Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Made Homemade Mozzarella Cheese and So Should You!

I have been wanting to try to make some more seemingly difficult products at home for a while. Cheese was at the top of the list for the past year but I have always found a reason not to make it. In my defense, the ingredients were not available in the local grocery stores and I couldn't find any specialty shops close by, and it was not worth the effort to track down stores online and make it just for myself. This never left my mind, so I finally bought aaaa-lll-lllll the supplies I needed online (2 items), citric acid and some rennet tablets, I got milk from the grocery store and this is how it all played out.
All of the ingredients and tools needed for this fun experiment
All of the ingredients and tools needed for this fun experiment
I had already bought the Junket Brand Rennet before I did extensive research about it's strength. Since it is the weakest one on the market, I had to use more than the instructions stated. I found this out on a random website that sells cheese making supplies.
1 Gallon of Whole Milk- Not Ultra Pasteurized
1 1/2 Rennet Junket Tablets, or 1/4 Tablet if you use the strong Cheese Making one- dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
2 Tsps of Citric Acid- dissolved in 1/2 cup of cold water
You'll also need:
A Thermometer
Slotted Spoon
A Large Microwavable Bowl
A Large Pot
A Microwave
A long knife
Empty milk and citric acid that you've dissolved into a deep pot and stir. Heat milk until it gets to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the rennet and stir to distribute evenly for about 30 seconds and remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. You should have a nicely formed curd separated from the whey. Dice the curd by making horizontal and vertical strokes with your knife and return the pot to the burner to cook the curd. Keeping stirring the curd and as soon as it gets to 105 degrees, remove from the heat.
Time for fun

With your slotted spoon, scoop out the curds into your microwave safe bowl and drain the excess whey. Microwave for one minute, and then knead the curds and drain more whey. The curds will be hot so use a pair of clean rubber gloves and keep the cold water running to cool down your hands in the process. Microwave for another 30 seconds, and stretch and knead some more. This is where it may get tricky, you could stop here, but if your cheese (at this point) is not stretchy and shiny, microwave for another 15 seconds and as you stretch and knead some more, drain and add your salt. I added 1 tsp of salt but this is up to you. I ended up making a brine of water, salt and whey for the cheese because I wanted it to be more salty, so I'd say go with at least 1 and a 1/2 tsp. Fold your cheese and wrap it to form a large ball or small balls for petite mozzarella balls. Served with your favorite fruits, crackers and balsamic and basil soaked tomatoes slices. So yummy, quick and easy and  it's like magic. Enjoy immediately or wrap your cheese and refrigerate for a couple days of enjoyment. Please share this recipe with a friend, come back often.
Recipe should yield just under 1 lb of cheese.
I was so excited that I couldn't wait to cut into my homemade cheese.
I was so excited that I couldn't wait to cut into my homemade cheese.

Please note**** I used the recipe that comes with the Junket Rennet, but made modifications to the amount of rennet I used.