Monday, April 16, 2012

mozzarella cheese

Good fresh milk is the all important ingredient for making delicious cheese.  This was my first time making mozzarella cheese with our goats milk, it tuned out nice and chewy but lacked the flavor I was hoping for.  I have since found out I can add a little lipase culture for added flavor.  Mozzarella is an easy beginner cheese to make and is great for cooking pizza's and using for lasagnas and omelette's.  Most cheese when it's first made has a fairly bland taste, the taste develops as the cheese ages, and with mozzarella you don't age, it's ready to eat and use right away, this is definitely one of it's virtues

Here's the recipe I used, it's for one gallon of milk.  The recipe is from the book by Mary Jane Toth and is called Goats Produce Too!  The Udder Real Thing

Quick Mozzarella Cheese

1 gal            milk
1 1/4 tsp       citric acid powder
1/4  tsp         liquid rennet or 1/8 rennet tablet
1/2   C         cool water, divided in half

In a stainless or enamel pot, place the cool milk.  Dissolve the citric acid powder into 1/4 cup cool water and add to the milk.  Stir well.  Bring the temperature of the milk to 88 degrees.  Mix the rennet with the other  1/4 cup of cool water and stir into the milk for about 10 seconds.

Allow the milk to sit for 15 minutes to coagulate.  After setting for 15 minutes, the curd should be firm and when you dip your finger into the curds they will break cleanly over your finger and whey will fill the depression where your finger has been.  Cut into 1 inch cubes and let rest for 10 minutes.

Then place the pot of curds into a sink of very hot water and slowly bring the temperature up to 108 degrees.  The curds will shrink during this process, keep the curds at 108 degrees for 35 minutes.  Drain the curds into a colander for 15 minutes.

Save the whey if making ricotta or heat treating the curds in the whey.  When the curds have drained , they are ready to be heat treated to get their stretch.  For the stove-top method, Use a double boiler.  You will need enough hot water or whey to cover the curds. I used the whey. 

Heat the liquid to 150-155 degrees, then place in the curds, which have formed into a mass.  Work quickly as it does not take long int the hot liquid before the curds melt together and become stretchy.  This is an amazing process, which happens very quickly.

Use a large slotted and a large regular spoon and bring the curds out of the liquid, pulling and stretching like you would taffy.  Use your hands or the spoon's to stretch the cheese.

Shape into balls, and place into a brine solution for 10-30 minutes, depending on how salty you like you cheese.  Remove from brine, pat dry or air dry.  Refrigerate cheese for up to 2 weeks.  Freeze for longer storage. 

Brine Solution

2 lbs kosher or canning salt to 1 gallon cold water or
for a smaller batch add 8 oz salt to 1 quart of cold water.
Salt amount can be altered to suit your taste.

Note;  This cheese is great eaten freshly sliced with a slice of tomato, a basil leaf and olive oil drizzled over the cheese.

Bringing the temperature of the milk to 88 degrees

After 15 minutes of setting, the milk coagulates, then place in a sink of hot water and bring the temperature up to 108 degrees, this lets the milk temperature rise slowly.  The curds begin to shrink up and form a mass.
The rinsed curds

Stretching the warmed cheese


Rosalyn said...

I am really hoping to start cheese making this year, and the two cheeses that are on my to-do list (for now!) are stracchino and mozzarella. I can't wait to try them! Thanks for this post! I especially love your stretchy curds picture. :)

goatgirl said...

Try this
Haloumi or Halloumi is a Greek "summer" cheese as it goes directly on the grill or a hot cast iron skillet. It has a wonderful crusty outside and soft inside. Good in salads or just as it is. My family and friends call it "crack" because they are addicted.

Misty Meadows said...

Hi Jewel
My daughter wants a dairy goat. I told her go for it. We have had Jerseys for 18 years. I started making cheese about six years ago.I was making cottage cheese but tried any other kind. Until I tried making mozza cheese.I love the mozza recipe! Have fun making cheese!!

Jewel said...

Goatgirl, thanks for sharing the link for haloumi cheese. I know you've mentioned it before. Now I'm going to have to try it for sure!

Rosalyn, You will enjoy cheesemaking, it's easy to learn and is just like following a recipe.

Misty Meadows, I've been meaning to tell you, you have a great blog! I enjoy seeing all your animals, and would love to have a couple of Jersey cows, mmm yum the cream! But the goats are a nice size for me and I do love their milk too.