I've been getting rather stressy lately, which doesn't make for a very crafty mummy! So a while ago I made a rule that I'd no longer work after actually leaving work. (blogging doesn't count does it?) which left me with lots of time on my hands to try new things, I've been looking at all the recipes on Pinterest for making Mozzarella and that seemed like a good "new thing" to try.
Cheese by Mummy, photo's mostly by Katelyn (very nearly 3)
6-quart (or bigger) heavy stainless steel or Enamel pot (no aluminium)
Thermometer sensitive to at least 110 F
2-quart microwaveable bowl
1.5 teaspoons of citric acid
1/2 cup of cool water
1/4 teaspoon of liquid rennet (or 1/4 of rennet tablet)
1/4 cup of cool, unchlorinated water
1 gallon of pasteurised whole milk
Bowl of ice-cold water
Disinfect your working surface area with your household sanitiser.
Wash your pot thoroughly in warm water. An important step to perform before starting making Mozzarella is to remove any residues that may interfere with the process of making cheese.
Fill your pot with warm water, and place on a stove top on high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and place your utensils in the boiling water. Let sit for ten minutes.
Remove utensils from boiling water and allow them to air dry. Discard the water from the pot and allow it to air dry.
Dissolve 1.5 teaspoons of citric acid in 1/2 cup of cool water. Set aside.
Citric acid didn't sound very appetising, with the help of Kerry's mum (kerry runs www.loulousluxuries.co.uk where you can buy pretty things by the way) I discovered that 1 1/2 lemons had the same amount of citric acid in as 1 1/2 teaspons of the powdered stuff. Sounds much nicer and more natural?
who knew lemons were that tasty?
6 Dilute 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/4 rennet tablet) in 1/4 cup cool, unchlorinated water. You can use distilled water. Regular tap water has a high percentage of chlorine, which will stop the action of the rennet (forming the curds). Set aside.
Pour 1 gallon of pasteurised whole milk into the clean pot. Place on stove top over medium/low heat and then add the citric acid solution while stirring.
Immerse the thermometer in the milk and heat to 32.2 degrees C. The milk will start to curdle. Stir in the diluted rennet solution slowly, with an up-and-down motion, while the milk is heating to 100 F.
This just warms the milk, it doesn't get really hot so perfect for small people to do.
Turn off the the heat. Wait until the curds (the solidified part of the milk) have pulled away from the pot and have a bit of a shine. The whey (the remaining liquid) should be clear. If the whey is still milky, wait a bit more.
Scoop out the curds with the slotted spoon and place in the microwaveable bowl. Put your latex gloves on and press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible.
Ah too much messing about! we used a sieve!
Microwave the curds on high for one minute. Drain off the rest of the whey. Fold the the curds over and over to distribute the heat throughout the curds. Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each, kneading and removing excess whey after each time.
Knead quickly until the curds are smooth, shiny and stretch like taffy. Roll the cheese into small balls. Place the cheese in a bowl of ice cold water for 1/2 an hour to bring the inside temperature of the cheese down rapidly, which will ensure the smooth texture of the cheese. Eat immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator.
And of course for at least some of the cheese we missed this step! We ate it warm