Day 91: Homemade Mozzarella

Mozzarella+ball Day 91: Homemade Mozzarella
OK, we didn’t actually eat it for dinner, but we made it, at around dinnertime, expending any energy reserves that might have been otherwise used to make dinner.

When I told the winners of the in-home cooking class we auctioned off for the Food Bank that we could make whatever they wanted, they said they wanted to make fresh mozzarella… did I know how to do that? Sure, of course we can do that! (I reply, hastily calling my Italian friend Emily Richards in Toronto.)

She had some advice, but hadn’t made it for awhile, so I dug around on the net for a formula, we did it, and it was simple. And fun. And took less than half an hour. To make cheese! Who would have thought it was so easy? All you need is good-quality milk, citric acid (available in the bulk section at Community Natural Foods) and rennet tablets, which are 10 for $2.99 and you can find beside the yogurt, also at Community. So when Emily (another one, my niece this time) was here for the day today and wanted to cook something, we made mozzarella to celebrate the fact that she’s apparently not lactose intolerant after all.

This site provides instructions along with a good series of photos that helped us along, but there were a few notable differences: first, we heated the milk to 100F rather than 90F, misunderstanding that it was supposed to start to curdle at that point. Then we had to wait for closer to 10 minutes after adding the rennet, and even then it was far from a solid mass you could slice with a knife, but you may see different results.

But here’s the gist (we halved the recipe):

Dissolve 1 tsp. citric acid into 2 L of cold milk (we used homo), briskly stirring it with a whisk in a largish pot. Set it over medium-low heat and warm until it reaches 100F, or just slightly warmer than body temperature. Remove from heat.

Crush 1/8 of a rennet tablet and dissolve into 2 Tbsp. cool water. Add this in a thin stream, whisking constantly, to the warmed milk. Stir for about a minute, then stop. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the curds into a small microwave-safe bowl, pressing out as much of the whey as you can.

Microwave for 1 minute (this will coax out a little more whey; just pour it off) and then plop it out onto a clean countertop and start to fold and stretch it. It will be almost too hot to handle, but will cool to warm quickly.

Mozzarella+squeezing Day 91: Homemade MozzarellaMozzarella+stretching Day 91: Homemade Mozzarella

Pull and stretch it until it’s smooth, then shape into a ball and put in a bowl of cold water until firm.

Mozzarella+in+water Day 91: Homemade Mozzarella

Cool, huh?

Oh right, dinner. Having had our appetites for gooey cheese all worked up, we made quesadillas – really the same as grilled cheese sandwiches – with whole wheat tortillas folded over leftover shredded chicken and strips of roasted red pepper from the freezer, and whatever bits of cheese we could gather from the fridge.

pixel Day 91: Homemade Mozzarella
button print gry20 Day 91: Homemade Mozzarella

March 31 2008 09:26 pm | cheese and vegetarian

10 Responses to “Day 91: Homemade Mozzarella”

  1. robyn on 01 Apr 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    Wow! Will you ever buy mozzarella again??

  2. Bonnie on 01 Apr 2008 at 2:45 pm #

    Wow!! Very cool. I’m definitely going to try this as soon as I source the rennet tablets. I’m seeing tomato salads with fresh mozzarella, pizza and so on. Thank you so much for another inspiration.

  3. Anne Hayden on 05 Apr 2008 at 4:12 am #

    Thank you so much for your website address and the recipe for mozarella. I wonder what it would taste like with a lemon yogurt? ie Yoplait Source – or another flavor -a Yoplait Source dessert yogurt? Chocolate?

    Worth a try – can’t wait to get going. This will be my reward for finishing my to-do list for the day.
    anne hayden

  4. dinner with Julie » Day 92: A bowl of oatmeal and banana bread with peanut butter on 05 Apr 2008 at 3:16 pm #

    [...] I cooked some oatmeal, adding a bit of the leftover whey from our cheesemaking into the water, and grating the remains of one of the apples he ate a third of and left on the [...]

  5. Dorothy on 25 Apr 2008 at 6:26 am #

    Tried your cheese recipe but wasn’t successful. It said to microwave for one minute but doesn’t specify a power level. Foolishly, I used high! Oh well, I’ll try it again. Love your blog!

  6. JulieVR on 25 Apr 2008 at 9:27 am #

    I used high too! Every time, even when we did it in Lethbridge. To be honest I never use any other level, so don’t think of specifying one. I suppose all microwaves are not created equal!

  7. Rebecca on 25 Mar 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    I know this post is “whey” old (heh heh-a little cheesemaking humor for you there;), groan HOWEVER I have been jonesing for some cheese curds lately (I grew up near THE Balderson). I’m wondering if I could stop at the point where you start pressing out the whey and stretching it and would it just be cheese curds? And any idea where an Ontarian might get her hot little hands on some citric acid and rennet? Thanks for your site. You had me at homemade LARD. Homemade mozzarella is just gravy. Hmmm… Now I’m craving poutine. Friend in lard. Covered in gravy. And homemade
    Cheese curds. Drooooooolllll……

  8. Rebecca on 25 Mar 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Whoops. FRIED in lard. Not friend. That a WHOLE different website ;)
    Damn you autocorrect!

  9. JulieVR on 25 Mar 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Actually, I kind of like friend in lard! Your friend in lard… I may start signing off like that!

  10. best folding tables and chairs on 21 Apr 2012 at 10:52 am #

    It is better to finish something than begin.

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