For years I have wanted to make mozzarella cheese. I read an article years ago about how easy it was to do. I saved a number of recipes over the years and then I went to cooking school in New York and we made mozzarella and I was hooked.
At cooking school we had the curds on hand. Once you have curds, its very easy. Around here in BC, raw milk is illegal… I know, they take all the goodness out of a product and then feed it to us. So worried they are for our overall health.
So I had to get some curds. I searched around a bit and found cheddar curds but didn’t have a whole lot of success in finding curds to make Mozza. So I went online and found a cheesemaking supply place in Washington state. I know, I should be supporting a cheesemaking supply place in Canada… but I still had the problem with finding raw milk AND Washington state had raw milk for sale because … well maybe, just maybe… someone is still concerned about the health of the populus of Washington. All you need is citric acid, rennet, raw milk, a big pot and a thermometer.
There are lots of online pictures and videos for making mozzarella. I am not going to add yet one more site in which you can peruse. I used 2 and sort of combined the approaches: http://www.cheesemaking.com/howtomakemozzarellacheese.html and http://www.alineaphile.com/archives/72-Mozzarella-Curd.html. The latter one had a better description of the various steps… just not enough about the quantities. The former had quantities. I like the idea of letting it rest for 4 hours in the latter recipe also.
For my initial experiment I used jersey milk from Jackie’s Jerseys. Jersey milk is known for its healthful properties and also for its high milk fat content. The first run turned out well… the curdling in the first step was a bit slow. I added more rennet as a result and that seemed to work.
For the second trial, I used predominantly Holstein milk. Far whiter in colour. Jersey milk is very yellow. In order to make cheese, you need to get the acid content up… hence the addition of citric acid and rennet. Too much acid is also not that good. A little too much acid this time… last time not enough. This mean that during the rennet sitting and cutting time there were no chunks, the whole glob was rather separated like VERY curdled milk. But the end result was good. I hung the curds a little longer (was outside trying to sort out my summertime above-ground swimming pool)(yes… summer may just finally be here!). This batch was softer, more like the curds we used at school. The end result was also a softer, milder cheese. I do have to sort out how to get it saltier. I made a caprese salad and just added salt. It was delicious. Served it at the BBQ we hosted last night. It looks like I will now be holding a mozzarella making pool party…..Not even at my house but at a neighbours. Could be interesting…. at least the hard part is at the beginning. Pool party + wine could mean that after the hanging stage… the last ‘dipping’ procedure could take on a life of its own 😉 Will keep you posted.