I am so lucky to have such a wonderful neighbor who explores as much as I do when it comes to food and gardening. Yesterday Tracy invited me to learn how to make homemade organic raw mozzarella. We were both very surprised at how easy it really was! The hardest part was locating some raw milk (and I live in a dairy land, so that really wasn’t all that hard!). I am going to walk you through the steps one by one. There are a few things to note.
- You can easily purchase a kit that will give you everything you need (with exception of the milk) to make mozzarella and ricotta cheese. You will be able to make these cheeses 30 times with this one kit.
- You will need some raw milk or non-homogenized whole milk.
If you are not purchasing the kit, you will need to purchase the following:
- You will need to purchase some calcium chloride if using non-homogenized whole milk (you do not need calcium chloride if using raw milk). You can buy it online or here is a guide showing you where you can purchase this. It really is easy to find.
- You will need citric acid powder and can purchase it here
- You also need liquid rennet and can purchase that here
- Pickling salt or kosher salt is needed.
This recipe came from 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes by Debra Amrein-Boyes
1. Sterilize all equipment. In a small glass bowl or measuring cup, dissolve citric acid powder in 1/4 cup lukewarm water, stirring with a stainless-steel spoon.
2. In a large stainless steel pot, combine milk and dissolved citric acid, stirring to blend well with an up and down motion.
3. Place the pot over medium heat and warm milk mixture to 88ºF, stirring gently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
4. Dilute calcium chloride in 1/4 cup cool water. Do this step only if you are using non-homogenized whole milk. Add to milk using the same up and down motion. If you are using raw milk, this step can be eliminated.
5. Dilute rennet in 1/4 cup cool water. Add to milk and using the same up and down motion, draw rennet down into milk until well blended. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Check for a clean break (as shown in the picture below). If the curd is still too fragile, cover and let sit for another 15 minutes or until a clean break is achieved.
6. Using a long-bladed knife and skimmer, cut curd into 1/2 inch cubes. Let stand for 5 minutes to firm up the curds.
7. Place pot over low heat and slowly warm curds to 106ºF, stirring gently and continuously, adjusting the heat as necessary to make sure it takes 20 minutes to do so. Turn off heat and continue to stir for 20 more minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, in another pot, bring 4 quarts fresh filtered water to a boil. Add 6 tbsp pickling salt and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat.
9. Drain off whey through a colander lined with cheese cloth. Let drain for 15 minutes.
10. Place curd mass on a clean cutting board and cut into 1-inch strips. Place in a large bowl. Pour salt water over strips.
11. Wearing heat resistant rubber gloves or using a long handled wooden spoon, work strips under the hot water (the cheese will become very soft), pushing and pulling and stretching them. The curd will begin to stretch. Pull cheese out into a long rope, folding it back on itself and stretching again until it is smooth and shiny. Use your hands to shape the cheese into the single ball or pinch off pieces for small bocconcini size cheeses.
Tip: One of the most important steps in making stretched curd cheeses is determining the right moment to do the stretching. The acidity of the curd must be just right. To test whether your pasta filata cheese is ready for stretching, pinch off a small piece of curd and immerse it in a bowl of 175ºF water. Work the ball of cheese with your fingertips to soften, then try to stretch it into a long strand. If it breaks or will not stretch, it is not yet ready. Wait for a while longer before trying again.
12. When the cheese turns smooth and shiny place the cheese in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel. Use immediately or wrap and refrigerate.
Top Picture courtesy of Cheesemaking.com.
Review post above to find resources on where to purchase these ingredients or you can purchase them here.
- 1 1/2 tsp citric acid powder
- 6 quarts non-homogenized whole milk or raw milk
- 1/4 tsp calcium chloride (this is not needed if using raw milk)
- 1/4 tsp liquid rennet
- 6 tbsp pickling (canning) or kosher salt
- Bowl of ice water
- View Instructions above in post.