Saturday, March 13, 2010

a little piece of cheese

i have been talking about making cheese for months now
and today
was the day
and i am not so excited 
about the result
first of all
what is up with starting with a gallon of milk
and ending with a 1/2 cup of cheese?
good news is
it tastes good
it isn't as soft and supple
as i would like
i'm just a bundle of negatives
i know
but it was my first 
but not
my last
because i am going to do this
until i get it right
what i need
 is a 
Fresh Mozzarella
(printable recipe)
1 gallon whole milk
1 1/2 tsp citric acid
1 cup cool water
1/4 tsp rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool water just before using

heat the milk and citric acid--diluted in the 1 cup cool water in a large pot to 90F.  Remove from heat and slowly stir in the rennet/water mixture.  Cover and let sit 5-10 minutes.  a nice medium firm layer of curds should form on the top. it will look like custard.  Cut it in cubes with a knife and using a colander, separate from the whey.  Reserve the whey to make ricotta (my next project!).  Place the curds in a microwave safe bowl.  You will heat this in the microwave until the curds melt and are just about too hot to handle.  Remove from the microwave and begin kneading and pulling, much like you would taffy.  If it gets too hard to stretch, pop it back in the microwave and start again.  You will notice that it will stretch and pull and become a bit glossy.  Form into a ball by folding and tucking. Eat right away or store in the fridge.

I think where i went wrong was my milk got a bit too hot before i added the rennet....and I didn't get a nice thick firm layer of curd.  I was able, however, to manipulate what i did have to make a fine tasting ball of mozzarella...but i really want it to be softer.

I am letting the whey sit for a bit before using it for ricotta cheese. I have read that it should sit for 12-14 hours. We'll see.


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