Today we are going to learn how to make our own mozzarella cheese from scratch. A gallon of milk should yield around 15 ounces of mozzarella. It can be saved in the fridge for a week or two, but tastes best fresh.
The leftovers from this process can then be used to make ricotta cheese.
HOW TO MAKE MOZZARELLA CHEESE
What You Will Need:
1) An enameled or stainless steel pot with a lid. Avoid aluminum as it may react with the milk
2) 2 measuring cups
3) A large bowl and a smaller bowl
4) A long kitchen knife
5) A wooden spoon
6) A large strainer
7) A thermometer
8) A microwave
1) A gallon of milk. It can be whole milk, 2%, 1% or skimmed.
2) Liquid rennet or a crushed rennet tablet.
3) Citric acid
How to Do It:
1) Pour the milk into the pot and let sit at room temperature, until it reaches a temperature of 50 F.
2) Pour 1 teaspoon citric acid and ¼ cup of water into a measuring cup. Mix thoroughly.
3) Put the rennet and ¼ cup of water into the other into a measuring cup. Mix thoroughly.
4) Pour the contents of the first cup into the pot. Stir for 60 seconds.
5) Sprinkle a second teaspoon of citric acid into the milk. Stir for another 60 seconds. The milk will soon begin to curdle.
6) Heat the contents of the pot to around 90 F over a 10-15 minute period. Stir regularly.
7) Add the contents of the second cup to the pot.
8) Cover the pot with its lid and let it sit for room temperature for 20-30 minutes. The curd and whey should separate over this time, leaving a layer of solid material on top and a liquid beneath.
9) Cut the curds (the solid top layer) into small half-inch cubes.
10) Let the contents of the pot sit for another 10 minutes.
11) Slowly heat the contents of the pot to 108 F. The curds will grow smaller and sink, as the whey is released from them.
12) Turn off the heat and stir occasionally over 20 minutes or so. The curds will continue to shrink.
13) Drain the curds into the strainer.
14) Place the strainer above a large bowl, and let the curds drain fully (should take roughly 15 minutes). The whey collected will later be used to make Ricotta (as we will discuss below).
15) Pour the curds into the smaller bowl. Break them up with your hands.
16) Place the curds in the microwave and heat at 30 second intervals. You want to separate the curds from the whey, but not actually cook the curds.
17) Using your hands, gently squeeze the whey from the curds. Pour out any whey (liquid) as you do this.
18) Microwave again for 20 seconds, and drain more whey. Microwave a 3rd time.
19) Add salt.
20) At this point, the curds will have become stretchy. If not, microwave once more. Knead and stretch the cheese.
21) Knead the cheese into a ball. If it breaks or crumbles, it needs to be heated in the microwave again.
22) It should turn smooth and shiny. This means your cheese is ready!
You now have mozzarella cheese ready for use.
HOW TO MAKE RICOTTA CHEESE
What You Will Need:
1) The leftover whey from making the mozzarella
2) The large pot, large bowl and strainer, wooden spoon and small bowl used to make the mozzarella
3) A coffee filter
How to Do It:
1) Pour the whey into the pot.
2) Heat the pot to around 200 F, where it will reach boiling point. Be careful that it doesn’t boil over.
3) Turn off the heat and let the whey cool. Stir regularly.
4) Place your strainer above the large bowl, and the coffee filter within the strainer.
5) When the whey cools to 140 F, pour slowly through into the coffee filter. Let the liquid whey drain into the large bowl.
6) Let it drain fully for 20 minutes or more.
In your filter you will have ready-to-eat Ricotta cheese!
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Good luck and stay prepared!