Homemade Mozzarella, it's so easy! Plenty of Q-view!

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SmokinAl

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Jun 22, 2009
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First off let me post the recipe I went by. Then I'll go through the steps.

Mozzarella cheese

Dissolve ¼ rennet tablet in ¼ cu. of non chlorinated water.

Heat 1 gallon of whole milk (not ultra pasteurized) in a stainless steel pot ( don’t use aluminum or cast iron ) on med/low ( 4-5 ) until it reaches 95 degrees.

Add 1 ½ tsp of citric acid when milk gets to about 80 degrees, stirring it occasionally.

When it hits 95 degrees add the rennet solution & gently stir for 30 seconds – take it off the heat, cover & let sit for 25 minutes.

Cross hatch the curds with a long knife that reaches the bottom of the pot & use a slotted spoon to spoon curds into a microwaveable dish with cheese cloth in it. Twist the cheese cloth to squeeze out the whey from the curds. Pour out the whey & put the curds back in the dish without  the cheese cloth & microwave for 1 minute.

Pour off liquid, knead & add salt ( about 1 teaspoon or to your taste ) & other seasonings if you choose. Continue to knead until it gets a little dry, then microwave for 30 seconds. Knead some more & form a ball or you can stretch out and form it as a rope or any shape you choose. It should look shiny when it’s done. To get it to hold its shape dunk it in ice water.

I started off making some spiced olive oil to put on the mozz when I got done. It's just the dipping sauce herbs & some olive oil.

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Next the ingredients for the cheese.

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The rennet tablets need to be quartered. The first few times I made mozz, I used a knife & it really doesn't make a clean cut, so I bought one of those pill cutters at Wally World. They really work good.

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Bingo 1/4 of a tablet.

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Put 1/4 of the rennet tablet into 1/4 cup of non chlorinated water. Stir it up & let it sit & dissolve.

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Next get a stainless pot & pour 1 gallon of milk into it. The fresher the better. If you can find un-homogenized that's the best, but make sure it doesn't say ultra- pasteurized or this won't work.

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Heat the milk on med low until it hits 80 degrees then add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid.

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Occasionally stir it until it hits 95 degrees then add the rennet & water.

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Stir for 30 seconds, as you can see the curds are starting to form.

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After 30 seconds take it off the heat.

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Cover it & let it sit for 25 minutes.

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After 25 minutes you can see how the curds have separated from the whey. This time they are a little looser than normal. It should look like custard. That's OK we will just have too work with them a little more to get all the whey out.

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Got a bowl ready lined with cheesecloth.

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Next we use a big pasta spoon to spoon out the curds.

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Like I said earlier the curds are a little looser than normal. Normally you could get them all out with the pasta spoon, but there is quite a bit left in the bowl so were going to pour the remaining liquid through a strainer.

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This is what we have left.

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Now you just wrap the cheese cloth around the mozz & squeeze out as much of the whey as you can.

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Dump the whey out, and put the mozz back in the bowl & into the microwave for 1 minute.

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After you get it out of the micro, just drain off the excess whey & start to knead it.

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Now is when you want to add your seasonings. We just added about 1 tsp of Kosher salt.

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Keep kneading it and if it seems to start to get dry just nuke it for 30 seconds. When it's right it will stretch out like a rope.

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Now just knead it a little more, and if you need to put in in the micro for 15 seconds to keep it pliable.

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Next form it into a ball or whatever shape you want it to be. I have seen it twisted like rope. The main thing is to work it & stretch it so it gets those long fibers that makes good mozzarella. It should have a shine to it as well. We just make balls. Maybe I need to get more creative!

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To make sure it keeps it's shape put in in an ice bath for 10 minutes.

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After the ice bath wrap it in saran wrap just like a fattie & it will be good in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. It only last's a couple of days around here, but it freezes well too. So if you want to make a bunch of it you can vac seal & freeze it. I prefer to make it 1 batch at a time & eat it with friends. One gallon of milk makes about 3/4 pound of mozz.

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Now getting back to the seasoned olive oil in the beginning of this thread. I think it's snack time at SmokinAl's. The good thing is it's tomato season here now, so we went to the local produce stand & picked up a few locally grown vine ripe maters. Sliced them up with some of the mozz a few basal leaves and some of that olive oil. This is the perfect afternoon snack with a couple of beers.

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Looks like you had some great success! I've tried making it before, but have used hot water instead - which does not work! I'm gonna try the microwave next time, maybe make a batch for Christmas, and smoke it???

Also, if you don't want to stretch it, the loose curds end up as Ricotta :)
 
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Now I have to make me some mozzarella cheese. I got some from Squirrel a while back and she said it was easy to make. Thanks for the play by play there Al.
 
What a great post AL - I just bought the ingredients last week to do this. Ya beat me to it again. Great documentation too. 
 
Thats great Al I need to give that a try. I have made goat cheese pretty much that same way except for the kneading part...Man I could have some of that right now....
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My Grandmother use to make cheese like that when I was little. I had for gotten just cool and easy it was, Thanks for the post it brought very sweet memories of her. SB
 
That's awesome thanks except now I have another thing to try but it looks great. My wife will be pleased
 
Great post, Al!  Squirrel did some also, but didn't stretch it as thoroughly as you did your's (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/squirrel-s-home-made-mozzeralla-cheese  wiki).  I wonder what you'd have to do to make cheese curds like you get in a store, or press it for cheddar?
Pops for hard cheeses you would have to add a starter! and you would need cheese moulds. they have really good kits online. and as for a press i just use round weights. and starter cultures are easy to make as well. again there are a lot of sources online.
 
You inspired me Al! I went to every local grocery store and finally found a box of Junket rennet for ice cream and custard. Couldn't find calcium chloride or citric acid, but figured I'd grind up a vitamin C tablet and hope the calcium chloride could be skipped. Got home only to discover we don't have any vitamin C, just multivitamins. Thought about grinding one of those up, but decided to use lemon juice instead. Various recipes on the net tel me this rennet may or may not work. Ended up using 1.5 tablets as per one recipe I found. And about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, as I figure that should net the right amount of citric acid. It's been about an hour, and it's starting to firm up, so we'll see. For some reason, your whole post seems to have disappeared. Weird.
 
Oh ! Nnnoooo..... SmokinAl, the post disappeared....would you please if not repost it, or pm me the recipe. I was going to print it out and add it to my want-to book and I missed it. Since I first read the post, I was wondering if I could smoke that cheese ball?? or would it be too soft??? By the way
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Thanks for the post ! !
 
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