Mozzarella Cheese Making Recipe

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Traditional mozzarella is made from water buffalo (not North American buffalo or bison) milk, and its flavor is highly acclaimed and sought after. Water buffalo milk is more expensive than cows milk and it is costly to ship, so expect a corresponding high price tag on imported buffalo mozzarella. Mozzarella cheese is not aged like most cheeses and is best when eaten within hours of making. For your first batch of homemade mozzarella cheese we recommend that you use store bought whole milk. The basic recipe is for one gallon whole milk. You will need a 6 to 8 quart stainless steel pot. Do not use aluminum or cast iron. A stainless steel or strong plastic slotted spoon. A two quart microwave safe mixing bowl, measuring spoons and a thermometer that will clearly read between 80 - 160°F.

Ingredients

Procedure

Place one gallon whole milk into a stainless steel pot.

Measure the remaining ingredients into four individual containers. This will allow you to make the cheese without worrying about measurements.

Place the stock pot of milk on the stove over medium heat. It is important that you heat the milk slowly.

Sprinkle in the citric acid and diluted calcium chloride while you gently stir.

Heat slowly until the milk reaches 88°F. Stir every few minutes to prevent scorching the milk on the bottom of the pot. You will begin to see the curd develop.

Once the milk reaches 88°F, stir in the rennet and water mixture. Continue stirring every few minutes until the milk reaches 105°F.

Remove from the heat and let the milk set covered for 20 minutes. Curd (white mass) and whey (greenish liquid) will now be fully separated.

Use a slotted spoon or strainer to transfer the curd to a microwave safe dish. If the curd is too soft to transfer, let the milk sit a few more minutes.

Pour off as much of the whey as you can. Gently press the curds together with the spoon and force more whey out of them. Squeeze out and drain as much whey as possible.

Place the curd in the microwave on high for one minute. Remove and press the curds again to force out more whey. The cheese should begin to mass together and become sticky. If it does not, you will need to leave it in the microwave a few seconds longer. Not all microwaves are equal! It will not hurt to place the cheese back in the microwave for 20 - 30 seconds more if necessary. Please note the total time needed for future reference.

Add the flaked salt a little at a time and knead the cheese with a spoon as you would bread dough. It will become smooth and shiny.

Place the curd back into the microwave and heat on high for one more minute. Remove from oven and drain any remaining whey. This time your cheese will be too hot to handle, about 140-150° F.

Knead the cheese again until it sticks to the spoon and pulls away from the bowl. When the cheese begins to stretch like taffy, it is almost done. You can have some fun now by pulling and stretching the cheese until it is completely cooled. This is an important step. Stretching will make the cheese firm and stringy. If you prefer a softer texture, don't stretch it as much.

Place the cheese in an air tight container or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Use this cheese within one week or store it in the freezer for up to one month. *Non-Microwave Stove-Top Instructions* Divide and shape the curd into 4 equal sized balls.

Place one of the mozzarella curd balls into a heat resistant bowl and carefully ladle the hot whey brine over the curd until it is submerged.

Using a slotted spoon or gloved hands begin to work the curd by kneading it until it becomes pliable and appears smooth and shiny. Your goal is to heat the curd to 140°-150°F and extract as much of the whey as possible. You may have to add additional hot whey brine to the bowl as it begins to cool.

When you’ve reached the right consistency, remove the curd to another bowl, add one eighth teaspoon of flaked salt and knead it as described in step 13 of the one-hour mozzarella recipe.

Repeat this process with each of the remaining curd balls.

homemade cheese tray

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