubber gloves.
9. Remove the curd from the microwave. You will notice that more whey has been expelled. Drain this whey off while holding the curd so it doesn't slide out of the bowl.
10. Begin to knead the curd as you would bread dough. I usually just sort of squeeze and press the curd at this point. As more whey is expelled, drain this whey into your kitchen sink.
11. Once curd begins to cool return it to the microwave for another 45 seconds on high. Once again the curd will have released more whey so this needs to be dumped.
12. Work quickly and begin to knead the dough more aggressivly. Pick the curd up and begin folding and kneading as quickly as possible. The rubber gloves become very important during this step as the curd has gotten quite hot.
13. Work the curd as much as possible in a short time. If more whey is expelled, get rid of it as before.
14. Return the curd to the microwave for the final heating time of 30 - 45 seconds. You do not want to overheat the curd or it will seize up. Do not go over 45 seconds at this point.
15. You will notice that the curd has begun to melt against the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add your salt at this point. Quickly pick up the curd and fold it over a couple of times.
16. Now begin to actually stretch the curd into long strings. This is much like pulling taffy if you are familiar with the process. I often just form the curd into a "log" shape and then begin to gently pull the curd mass in a downward motion, while squeezing. Continue to pull down and stretch the curd into the longest piece possible.
It is VERY important to work as quickly as possible during this step. Once you have pulled the curd into a long string, fold it over and stretch again. Continue to do this until the curd becomes shiny and then fold over one final time and quickly mold it into the form of your choice (ball, log, pear shape, etc.) If this curd did not become shiny, you can place it back in the microwave for 15 - 30 seconds but it is possible for the curd to seize at this point. I have only lost one batch by doing this, but it can happen.
17. Once the curd has been formed place it in the ice water immediately to cool and allow to sit for several minutes (usually 10 - 15 minutes is enough).
18. Remove from the ice water and either eat immediately or place in the refrigerator, (in a sealed container), for up to a week.

The first time I made this recipe it was a success and although it might sound complicated, it is really quite easy. This was the recipe that started me on my cheese making addiction and since then I've not looked back.
If any of you find yourself interested in this hobby I would suggest visiting the following site:(okay, the site won't let me post the address because I'm so new..... google cheese forum and you will find the one I'm referring to.
This is by far the best cheese making site on the internet.
In my opinion, cheese making is the perfect compliment to wine making and if done correctly the results are amazing.
It was really nice this past weekend to sit down with a glass of MY Barolo and a plate of MY Cheddar and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
I sincerely hope you guys find this as interesting as I do.

Dave
 

arcticsid

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Dave, thanks alot for posting that. I will peruse it when I have more time. I think Upper was asking to. Look forward to checking it out further. If you don't mind posting any other cheese recipes we have a food catagory in here. Thanks again. Making cheese sounds just as enjoyable as brewing your own.
Troy
 

Hillbilly Bill

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If any of you find yourself interested in this hobby I would suggest visiting the following site:(okay, the site won't let me post the address because I'm so new..... google cheese forum and you will find the one I'm referring to.
This is by far the best cheese making site on the internet.
In my opinion, cheese making is the perfect compliment to wine making and if done correctly the results are amazing.
It was really nice this past weekend to sit down with a glass of MY Barolo and a plate of MY Cheddar and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
I sincerely hope you guys find this as interesting as I do.

Dave
Dave... thanks much...
Is this the forum you are referring to? I don't think Wade will mind this one...

http://www.cheeseforum.org/

Have a good one...
HB
 
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melissa44

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Google Fankhauser's Cheese Page...reminds me of Jack Keller's site. Everything you wnated to know about cheese but were afraid to ask.
 

JohnT

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so exactly where can one purchase rennit?

How long does it keep?

How should you store it?
 

JohnT

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Thanks. will look into buying this.
 
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