making fresh mozzarella

I was the happy recipient of a mozzarella cheese-making kit on my last birthday. I go through my body’s weight in fresh mozzarella every year (I’m guessing) because it’s one of the few cheeses I can eat without upsetting my lactose-intolerance. Hellooooo live cultures….

Anyway, fresh mozz isn’t cheap so when I found out that it was easy to make, I was very very interested. Cue my awesome friend (and excellent pastry chef) Chelsea, who hooked me up with the kit.

Here is how you start.

with a giant pot of milk

You’ll need a whole gallon. It can be whole, skim or anything in between but they say the fattier it is, the better the cheese tastes which makes sense. Also, it is very very important that it is NOT ultra-pasturized. Ultra-pasturized milk won’t react to the rennet and citric acid correctly and you’ll just end up with a gallon of ruined milk.

here's all the stuff from the kit

After mixing in the rennet and citric acid as they describe, you wait for the curds and the whey to separate which looked like this.

The curd is like a big skin on top of the whey, and whey is almost clear like water. When its firm enough, you cut up the curd with a knife and then slowly stir it while warming it up to a magic cheese-making temperature.

curdy goodness

After you reach that point, you scoop all the curds out and discard the whey because now its time to mix in the cheese salt and microwave it so you can pull it.

whey-free curds held by my extremely handsome assistant

Once the curds are hot enough to be flexible, you pull them like taffy until shiny and form it into the shape you want. Careful though, they are HOT, I burned my fingertips by being too enthusiastic. :(

We played with ours for too long and so we both ended up with lumpy, long cheese hotdogs instead of cute balls.

Then you plunge it into an ice bath and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to hold it’s shape. We also didn’t wrap ours tightly enough so we ended up with a creeping cheese blob in the fridge after a couple of days because it flattened out. It still tasted good though. In fact, it was so good that we immediately put it to use!

omnomnom

We had such a fun time and were so happy with the results that I wholeheartedly recommend this kit. Plus, I am nerdily excited about my future cheese-savings. We estimate that we pay about $8 for 8 oz of fresh mozz from the grocery store, but with this kit we got about 16 oz for the price of a gallon of milk and an hour of elbow grease.

You can buy this and other cheese-making kits here. If anyone from Ricki’s wants to send some free cheese-making stuff my way for the plug, it would be graciously accepted. :)

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One Response to “making fresh mozzarella”

  1. Ondrew Says:

    Interesting. I might have to try that. Thanks for the post.

    http://canadacheeseman.wordpress.com/

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