Yes, I know it’s a cheesy title, but I couldn’t help myself.
When I was a kid, and we got our first milk cow, I was so excited to try my hand at cheese making! But, like I said, I was a kid, and not a very experienced cook.
My first attempts were something of a disaster, but I finally found a cheese that my whole family liked, that required only ingredients that could be found at a grocery store and, above all, was easy. Not as easy as Panir cheese, but at the time, I’d never heard of that.
So anyway, over the years mozzarella cheese has become one of our dairy staples whenever we have a lactating animal. It’s very easy, and you should be able to find all the ingredients at a decent sized grocery store. Junket rennet, although not ideal, can be used, and is typically found with Ice cream making supplies. Citric acid can be found with canning supplies, or in the baking isle, and a candy thermometer, though not ideal, will do in a pinch.
When we first started milking goats, I was disappointed to find that even “one hour mozzarella” tasted strong when it was done. When we realized that the flavor was brought about by the milk staying warm for so long, I started working ways to crunch the time it took to make the cheese. The techniques in this recipe are the result, and I’m happy to say that I can now enjoy my pizza without worrying that I’ll taste goat in it.
Homemade Quick mozzarella
Carefully measure citric acid and dissolve into 1/4 cup of water. Add to milk in a large kettle. I’ve never used anything but raw milk, but according to the experts, if you’re using pasteurized milk, this is also where you should ad 1/4 teaspoon of calcium chloride, diluted in 1/4 cup of water.
Heat milk quickly to roughly 86° Fahrenheit. (If your using a candy thermometer, you’ll have to guesstimate, but knowing how far below 100° the mercury is will give you a good idea. Once you get the hang of it, you can just go by touch. ) take milk off the heat.
Dissolve rennet in another 1/4 cup of water, and stir into the milk, let set 15 minutes until you get a clean break. What’s a clean break? It’s when you cut it and it… Breaks clean.
Then cut it into little pieces.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Put the curds and why back on the heat. Stir every few minutes until it reaches 100° Fahrenheit. Turn off the heat.
Using your hands, begin to sqeeze the curd into a ball. This will expel a lot of the whey.
At this point, you can start pouring whey off.
Once the cheese has begun to form a ball, begin replacing the they whey with water, as hot as you can stand, and knees the cheese until it forms a smoother ball that holds together well.
It’s hard to get a photo of cheese stretching when you only have two hands!
Now, this is where things get fun. As the cheese begins to melt and get gooey in the hit water, start stretching it. Depending on how acidic the the curd is, it won’t really want to stretch at first. Keep putting it back in the water to melt, pulling it out, and stretching it until it’s smooth
On the last time you pull it out of the water, sprinkle the curd heavily with salt. Stretch, fold and stretch the cheese to mix the salt in.
Your done! Now, if you don’t eat I all right away you can wrap the cheese in Saran Wrap, or put it in a container to store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I made gluten-free mozzarella sticks with my last batch.