Are you a fan of mozzarella? Yes, it tastes delicious when it is sprinkled all over a pizza base. However, it’s just as tasty when it is served fresh. A lot of people serve it fresh with prosciutto; it’s a simple combination yet very tasty. No matter how you like to eat your mozzarella; there is no denying that it tastes better freshly made. Plus, this is a great way to impress guests too. So, with that being said, read on to discover the steps to follow in order to make your own homemade fresh mozzarella. We will talk you through all of the steps that you need to follow, as well as giving you some great recipe suggestions at the end. After all, you are bound to be feeling hungry once you’ve finished reading this!
Prep the Ingredients
The first thing you need to do is prepare the ingredients. Luckily, there are only four simple ingredients that are required. These are as follows:
- Citric acid
It is important that you use whole milk, but make sure it is not ultra high temperature (UHT) pasteurized. You can purchase citric acid and liquid rennet in speciality cheese shops are online.
Mix the Ingredients
Next, you should combine one-and-a-half teaspoons of citric acid in a bowl with one cup of water. Mix it gently until the citric acid has dissolved. Grab another bowl and combine a quarter teaspoon of liquid rennet with a quarter cup of water.
Add the Rennet
Next, you need to grab a big and heavy pot so that you can pour one gallon of whole milk inside. You should then put the stove on a medium-high heat, and stir the citric acid mixture over it. Keep stirring until the mixture reaches 90-degree Fahrenheit. Don’t burn yourself but this means that it should be slightly warm to touch. Once you have removed the pot from the heat, you should then pour the rennet mixture inside. Keep stirring for 30 seconds and then set aside for five minutes.
Cut the Curds
Once the five minutes is over, you should find that there is a gelatin-like texture to the mixture. If you jiggle the pot, the mixture should pull away from the sides. If this is not the case, and the mixture has not set (it is still liquid), you should let it sit for a further five minutes. Once the mixture has set, use a large offset spatula or a long knife in order to cut the curds. You should be sure to reach all of the way down. Across the surface, make horizontal and vertical cuts at half-inch intervals, resulting in a crosshatch pattern.
Cook the Curds
You should then place the heat onto a medium level, put the pot onto it and stir gently occasionally. You don’t want to break up the curds too much. Once the mixture has reached 105-degree Fahrenheit, you can remove the pot from the heat. Again, you will need to allow the mixture to set aside for five minutes. You should make sure you still stir it on an occasional basis.
Separate the Whey and the Curds
Next, you will need to separate the whey and the curds. If you’re wondering what whey is, this is the thin, yellow-colored liquid you should see at this point! So, to separate these, you will need a fine-mesh sieve. You should dip it into the pot, using it to separate the solid curds and the liquid whey. You should clump the curds together so that as much whey as possible is drained off. You can then get rid of the whey, although some people do reserve it for other cooking uses.
Reheat the Curds
You will need to grab another large pot, filling it with water and then putting it on the heat. Bring it to just below boiling. You should then put the curds into the strainer, lowering them into the hot water for a few minutes. You should fold the curds a number of times. Make sure you use rubber, food-safe gloves to do this. After doing the folding, you will need to make sure the curds have an internal temperature of 135-degree Fahrenheit. If they don’t, put them back in the hot water until they do.
Stretch the Mozzarella
We’re getting there now, promise! Grab yourself a teaspoon of kosher salt, and sprinkle it over the cheese. You will now need to start working the curds, folding it gently, working over the pot of hot water. While you are folding, make sure you stretch the curds. If you notice that the cheese is getting cool while you do this, you should put it back into the pot of hot water for between ten and 20 seconds, then continue. Repeat the folding and stretching until there is an elastic and smooth texture to curds.
Shape the Mozzarella
Pull the edges of the mozzarella toward the base to form a ball. You can create lots of bite-sized balls, which is good for entertaining, or you can create one big ball of mozzarella. The choice is yours. Place the cheese in a bowl of ice water for five minutes so that you can seal the shape.
After all of that effort, it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here are some serving ideas…
- Focaccia with pesto and mozzarella
- Mozzarella with chilli and tomato salsa
- Tomato and mozzarella tart with roast pepper pesto
So there you have it: the complete guide to making fresh, homemade mozzarella. We hope that you have found these instructions helpful. There is no denying that this is the best way to enjoy mozzarella. Plus, it is a great way to impress if you are going to be hosting guests in the near future.