How To Make Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

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Growing and making your own food are great ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. This simple recipe shows how easy it is to make your own homemade mozzarella cheese!

Cheese is one of those traditional foods that humans have been making for hundreds of years, yet we in America have virtually completely stopped making for ourselves just in the past few decades. Making cheese involves fermenting milk, which naturally digests the lactic acid, making dairy more easy for us to consume and digest.

Cheese making can be a time-consuming process, which probably explains why, in our time-starved world, it has fallen out of favor. Yet there is something to be said for the rewarding feeling of eating cheese you made, yourself, and nothing beats the fresh taste of fresh homemade mozzarella cheese – which also happens to be one of the easiest cheeses to make.

I like to make it in the summer, and eat it sliced on top of thick slices of fresh ripe tomatoes from the garden, with a basil leaf on top, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and  olive oil – Yum!

Here’s how to make your own homemade mozzarella cheese.

If you do not have access to raw milk, you can absolutely use milk from your local grocery, but do not use ULTRA-pasteurized milk. During the ultra-pasteurization process, the protein structure is modified and the cheese will not turn out right. (If you can find non-homogenized, low-heat pasteurized, that is usually the best option you can find in most stores.)

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The recipe below is simple and requires only a couple of special ingredients.…

These recipes came from Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll.

30-Minute Mozzarella Recipe

Yield: Approximately 12 ounces

Once the curd is made, it is heated and stretched until it is smooth and shiny, at which time it can be stored in cold water or whey.

Ingredients/Special Tools:

• 1-1/2 tsp citric acid dissolved in ½ cup cool water
• 1 gallon milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
• 1/4 tsp liquid rennet
• Dairy or candy thermometer
• Rubber kitchen gloves

Directions:

1. Remove the milk from the refrigerator, pour it in a pot on the counter and let it come to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Once it gets to 55 degrees, add the citric acid solution while stirring the milk constantly.

3. Heat the milk to 90 degrees, stirring constantly.

4. Remove from the heat, slowly add the rennet and stir using an up and down motion for 30 seconds. Cover the pot and let sit for 5 minutes. DO NOT DISTURB!

5. Check the curd. It should have started to solidify and look like custard with a separation or “break” from the side of the pot. If the curd is too soft, let it sit for a few more minutes. Once the curd is ready, using a knife that reaches the bottom of the pot, cut the curd in a cross-hatched pattern, making sure the knife reaches the bottom of the pot.

6. Return the pot to the stove and carefully heat the mixture while slowly moving the curds with a slotted spoon until it reaches 105oF. Keep the heat low and be vigilant in monitoring the temperature.

7. Once the mixture reaches 105 degrees, immediately remove the pot from the heat and keep stirring gently for 5 minutes.

8. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a 2 quart microwave safe bowl. The remaining liquid is the whey (which can then be used to make ricotta if desired)….

9. Put on the kitchen gloves and press the curd, collecting the excess whey in the bowl. Remove as much whey as possible then transfer the recovered whey back to the pot with the reserved whey.

10. Return the curds to the bowl and microwave them on high for 1 minute. Discard any whey in the bottom of the bowl, and then knead the curd to distribute the heat throughout, which makes it more stretchable. Eventually, the inside of the curd will reach approximately 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which it can be stretched. This is why you need to wear the gloves. (Click here for a non-microwave version.)

11. Microwave the kneaded curd for 35 seconds and knead again. Then repeat the process for another 35 seconds. This third time, add a teaspoon of kosher salt, if you like, to the whey before you knead it.

12. The curd should be at 145 degrees by the third heating, so knead and stretch it quickly while it is hot until it is smooth and stretchy. You want the curd to stretch like taffy — if it tears, it is too cool and needs to be reheated in the microwave.

13. Once it is smooth and shiny, the mozzarella cheese you have made can be cut and rolled into small balls or left as one large piece. Enjoy it warm or cool it down rapidly in ice water and store in the refrigerator….

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Get a great ricotta recipe to make from the whey, and see pictures of the process, at MotherEarthNews.com.

Image Source: Mother Earth News

 

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