Step 1: What You Will Need:
Rennet – liquid or tablet. I used a liquid version. Use as the packaging instructs
Bottle of Water
Cheese Cloth / White Muslin Cloth – For straining curds
Stainless Steel Pot
Cheese Press (optional)
Step 2: Gently Heat The Milk
Constantly stir the milk so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and to prevent a skin forming.
At this stage, DO NOT HEAT PAST 80°F
Step 3: Adding the Citric Acid
The acid will lower the pH of the cheese and give mozzarella its characteristic stretchy texture.
For every litre of milk, you add a quarter of a teaspoon of citric acid.
I made 1 litres worth of cheese, a quarter teaspoon. But if you are making 4 litres worth you will add a whole teaspoon.
Add the powder and make sure you mix it through thoroughly. You will notice that some of the milk will curdle and stick to your spoon. This is normal.
Step 4: Adding the Rennet
Turn off the heat just before the thermometer reads 90°F.
Measure out a quarter of a cup of bottled (unchlorinated) water. follow directions of the rennet packaging…. My bottle of rennet says ‘for every litre of milk, add 5 drops’
So for my recipe, 1 litre of milk, I added drops of rennet to a quarter cup of bottled water.
Mix the rennet through the milk for at least 30 secs. Leave the milk alone, off the heat, for at least 20 mins to curdle.
Step 5: Check For A Clean Break
To test this, dip your clean finger into the milk and bring it back out. If you have a clean break, your curds are ready.
The second picture is NOT a clean break. I left the milk for a few minutes before I tested and took the third picture.
Step 6: Cut And Cook The Curds
Mix the curds, you don’t want them sticking to the pot.
Cook the curds for around 10 mins until it looks like picture 3.
Step 7: Straining The Curds
Pour the curds and whey into the bowl. The liquid whey will pass throught the cloth and the solid cheese curds will remain in the cloth.
KEEP the whey for later on. Also keep the pot handy.
Step 8: Cheese Press (optional)
Place your curds, still in your cheese cloth, inside the mould and insert into your press.
Press for 10 mins.
Alternativley, I made a quick homemade press with the water bottle used earlier, and a mould that came with a cheese making kit.
Step 9: Chop And Salt
Step 10: Prepare To Stretch Curds
Pour your whey from the large bowl, back into your pot on a high heat. Rinse out the bowl and fill with cold water. For ease place the cheese cloth back into the bowl to catch the curds wen they are stretched.
Place a medium sized curd onto your spoon and lower it into the hot whey. Leave the curd to heat up to the temperature at which it will stretch. This is around 160-165°F.
When the curd streches, you know the whey is at the correct temperature for the rest.
Step 11: Stretching Your Curds
You might want to place your cheesecloth back into the whey to catch all the curds again.
When the curds are hot enough, gather them with your spoon then shape them by hand.
The curds will be very hot. Most internet sites recommend wearing rubber gloves to keep yur hands cool. I recommend it as well.
I formed my mozzarella balls by kneading the curds in my hand until it started to look smooth. If the curds ever feel more resilient, place them back into the whey to heat them. When you are happy with the smoothness of the mozzarella and it is in an authentic ball form, place them into your bowl of cold water to set the shape.
Step 12: Finished Mozzarella
I don’t know how long the cheese will last in the fridge as I always use it straight away.
Mozzarella is best stored in slightly salted water, in an airtight container in the fridge.