What goes better with all those tomatoes and basil growing rioteously in the garden than mozzarella? Just a drizzle of great olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and you have summer on a plate! The only thing that could make this dish more heavenly is if the mozzarella cheese was homemade!
It is very easy to make fresh mozzarella and sooooo much more delicious. Here at StoneGable fresh mozzarella has been made for years. It is culinary therapy! The process just makes me feel good!
There are a couple of ingredients that go into making homemade mozzarella that you may not be familiar with. Citric Acid and Rennet. Citric acid makes the cheese stretch and hold together, and rennet makes the milk curd.
They must be used to make fresh mozzarella. I purchased them on line under $8.00. And I have enough to last quite awhile. I use the liquid rennet but if you buy the tablets they can be frozen and will last for a very long time in the freezer. I ordered the citric acid ( most drugs stores carry it too) and rennet form New England Cheesemaking. Click HERE to see their website.
Guess what I’m having for lunch? YUMMY!
2 tsp citric acid
2/3 tsp rennet ( or 1/2 tablet)
1/4 cup non chlorinated water
1-2 tsp salt
thermometer that measures 55 degrees to over 110
WARNING: The pictures of cheese making are not very pretty. So sorry! But the results are worth suffering through the images. See what you get…
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Success in mozzarella making depends on a few things. One, heating the milk very slowly. Set your stove on the very lowest heat. The milk won’t curd right if you heat it too fast.
Two, stirring gently. It is more like slightly moving the curds and whey a little to distribute heat. Just the most gentle hand is needed!
Three, make sure you keep an eye on the thermometer. Don’t overcook your milk!
Back to the Recipe:
Add rennet to 1/4 cup of water and set aside.
Put milk into a non reactive pot ( not aluminum or cast iron, use stainless steel) and sprinkle with 2 tsp of citric acid. Stir. Cook milk on LOW heat. Bring milk to 88 degrees stirring VERY GENTLY a few times. Milk will begin to get little curds.
When milk has reached 88 degrees pour rennet mixed with water into the milk. Stir to evenly distribute. Stir VERY GENTLY a couple of times until milk reaches 105 degrees and curds have formed. Try not to break apart any large curds. Turn off heat. Put lid on pot and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Wrap them in parchment, plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate.
Homemade Mozzarella is delicious! And when you make it once, you will want to make it and keep it on hand.