Making homemade cheese is not as hard as it may sound. Mozzarella is by far the easiest cheese I have made. It also takes the least amount of special equipment. All you need is milk, citric acid, liquid rennet, and cheese salt. You will also need a big heavy stock pot to cook it in and a heat proof bowl to continue to heat it in as you knead it.
I learned how to make my own cheese by reading Ricki Carroll’s book, Cheese Making.
Click the picture below to check it out on amazon.
The first thing you need to know about making mozzarella is you need unopened, cold milk, straight from the store. Whole milk is best, but you can make it with lower fat milk, it just won’t have a nice consistency.
I buy my milk at Braum’s because they don’t use hormones on their cows. I’m super concerned about the effects of the hormones that are passed on to kids and how it effects their development, so I avoid them as much as possible. One batch of mozzarella that may be around a pound takes one gallon of milk.
Before you begin cheese making, make sure all of your spoons, pans, bowls and everything that will touch the food is sterilized.
- 1 ½ teaspoons of citric acid
- 1 gallon pasteurized whole milk
- ¼ tsp. liquid rennet
- 1 tsp. cheese salt
- Grab a big ole pot that will hold the gallon and have room leftover, and pour the milk in.
- Get a small bowl and add ½ cup cool water and 1 ½ teaspoons of citric acid. Stir until dissolved.
- Get another small bowl and add ¼ cup cool water and ¼ teaspoon of rennet. Stir until dissolved.
- Heat the milk on low to 55 degrees.
- Add citric acid solution while stirring.
- Heat the milk to 90 degrees stirring constantly.
- Remove the pot from the heat and slowly stir in the diluted rennet with an up and down motion for 30 seconds.
- Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Check the curd. It should look like custard, but you should be able to see the thinner whey liquid. It’s almost clear. If the whey liquid is still milky, let it set longer.
- Cut the curd into squares with a knife.
- Place the pot back on the stove and heat it to 105 degrees gently moving the curds with your spoon.
- Remove from heat and continue to stir slowly for 5 minutes.
- Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and put into a 2-quart microwavable bowl.
- Press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off the whey.
- Save the whey to use in soups, or other dishes for added nutritional value. We soak our grains in whey to break down the phylates.
- Microwave the curds for 1 minute.
- Drain the whey again.
- Gently fold the cheese over and over like you are kneading bread with your hand or a spoon to distribute the heat.
- Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each, draining and kneading after each heating.
- Add salt.
- Knead quickly until smooth and elastic. When the cheese stretches like taffy, it’s done.
- If it doesn’t stretch, it’s too cool and needs to be heated more.
- Roll it into small balls and eat warm or place them in ice water for 30 minutes.
- Cover and store in refrigerator.
- Curds are best eaten warm.
Check out Ricki’s book for more information on making mozzarella and many other cheeses.
It’s so much fun to make your own cheese! You’ll feel like a mad scientist or a mighty warrior that can do anything AND it’s so good!
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