I found a cheese making kit at a brewing store online. I thought it was a little weird but you do use the same tools for making beer. The mozzarella turned out great! And the best thing to go along with mozzarella is pizza. Yum.
First the mozzarella. For this ball of cheese, you need a gallon of whole milk.
The hardest thing is to keep your eye on the temperature. I used a floating thermometer that’s used for making beer. You want to bring it up to 55°F and then add the citric acid that was dissolved in distilled water. That’ll make the curds of stretch.
When the temperature reaches 88°F, add the rennet that is also dissolved in distilled water. Rennet can be vegetable or animal. A lot of traditional cheeses use animal rennet, these are enzymes from an animal stomach. The enzymes digest the mother’s milk, and in turn, coagulate (separate) the curds and whey. Vegetable rennet does the same thing.
You also don’t want to use the calcium chloride. They include it in the package but it’s supposed to make hard cheese and you want mozzarella to be soft.
It should start looking like this.
Bring it up to 105°F and then take it off the heat, let sit for 20 min. It should be pretty solid and the curds should all come together in the center.
Pour it into a cheese cloth bag and squeeze as much water out as possible. Then you need to microwave it several times for 30 seconds to get more water out. This is important. I squeezed it out in a hand sieve, if you don’t get as much water out in the first little while it’ll be harder to get out later.
Then after the first microwave heating add the cheese salt;
then start folding and stretching and playing with it until it becomes shiny and stretchy.
Place the ball in cold water for 4 hours. That’ll firm it up. Then place in plastic bag with no water, it’ll be wet. It should keep for a week.
Here’s some more tips from this website. It helped me a lot.
Time for pizza!
Pizza Dough Recipe
It’s pretty simple, most recipes are similar.
1/4 cup leaven
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup of fresh or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
(you can also use 1 tsp instant yeast and a little honey if you don’t have leaven)
Mix ingredients together and let sit for 40min.
Knead dough for 5 minutes. It should be tacky so add bread flour if needed.
Let rise until double.
I used a cookie sheet, you can use a little olive oil to grease the pan. Stretch out the pizza dough with your thumb, turning it. Then I placed it on the pan and stretched it out a little more. If it starts to tear, let the dough rest and stretch it after.
Preheat the stove to 500°F at least 30 minutes before. If using a baking stone, add the toppings to the pizza. Using the cookie sheet, my pizza didn’t bake all the way through.. so bake it for 5 min before putting the toppings on!
The second time I made this pizza, I baked it in the oven for 2min to stiffen the dough then put the toppings on and baked it at 650°F in the barbecue. It tasted like a pizza from the coal fired oven, but the vegetable toppings were still crunchy, probably because my barbecue lid couldn’t retain the high heat.
Well with the mozzarella, I made a margherita pizza. Tomato sauce with a little hot sauce, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves.
Bake for 5 – 8 minutes if on pizza stone or barbecue. Mine took about 20 minutes on a cookie sheet.
Time to eat!