I’ve been wanting to try cheese making for a long time now, and today I finally attempted to try it. I always thought that making cheese would be scary because it required boiling milk. If you boil milk to long it scorches the bottom of the pan. That’s a real pain in the ass to clean up too. It’s actually quite simple if you have a thermometer because all you have to do is wait for the milk to get to 90 degrees and take it off the stove top. No scraping your pot for a long time trying to get it cleaned.
Rennet is hard to find in this area and I’ve had a bottle of it sitting in my pantry for the longest time. The first time I made a batch of cheese, I used lemon juice in place of citric acid. That didn’t work very well. The cheese ended up more like fresh ricotta cheese. The second time I tried making cheese was with citric acid. You can find citric acid in the canning section at Wal-Mart.
I can not seem to figure out how they get the cheese to be so smooth. The cheese was stringy in the end like it said, but mine still looked very clumpy. I didn’t get all the cheese like in the picture I got the recipe from. Oh well, maybe the third time will be the charm?
Homemade Mozzarella Cheese
1 gallon whole milk (I used vitamin d milk)
1 tsp. citric acid
1/4 rennet tablet (if you find liquid rennet the equivalent of that is 1/4 teaspoon of the liquid)
2 tsp. cheese salt (I used kosher)
Place milk in large pot with thermometer.
Sprinkle 1 tsp. citric acid over milk and stir.
Turn heat on med-low and heat milk to 90 degrees, stirring occasionally.
While you are heating the milk, dissolve 1/4 rennet tablet in 1/4 C. cool water.
When milk has reached 90 degrees, turn off heat. Pour rennet over slotted spoon into milk and stir for 20-30 seconds.
Remove thermometer and let milk sit undisturbed for 8-10 minutes.
Milk should be like a thick gelatin. Cut the curd into a grid pattern.
Stir gently for a minute and then remove the curd using your slotted spoon into a microwave safe bowl, trying to leave as much of the whey (the yellowish liquid) behind.
Pour off as much liquid as you can without losing any curds. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Stir, pour off liquid and heat for 35-40 seconds more. Stir and pour off any liquid. Cheese should start to stick together and look stringy. If the curds are not sticking together you can heat for 35-40 seconds more.
Once your curds are sticking together and you have removed most of the liquid, add your cheese salt. I usually sprinkle a little on, knead, and sprinkle more on until all the salt is incorporated.
After your salt is incorporated, heat the cheese for 35-45 seconds more until it is stretchy like taffy. The cheese will be really hot, so it helps to wear gloves to work with the cheese.
Pull and stretch cheese until it is shiny and smooth.
Shape cheese into a log by kneading on counter top.
Recipe from Heart, Hands, Home (with better instructions and pictures of each step)
Next up on my list to try: homemade bacon.