Making mozzarella was one of the things that convinced me to purchase my Mad Millie Cheese-making Kit in the first place. But it has taken me quite some time to pick up the courage to try it. I watched the Mad Millie video quite a few times before finally taking the plunge. With the other cheeses I’ve tried the curd is scooped into baskets and allowed to drain but with Mozzarella you heat a scoop of the curds in hot water and then stretch it before moulding it into balls. And once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy and there is a lot less waiting around than with other cheeses.
You will need:
4 litres full fat unhomogenised milk
2 ml calcium chloride
2 tsp citric acid dissolvedin 1/4 cup cool water
1 tablet rennet dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
2 large bowls
As with all cheese-making, sterilise all your equipment first.
Pour milk into large pot and add calcium chloride and then stir in diluted citric acid. Heat milk on the stove to 32C while constantly stirring to prevent scalding the bottom. Once temperature is at 32C, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the diluted rennet. Cover the pot and leave to set for 25-30 minutes.
Check the curd by making a small cut with a knife. It should make a clean cut with a clear division between the curds and whey. Cut the curd into 2.5cm cubes.
Place the pot back on the stove and slowly heat curds to 42C, gently stirring. The curds should become firmer and springy to touch. Transfer them to a cheese-cloth lined colander to drain. Save whey to store the mozzarella in later. Do not heat past 42C.
Leave to drain for 5 minutes. Prepare a bowl of salted ice water (approx. 200g salt to 2l water) and heat unsalted water in the large pot to 70C.
Put on rubber gloves for this bit as the curd will be hot. Take a handful of mozzarella curd and place it on your draining spoon. Lower into the boiling water and leave for approx. 20 seconds or until the curds appear slightly melted. Now carefully stretch the piece of curd until it is smooth and flexible. I had to put it back in the water three times to get to this stage. You stretch and fold, turn the curd, and stretch and fold the curd again. Once it is smooth and stretchy, tuck the sides into the middle to form a ball and pinch it off between your fingers (don’t actually roll it). Plunge the ball into the iced salted water.
The mozzarella is ready to eat after 10 minutes in the iced salted water. I tried mine sliced with tomatoes and basil and drizzled with a little balsamic dressing.
You can store the mozzarella in the fridge in a solution of 2 cups whey with 1/8 tsp citric acid. You can also freeze or refrigerate in an airtight container.