One hour homemade mozzarella (ok, an hour and a half maybe…)

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I have been wanting to try making mozzarella for a while, apparently it is easy to make, and doesn’t take too much time. I love figuring out how to make stuff we eat every day…making cheese is on my bucket list…don’t ask…I have a pretty extensive list…
Anyways, you need a gallon or 4 litres of milk, I used homo, but supposedly you can use 2 or 1% as well. And you also need salt, rennet tablets, and citric acid. I ordered everything, except the milk of course, from a company called the new England cheese company (click to visit their website)

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Because it was my first time, I thought I would try a half a batch, which was probably a good thing because the first time I made it, halfway through I realized it wasnt going to work… mine looked like this…

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When it should have looked like this…

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But, my excuse is that I was trying to cook dinner at the same time… My advice to you is that multi-tasking while cheese making…not a good idea. I learned to heat the milk slowly, and if you leave it too long, and the temperature goes too high, that is not a good thing.
So, here is try number two…
Before I started heating the milk this time, I prepared things ahead of time, I mixed 1/2 tablet of rennet with a few tablespoons of bottled water, and in a separate cup/bowl, I mixed 1 tsp of the citric acid with a few tablespoons of bottled water. Apparently you are supposed to use nonchlorinated water, so bottled water was the closest I could find. I put both the mixtures aside.

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I poured all of the milk into a stainless steel pot, and SLOWLY heated it to 80 degrees. I had the stove on set on 2, so I didn’t repeat my mistake of heating it too high. I used a meat thermometer to measure the temperature.

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Once the milk reached 80 degrees, I took off the heat, and added the mixture of water and citric acid, stir, than added another teaspoon of citric acid. It curdled or thickened almost instantly.

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Then, I put it back on the heat to 90 and added the rennet mixture. Stirred a couple times, then let it sit.

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You should leave it for about for 20 minutes, I rushed it a little and waited more like 10 minutes…getting close to bed time!
It should become solid, almost like yogurt. This is what it looks like…if you stick your finger in the middle, your finger should come out clean…

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So now it’s time for the kids favourite part… Time to cut the cheese!
I used a knife to cut through horizontally, then vertically, then left to sit for five more minutes…

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Yeah! Now that looks more like the picture!
Now, you have to put on the stove and cook until it reaches 108 degrees, which will take about 10-15 minutes…once again, I used the meat thermometer…

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I poured the mixture into a fine strainer. I used a strainer lined with a cheese cloth.

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So, by this time, it was time to put the kids to bed, so I left it to strain for about 1/2 hour. I added a little salt to taste at this point too.

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So it still wasn’t the texture of mozzarella cheese and i started to panic a little, but when I looked back at the instructions it said to do the following. To make the cheese stretchy, heat up in microwave for 30 to 45 seconds at a time, depending on how hot your microwave is. When you take it out, squeeze out the excess water, drain and repeat.
I repeated this numerous times, and I burned my fingers numerous times too! If I ever do make cheese again, I will use gloves.

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Finally it started to stretch! Once the cheese melted, it started to stretch, more like mozzarella, so I burned my finger tips a few more times trying to stretch it out. I should have actually put it back in a couple more times, but by this point, the kids were asleep, this was my second batch, and I wasn’t in a much of a cheese making mood anymore… so I considered it ready…

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Normally, mozzarella is stretched and formed into larger balls, but I decided to make smaller balls, to make them easier to serve and store. I thought they would be great for lunches. So I stretched them a little and then formed small balls.

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They tasted really good! The mozzarella had a different taste that store bought mozzarella, which I liked, but I was a little disappointed at the quantity of cheese that it made. I thought it would make a lot more, but a four litre bag of milk would only make a couple cups of cheese (if they turned out right!) So it turned out being about the same cost as store bought cheese. I might consider making it again for a special occasion, but probably not for a while. If anyone wants to try it out and needs a rennet tablet, I have a few extra!

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2 responses »

  1. Where do you get the rennet in Toronto? My sister has been making ricotta–I think that is what she has been doing. (Love your site).

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