My maiden voyage into home cheese making: mozzarella. I started with a kit, for the pure ease of having all the necessary components delivered to my door: Amazon reviews to support, rennet, citric acid and cheese salt. The box itself even looks cheesy. (Sheesh punny but true, they could come up with a more chic box…) Have no desire to make your own but love to eat? See the resource section at the bottom.
First time through, I followed the recipe included in the kit, except added more salt and didn’t do the microwave version. This was billed as 30 minute cheese, I was pretty close but the first time through it took me a bit longer to figure out the set up etc. I am not going to rehash, what they have already displayed so nicely on their website. While the kit was handy, I thought their booklet could have been better and have provided some other resources below.
My next tries will be incorporating herbs, using goats milk and playing around with making a burrata or ricotta version. I will also save the whey – it appears to be healthy for hens, and my girls are worth it! I also made smaller packets but will try doing one big ball, kneading and pulling the cheese like you would to form a round loaf of bread. I think I might embrace the microwave for a few more tries as well, until I get a bit better, than back to the stovetop. Lastly, do a cultured version using my homemade yogurt (3 T to a gallon milk).
So what happens to make milk turn to mozzarella? Well, one batch hardly makes me a novice, just engaged enough to search around about cheese making science. It really all boils down (actually, don’t boil, you will kill the enzymes) to using chemistry (acid-base) to change the protein structure of milk and make it so that they stick together and get stringy with it… J trapping the fats, expelling the whey, going for liquid to solids in liquid.
There is definitely no shortage of ways to cook and eat mozzarella. We made pizza at home, using up ingredients in our fridge. I tried out a different pizza crust recipe, on my quest for the perfect pizza pie. The Pioneer Woman recipe turned out ok, but was still thicker that the hubs likes… I probably just need an oven that reaches 900 F (get right on that). Toppings included prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, mozzarella, basil, mushrooms, garlic and olive oil.
Alternative mozzarella methods and musings:
- More evidence of the simplicity from a great blogger? http://thekeyofkels.com/2014/01/28/tasty-tuesday-homemade-mozzarella/
- This lady knows her stuff – bocconcini for sure! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/07/making-fresh-mozzarella/
- If you are visual/auditory learner! http://youtu.be/3kxEap3txCU (5 minute video)
- Need creative inspiration? How about a football shaped mozzarella homage to Super Bowl? #GoHawks
- Needing to know more about citric acid (non-GMO)? http://blog.culturesforhealth.com/a-closer-look-citric-acid/
- Just want to buy some good mozzarella? http://sidedish.dmagazine.com/2014/01/30/taste-test-thursday-mozzarella/
- Cultured version sans citric acid? http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/Mozzarella/MOZZARELLA_jn0.HTM
- Home study cheese courses? Same great site as above… http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese_course/Cheese_course.htm
Cheese ricetta (recipe) in Italiano only? Just for heck of it – http://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Ricotta-fatta-in-casa.html