The Best Mozzarella You Have Ever Had...In 30 minutes.
You, yes YOU can make Mozzarella worthy of serving in top NY restaurants. And you can do it in only 30 minutes. There really is nothing to it. And mark my words, you will never buy mozzarella from the grocery store again. This recipe is from the book
Supplies you will need:
1 large stainless steel pot (preferably a double boiler)
1 gallon whole milk (not UHT)
Thermophilic starter (optional)
Calcium chloride (optional)
A double boiler keeps the milk safe from burning. You can do without this but once you buy one, you will be glad you got it. It will last forever, and you will more than make up for the cost not purchasing cheese from the store.
I have found that plain Publix brand milk works best for this recipe if you cannot get farm fresh milk. Many other brands including oganic brands pasturize their milk at such high temperatures (UHT, for "ultra-high temperature") that it damages the proteins, preventing them from forming the curd for your cheese.
Citric acid can be found with the canning supplies at the grocery store, or you can order it from Amazon. (Sidenote: living in the country, Amazon Prime was the smartest purchase I've ever made. Anything I need is at my door in 2 days at no shipping cost)
Calcium chloride can be added if using store-bought milk. It will help in curd formation.
Lipase powder gives italian cheeses their tart flavor. This, as well as starter, rennet, and other cheese supplies can be found online at getculture.com.
Thermophilic starter will add more flavor to the cheese, but it is not required. This will double the time it takes to make the cheese.
Heat the milk to 87 F. Dissolve the lipase powder in 1/4 cup cool water. Add the citric acid, dilute lipase powder, and starter (if you are using it) to the milk. Mix thoroughly. If you used starter, cover and let the milk stand for 30 minutes to allow the starter to grow. Dilute the rennet in 1/4c cool water, then add to the milk. Stir with and up and down motion to disperse the rennet. Let stand until curds form and whey becomes clear. If whey is still cloudy after 1 minutes, heat to 110 F.
Remove a ladel of curds and a ladel of whey and heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Now comes the hard part. You have to stick your hands in the hot whey (gloves help) and smash the cirds together to squeeze out the remaining whey. After you get it to all stick together and it starts to become shiny (you will be amazed at the transformation!), you can start stretching the cheese. If it breaks instead of stretches, knead it more to get the whey out while keeping it HOT - it should be almost burning your hands! You may need to microwave it one additional time to get it up to temperature again. When you get this down, you can do a large batch at a time.
After you have stretched all of your mozzarella and have nice little italian looking mozzarella balls, you can fill a storage container with the leftover whey, mix in some cheese salt, and place your little creations in this brine to give it more flavor. This cheese should be eaten within 3 days.
What to do with all of the leftover whey? Taste it! It is actually quite delicious, and I usually have a glass while I am working on the cheese. It can be used in smoothies, breads, and soups. It is high in protein so it can be fed back to any animals in the vicinity too.