- To 1 gallon (4 litres) of milk (I used pasteurised, unhomogenised, whole milk, which in NZ used to be the silver top with the cream at the top. I used an organic milk) add 2 teaspoons of citric acid. Raise temperature to 88-90°F.(I popped it in a pot which I set into a sink of hot water, topping up with hot water to get it just over 'tepid' as I didn't have a thermometer! This is what the milk starts to look like as it curdles, the milk stays opaque)
- Add 1 tsp liquid rennet dissolved in 1/4 cup water. Add 1/4 teaspoon lipase powder if you want a stronger cheese. (I didn't use the lipase , I used Renco rennet, costs about $7.00 but would last for absolutely ages!Bought it at Foodtown, check the use by date though!)
- After milk has properly clotted (takes 2-3 minutes,the curds will have seperated, and the liquid will be a clearer yellowish green colour), let curds rest for 15-20 minutes and strain in muslin-type cheesecloth.
- Put curds into a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 59 seconds, then mash curds with a fork and put back into microwave for 15-20 seconds. Add 1 tbsp flaked salt to the mixture and begin to knead (just like bread). When mixture cools, after a minute or two, put back into the microwave for another 15-20 seconds and knead again. Back into the microwave and knead again - watch your hands - begin to stretch the curds. You can do this about four or five times, and by the end of those four or five times you should have a taffy-like consistency when the cheese is warmed; you should be able to pick it up and stretch it more than a foot. It will be glossy - when that happens and if little blisters appear as you put it into a mass (ball), it's done. What you are looking for is a smooth shiny consistency that "gets there" by the heating and stretching.
- Pinch off into small balls, drop into iced water for several minutes to cool it. Store in a plastic container in the fridge
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I tried making mozzarella some time ago after seeing instructions for it on the internet and thinking it sounded like fun. Well, my first attempt was woeful, didn't work at all, ended up with something resembling ricotta- and I ended up blending it with spinach for a lasagne, which will be another post!I went back to the drawing board though and with a little guidance from another cheesemaking site identified a few areas I could tweak. The first batch I don't think had enough citric acid, I used twice as much this time around. I also didn't have a thermometer and probably overheated the milk. The cheesemaking site I looked at recommended putting your pot into a water bath to gently heat the milk and that is what I did this time. This time it seemed to work really well, and was actually very simple. I was extremely impressed and while it doesn't have the tender texture or delicate flavour that the real buffalo milk version has, it was a pretty darned good substitute. It was certainly absolutely excellent on the pizzas I had made it for - it melted but held it's shape, while going all gooey and stringy underneath. It does have a very subtle flavour, but just accompanied by tomato sauce and basil on a crispy pizza base it was pure homemade heaven! And don't throw the whey out either, I have looked into how ricotta gets made from the whey and am going to give that a go tomorrow!Anyway, here is the recipe and my notes to go with it. (search the internet if you want to look further into this, the recipe here is a tweak on a number of sites I visited!)