A traditional Mozzarella is made with Buffalo milk, if made with cow’s milk it’s called Fior di latte but for home-made cheese purposes this is Mozzarella. This recipe uses 4 litres of milk (a gallon, close enough), don’t use Ultra pasteurized, Haute or UHT milk, it won’t work. Use fresh milk, you can use skimmed though, I don’t.
4 litres fresh milk
1/2 teaspoon Citric acid
1/4 teaspoon Rennet (in France buy Presure, available at pharmacy)
Dissolve the citric acid in 1 cup (240ml) of warm water.
Add the Rennet to 1/4 cup (60ml) water
Put the Citric acid in a saucepan
Go to the farm and buy your milk, you could of course go to a shop. Just remember you want fresh milk.
The milk straight from the cow is near perfect temperature before you start.
Add the milk to the citric acid and heat to 32°C (90°F)
Remove from the heat and add the Rennet
Leave alone, undisturbed for between 20 and 30 minutes, the curds, the white cheese and the whey the yellow “watery” liquid will separate.
Now this doesn’t show clearly so I will explain. After 20 minutes, try to pull the white away from the side of the pan with a wooden spoon, if it seems solid and pulls away try cutting through the cheese with a knife, if you can’t see a clean-cut leave a little longer, if you can see the cut, slice through the curd to the bottom of the pan, 2cm lines, then cut from the sides 2cm, you will have a chequer pattern of 2cm squares.
Reheat to 42°c (107°F) moving the curd enough to prevent it from burning, don’t worry if the curds break up a little. Once at 42°C turn off the heat.
Using a slotted spoon lift out the curds into a square cheese cloth lined strainer.
Wrap the cloth around the cheese gathering up the corners of the cloth, and allow to drain. you can then slowly twist the cloth-covered cheese to remove the whey. (DONT THROW THE WHEY AWAY)
This doesn’t need to be dry, we will get more whey out later.
Unwrap the curd and divide into 2 or 3 pieces. Put one piece into a bowl and microwave for 1 minute on full. Alternately reheat the whey to 90°C and dip the cheese using a slotted spoon till it starts to melt.
Now to stretch the cheese, starting of in the bowl, this curd is hot, use a spoon or two to start stretching and folding the curd, try to pick it up, as soon as you can and the sooner the better, place it on a board.
And knead and stretch like bread dough, stretch it out and fold it over its self, as you stretch it out sprinkle with salt incorporating the salt into what I was calling curd but now calling cheese.
Your looking to get an elastic shiny cheese, as it cools down put it back into the microwave for 30 seconds, or back in the whey, and continue, you can of course add any other spices or herbs that you like now.
Form into a ball, smoothing the cheese to get an attractive finish.
Do the same with the other pieces of curd.
Put the whey back into the saucepan and heat to 90°c (194°f) turn off the heat and leave for 15 minutes the pour through a cheese cloth.
The cheese that will be left in the cloth is Ricotta, don’t let it get to dry.
Put in a bowl add a little salt and chopped chives.
The Whey has lots of uses, drink it as a probiotic drink, use as a fertilizer for plants or compost heap, but best used for making bread.
The whey has a lot of uses, worth searching the internet for ideas.
Mozzarella is great on Pizza but I prefer with tomatoes, Basil and a drizzle of olive oil.