Homemade mozzarella

This mozzarella is quick to make and, even better, provides instant gratification rather than the waiting that is essential for lots of other cheeses. I realised the other night that I forgot to post about  it, so here it is. Sorry there aren’t more photos, I took one (below) just after making some, then ate lots and realised I’d forgotten to take any more.
l’ll try to include more next time, including some of the interim steps.
Mozzarella
This recipe is the quick mozzarella recipe from Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese making Book. The recipe in the book also includes the option of adding lipase but I didn’t have a chance to order any, so made it without it  and it still tasted good. There are also some more advanced versions in the book which I’ll attempt next time, maybe with some buffalo milk.
  • 3.78 litres pasturised milk (the book is american so converting makes it into odd amounts but I used a combination of 3 UK pints and 1 litre)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid (which you can buy from the supermarket or any shop with a good spice/baking range. I picked a packet up in Brixton markets for 60p)
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid Rennet, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool bottled water (I’ve read not to use tap water as the chlorine isn’t good for the various reactions). I haven’t been able to find any cheese-making supply shops in London, so ordered  vegetarian rennet online from Moorlands. If anyone does know of any london suppliers, I’d love to know.
  • Sea salt (not iodised salt)
  1. Sterilise a 5 litre stainless steel pot (with lid) by bringing about 2 inches of water to a rolling boil. Leave it boiling with the lid on for at least 5 minutes. I also sterilised my slotted spoon at the same time by putting it inside the pot.
  2. Once sterilised, put all the milk in the pot, make sure the temperature is 12C (55F) and add the citric acid.  Mix well. My milk was pretty much at this temperature by leaving it on the bench for a while after shopping (it is autumn though).
  3. Heat the milk to 32C (90F), stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and slowly add in diluted rennet mixing up and down for around 30 seconds. Cover and leave for 5 minutes
  5. After 5 minutes it should look like custard, and when you slice a knife  through all the way to the bottom, the curds and whey should clearly separate.
  6. Put the pot back on the stove and heat it up to 43C (110F), carefully stirring the curds (my curd broke up onto lots of small pieces)
  7. Take off the heat and keep stirring slowly for 5 minutes, then using a slotted spoon, scoop out the curds into a bowl, draining as much whey off as possible but keeping it  in the pot.
  8. Add 1/4 cup salt to the whey, put the pot back onto the heat and bring it up to at least 79C (175F)
  9. This is the best part. After putting on rubber gloves, make a fist size ball of cheese from the curds by  pushing it firmly together. Put the ball into a metal strainer or colander (or even a ladle) and dip it into the hot whey for about 10 seconds, making sure the ball is fully covered. Pull the colander out and knead the ball with your hands (it might fall apart a little but push it back together and re-dunk it). The cheese should be really hot when you pull it out. Keep repeating this dunking and kneading process until the cheese ball is smooth, shiny and you can stretch it out without breaking to at least about 10cm.
  10. Once the ball is ready, you can eat it, or it can be placed directly into a bowl of iced water to cool down.
  11. Keep repeating steps 4 and 5 until all the curd is used.
This made about 5 balls of mozzarella. They will keep in a container for a couple of days in the fridge.
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