3 April 2013

Home made mozzarella

I don't make preserves or jam, so in some ways I'm a bit of a lazy gardener/eco-fruge (short for frugal person).

But recently my mother gave me a recipe for home made mozzarella that I got excited about. I love the idea of home cheesemaking, and the recipe said that this one takes eight minutes! It took about 15, but I can live with that because I got on with other food preparation during that time, while the milk warmed.

I needed no special equipment apart from some disposable rubber gloves.

I love mozzarella, and it's pricey.

I made little salads with homegrown tomatoes, oregano and an oil/vingear dressing.

Mozzarella Cheese - fast.

2 litres boiling water
1/2 cup salt
2 litres full cream (blue-lid) milk
1 tsp citric acid
2 tsp Renco (liquid rennet)

1 Make salt broth by boiling the salt and water in a pot until the salt dissolved. Cool. (I did this a few hours in advance, so the water was quite cold.)

2. Place milk in a deep microwaveable dish, and stir in the citric acid.

3. Microwave milk 6 minutes on high, then stir in Renco.

4. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove and drain some of the excess liquid.

5. Microwave 45 seconds more, then transfer gently into a colander, from which most of the liquid will drain from the curd.

6. Place the curds that remain into a bowl. Don the gloves, and form the curds into two or three balls. To get rid of the lumps, dunk each ball into boiling water and gently stretch and mould the curds. The heat of the boiling water will tranform the lumps so you can shape a reasonably smooth ball.

7. You're finished, apart from soaking the balls in the salty water for 20 minutes to add flavour.

8. Store covered in the fridge.

My experience:
:: maybe they need longer than 20 minutes of soaking, or the salty water should be warmer. I felt our cheese wasn't salty enough, but it was still delicate and delicious.
:: I wasn't sure how much to stretch and work the curds at the dunking-in-boiling-water stage. I did it for less than a minute, just enough to make the cheese smooth instead of lumpy. Possibly  bit longer might have been better, because some lumps remained, which you can see in the photo.

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