How to make your cheese (especially mozzarella) at home?
22 Mar 08
The idea of making our own cheese really didn't cross my mind at all until I came accross this discussion. It's also not easy to get the Mozzarella cheese over here, because it's not the staple food for the locals. I had read the recipe posted by the first responder and found that it's not as simple as I thought about cheese making. I would rather leave the complicated job to the cheese manufacturer LoL.
• United States
24 Apr 07
It need some experience to make mozzarella at home, but not impossible, follow this and make mozza. at home. Before you start... Cheesemaking, on the small home scale, is much more art than science. You need a basic understanding of the science but in the end, your cheese will be your own. Your skill will develop with practice. If your first batch of mozzarella is a little less than successful, do not become discouraged. There are enough ingredients in this kit to make six batches and even the inferior attempts will still taste good! Milk for Making Cheese Cheese can be made from any dairy animal milk. Fresh raw milk from cows or goats, store bought milk from whole to skim and specialty milks from health food stores. One rule of thumb regardless of the source of your milk is, the fresher the better. When purchasing milk from the store be sure to check the freshness dates. Don't be afraid to ask your grocer for milk from their latest delivery. If you explain what you are using it for they should be very helpful. Milk should always be kept refrigerated until ready for use. Store bought milk is homogenized, which means that the cream particles (butter fat) have been mechanically broken up into microscopic particles. This is done to prevent the cream from separating from the milk. Homogenizing and pasteurizing also alters the milk protein. Unless the cheese maker compensates for this the milk will not make a satisfactory curd. To compensate for the processing of store bought milk we add calcium chloride prior to adding rennet to the milk mixture. The addition of calcium chloride will help restore the altered milk protein and aid in the development of a quality curd. DO NOT USE ULTRA- PASTEURIZED MILK! For your first batch of mozzarella cheese we recommend that you use store bought whole milk. The basic recipe is for 1 gallon whole milk. After you have mastered the process used to make our mozzarella, you can experiment with other type of milk. Using Fresh Milk If you have access to fresh milk from cows, sheep or goats, we encourage you to use it. As you may already know, the chemistry of fresh milk will vary with the season, diet, and even the time of day you milk. You will need to experiment a little to adjust your recipe. Use the recipe included in your kit as is, then make adjustments as needed. About the Ingredients Citric Acid is used to cause the curds (milk solids) to separate from the whey (liquid). Mild Lipase Powder is a natural flavoring agent extracted from dairy animals. Strict vegetarians should omit this ingredient. Calcium Chloride helps to restore the balance between calcium and protein in store bought milk. It may also be needed with fresh milk. Vegetable Rennet contains no animal products and has the same coagulating ability as animal rennet when used in milk that has been ripened. Rennet must be diluted with distilled water prior to adding to milk so that it will not shock the milk and distribute evenly as it is added. Rennet must be kept refrigerated. Flaked Salt is a premium grade ultra fine salt with absolutely no additives. No other salt may be substituted due to the purity and difference in weight between equal measures of different grades of salt. Your Cheese Making Work Area It is very important that you dedicate your kitchen to making cheese for the entire process. Do not prepare any other food while you are making cheese. Milk is very susceptible to unwanted bacteria infection. It is not difficult to prevent cross contamination as long as you take care. To prepare your work area, put all food products away, move all dish cloths and soiled towels to the laundry room and wash your counters, sink and stove top with soap and water. Now use a commercial antibacterial cleaning spray to wipe down all surfaces. Equipment Needed You will need a 6 to 8 quart stainless steel pot. Do not use aluminum or cast iron. A stainless steel or strong plastic slotted spoon. A two quart microwave safe plastic mixing bowl, measuring spoons and a thermometer which will clearly read between 80 degrees F and 120 degrees F. Mozzarella Cheese Formula Place one gallon whole milk into a stainless steel pot. Measure all of the following ingredients into five individual containers. This will allow you to make the cheese without worrying about measurements. 2 teaspoons of citric acid 1/2 teaspoon of lipase powder in 1/4 cup distilled water 1 teaspoon of calcium chloride in 1/4 cup distilled water 1/2 teaspoon of liquid rennet in 1/4 cup distilled water 1/2 teaspoon flaked salt Making the Cheese Place the stock pot of milk on the stove over medium heat. It is important that you heat the milk slowly. Sprinkle in the citric acid and mild lipase powder while you gently stir. Heat slowly until the milk reaches 88 degrees. Stir every few minutes to prevent scorching the milk on the bottom of the pot. You will begin to see the curd develop. Once the milk reaches 88 degrees F. stir in the diluted calcium chloride then the rennet and water mixture. Continue stirring every few minutes until the milk reaches 105 degrees F. Developing the Curd Turn off the heat and let the milk set covered for 15 minutes at 105 degrees. Curd (white mass) and whey (greenish liquid) will now be fully separated. Cooking the Curd Use a slotted spoon or strainer to transfer the curd to a microwave safe dish. If the curd is to soft to transfer, let the milk sit a few more minutes. Pour off as much of the whey as you can. Gently press the curds together with the spoon and force more whey out of them. Squeeze out and drain as much whey as possible. Place the curd in the microwave on high for one minute. Remove and press the curds again to force out more whey. The cheese should begin to mass together and become sticky. If it dose not, you will need to leave it in the microwave a few seconds longer. Not all microwaves are equal! It will not hurt to place the cheese back in the oven for 10 seconds more it necessary. Please note the total time needed for future reference. Add the flakes salt a little at a time and knead the cheese with a spoon as you would bread dough. It will become smooth and shiny. Place the curd back into the microwave and heat on high for one more minute. Remove from oven and drain any remaining whey. This time your cheese will be too hot to handle, about 130 degrees. Stretching the Cheese Knead the cheese again until it sticks to the spoon and pulls away from the bowl. When the cheese begins to stretch like taffy, it is almost done. You can have some fun now by pulling and stretching the cheese until it is completely cooled. This is an important step. Stretching will make the cheese firm and stringy. If you prefer a softer texture don't stretch as much. Place the cheese in an air tight container or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Use this cheese with in one week or store it in the freezer for up to one month. If your cheese is too soft to shred for pizza, place it in the freezer then shred and use it partly frozen. Visit: www.wisc.edu/foodsafety/mozzarellacheese.pdf to know more about mozzarella.
• United States
26 Mar 08
Here is an incredible picture tutorial http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese.html I am curious though because under the banner on the home page there it says that he uses goats milk but store bought will work - I was always under the impression that RAW milk was a necessity - and therefore the homogenized and pasteurized milks would not work. unless he is somewhere that does not have gov't interference on food products.