Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mozzarella Cheese

Yesterday was dairy day again. Dairy days are determined by how much milk is in the milk fridge. I used 5 gallons to make soft cheese and 2 gallons to make mozzarella. I also skimmed the cream on all 7 gallons and made butter.

I have a mozzarella recipe on my cheese page. I am going to post it below with some pictures. I was making butter, soft cheese and mozzarella all at the same time, so I don't have as many pictures as I wanted to.

Add 1/2 tsp. of powdered citric acid to 1/4 cup cool water. Stir this into 2 gallons of cold milk. Warm the milk to 88 degrees.

Dissolve 1/2 tsp. liquid rennet in 1/4 cup cool water. Stir the rennet into the milk very gently for 15 seconds. This make sure that it is evenly distributed. Cover and allow the milk to set for 15 min. until milk coagulates.

Cut the curd into 1/2 inch cubes. I do this by taking my longest knife (which is actually a bread knife) and cutting stripes every half of inch all the way to the bottom. Then I turn the pot and do the same thing the other way. Here is a picture after cutting the two ways.

Then I have a very large flat sort of ladle. I use it to cut the layers from side to side. Often times I will gently lift the pieces and cut any that are too large. Then allow the curds to rest for 5 mins. This first picture shows the ladle that I use.
This picture shows me cutting the first layer horizontally.
This shows how I lift the curds and cut the larger pieces with the knife.
This is what it looks like after letting the curds rest for 5 mins. They all sink and disappear.

Raise the temperature to 108 degrees. Do it slowly over a 15 min. period. Gently stir through out this heating time. Continue to stir for an additional 20 mins. while maintaining a temperature of 108 degrees. During this heating stage the curds will shrink in size as they expel whey. It is important to constantly stir the curds gently so that they do not mat together at the bottom of the pot. Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander and allow to drain for 15 min. You may want to do this over a pot and capture your whey. (You can make true ricotta from the whey)

Place the mass of curd on a cutting board and cut into 1" cubes.

Heat 1 gallon of water to 170 degrees and dissolve 1/2 cup of salt in the water. Place the curd cubes in a large bowl and pour the hot water over them. Using a wooden spoon, mix the curds together. they should stretch and mold together in a large mass of curds. (I use thick rubber gloves for this step. I save them and use only for cheesemaking. I also will not do the bowl again. I will just put the cheese into the pan of hot water.) It takes about 5 min. for the curd to become stringy.
Pull the curd like taffy or like when you pull wool to spin. It will become satiny and smooth. If the curd starts to cool off, place it back in the water for a bit.
Place the mass of curd on a cutting board and knead together as if you were working with bread. You want to have the curds to become a part of the mass of curd. Knead it into a ball.
Place the ball in a bowl or mold and either submerge in cold water or put in the fridge until cold. It is then ready to use.

They one thing that I never show or talk about on dairy day is the mess that I have to clean up when I am done. :)


Jenna said...

Hi Marci~
I use the same mozzerella recipe (with goats milk) but it doesn't turn out nearly as well...I saw a couple things that I could try differently next time (stretching with gloves not wooden spoons). THANK YOU for the pictures!

Our cow is finally bred, so we'll be doing the whole dairy day thing starting around the beginning of Febuary:)

Thanks again,

p.s. I totally understand about clean up *grin* Our dishwasher broke, which is fine, but we do have to wash all the jars (we have tons for the goats) by hand lol!

Dalyn said...

fun! I love making home dairy stuff. Don't have nearly the milk you do right now though and no cream :( Good pictures!