For Christmas we received a Mozzarella kit from Leener's. We had heard it was quite easy to make but I have to admit I was a little skeptical. Well, I was so wrong, making mozzarella was super easy to make & the results were wonderful! You just have to have a little patience to let the milk heat slowly & in an hour you are eating your own fresh cheese!
First you ripen 1 gallon of milk with a bit of citric acid, lipase, and calcium chloride. Slowly heating over medium heat to 88 F, stirring from time to time.
Once the milk reaches 88°F, you add rennet and continue heating to 105 F. Only stir gently every couple of minutes so you don't break up the curd too much.
By the time it reaches 105°F, it will start to look at little chunky. At this point, turn off the heat and let it sit for 20 minutes.
After resting for 20 minutes you'll be rewarded with a big chunk of cheese curds.
Remove the curds with a slotted spoon, leaving the whey in the pan.
Lightly smash the curds with a spoon to squeeze as much whey out of them as possible, then drain. Microwave for 60 seconds and repeat, adding a bit of salt. Microwave again so it reaches 140-150°F, and start kneading the hot cheese with the spoon to help even the heat out.
Continue kneading with a spoon until the cheese pulls together into a ball and sticks to the spoon.
At this point you will have a soft mozzarella ball. You can stop at this point.
Or you can stretch & pull it like taffy until you have a cooled firmer cheese better for grating & such.
Now you can enjoy your own homemade cheese. We made a baguette earlier in the day. Split it in half & topped it with some homemade pizza sauce, a few sliced of pepperoni & then our cheese. Perfection!