30 Minute Mozzarella from scratch and Ricotta Cheese

1/2 rennet tablet (can be bought at some Walmarts or Macey's usually in the baking or canning isles.)
1/4 cup cool chlorine-free water (most bottled waters are chlorine-free), you can boil it and let it cool completely if you don't have bottled water.
1 gallon 2% low-fat milk (1%, or skim or even powdered milk)
2 teaspoons citric acid (baking isle)
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
You will need a thermometer, a stainless steel pot or something similar, a large bowl or jar with a lid to store it in and a wooden spoon.

Crush the rennet into the water and stir to dissolve. I put mine in a mortar and crush it that way.
  Pour milk into a non-reactive pot (no aluminum or cast iron).
  Place over medium heat. Sprinkle the citric acid over the milk and stir a few times. Heat milk to 90 degrees F; milk will begin to curdle.
  At 90°F, add the rennet solution and continue stirring slowly every few minutes until the milk reaches 105°F Turn off the heat. Large curds will appear and begin to separate from the whey (the clear, greenish liquid).
  With a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, scoop the curd into a large glass bowl. (If it's still too liquid, let it set for a few more minutes). Press the curds gently with your hand and pour off as much whey as possible.
 ++ Microwave curds on high for 1 minute, then drain off all the excess whey.
  With a spoon, press curds into a ball until cool.
  Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each, and continue to drain the whey and work cheese into a ball.
  In the meantime, place the whey over medium heat and let it heat to about 175°F.
  When cheese is cool enough to touch, knead it like bread dough until smooth. When you can stretch it like taffy, it is done. You can sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons salt into the cheese while kneading and stretching it. The cheese will become stretchy, smooth and shiny. If it is difficult to stretch and breaks easily, dip it into the hot whey for a few seconds to make it warm and pliable. Then pick it up again and stretch it into a long rope. Fold over and stretch again. Dip in hot whey as needed to make the cheese pliable.
  When the cheese is smooth and shiny (this takes just a few minutes), it is ready to eat. Shape it into a log or golf-size balls, then store in a solution of 2 teaspoons salt to 1 cup water, I usually keep mine in a clean Mason Jar in the fridge.
Sometimes I like to put it in olive oil to store it, sometimes with herbs or garlic for extra flavor.
**Don't throw away the whey,cool it put it in a jar and put it in the fridge so you can use it in place of liquid in home made breads, or bread pudding.
***Or use the reserved whey to make ricotta or cottage cheese.   I will post the recipe for this on another blog.
Note: If you are using store-bought milk, and your curds turn into the consistency of ricotta cheese and will not come together, switch brands of milk. It may have been heated at the factory at too high a temperature when they pasteurized it.
++If you do NOT have a microwave:  After step 5, heat the reserved whey on the stove top to at least 175F.  Add 1/4 cup of cheese salt to the whey (you could probably substitute kosher salt, but cheese salt is best).  Shape the curd into one or more balls, put them in a ladle or strainer, and dip them into the hot whey for several seconds.  Knead the curd with spoons or gloved hands between each dip and repeat this process several times until the curd is smooth and pliable.  Please be careful!  This is really hot, and working with more liquid increase the risk of getting splashed!  If you use the non-microwave method, you cannot use the whey to make the Ricotta, because the whey will contain too much salt.

1 comment:

  1. I love how simple this recipe is. Well all of your recipes are simple, and simply AMAZING!!!!