I love fresh mozzarella cheese. It's my favorite food I think. I like it heated up just plain or heated with homemade sun dried tomatoes. The problem is that it's so expensive! An 8 oz ball can cost anywhere from $4 up to $10 in the store and since my price point for normal cheese is less than $2 a pound, that doesn't really fit into my budget. I buy raw milk for $3 a gallon and I've been wanting to experiment with it for the last couple months. Something I discovered is that it's very hard to find liquid rennet! I waited for months for mine to come in. Here is a fairly simple recipe for homemade mozzarella, using only 1/2 gallon of milk. This recipe *might* work with regular store milk but I did not try it.
What you need:
- 1/2 gallon milk(preferably raw)
- 3/4 t. citric acid (--Get it from Mountain Rose Herbs)
- 1/8 t. liquid rennet
- 1/8 c. salt(non iodized, sea salt)
- candy thermometer
Heat the milk to 55F.
Dissolve the citric acid
in 1/4 c. water. Dilute the liquid rennet with 1/8 c. water. Add the citric acid/water mixture to the milk.
Heat the milk/citric acid mixture to 90F. The milk will start to curdle slightly.
Stir in the rennet/water mixture. Keep slowing stirring until curds form. When the curds look like the ones in the picture above, remove them with a slotted spoon in a separate bowl.
Form the curds into slightly formed balls.
In the meantime, heat the whey to 175F in medium heat. When the temperature reaches 175F turn the heat down to low to maintain the temp. Add the 1/8 c. salt and stir until dissolved. Dip the balls, one at a time into the hot whey for about 5 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Immediately after removing the ball from the hot mixture, knead in a folding motion. You will have to do this 4-5 times until the cheese is no longer crumbly and is stretchy.
Tada! Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Make sure you save the whey as well. It's good in soups and breads.
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