The following recipe makes a fine
tasting, tender, succulent approximation of Italian Mozzarella. The critical step is to get
curds acid enough to "spin." This recipe makes delicious mozzarella when proper spin is
achieved. When it hasn't spun, the cheese is still good, but not what was
hoped for to
improve the process and/or product.
- 1 gallon fresh milk (goats' milk, water buffalo milk, or cow's milk)
- 3 tblspn fresh yogurt starter (Dannon plain)
- 3 tblspn fresh cultured buttermilk
- 1 tablet Junket rennet
- Stainless steel pot with cover (about 1.5 gallon capacity)
(sterilized by boiling a small amount of water until steam rushes out from
under the lid.)
- Dependable thermometer, range 0-100°C (32 - 212°F)
- Long bladed knife for cutting curd
- Table knife for finishing the cutting of the curd
- Shallow glass baking pan
- Slotted spoon
- Warm milk to 32°C in sterilized stainless steel covered pot.
- Meanwhile, dissolve rennet in 1/4 cup water.
- Blend yogurt and buttermilk together, add a small amount of
milk, whisk into 32° C milk.
- Stir in dissolved rennet thoroughly, cover, let sit in warm
spot until gelled (clean break); about 45 minutes.
- Cut curd with clean knife into ½ inch cubes..
- Re-warm to 32° C with stirring, cutting larger chunks of curd
into smaller pieces with table knife; let sit 15 minutes.
- Pour off whey, add curd to 2 qts cold
water to rinse, drain in colander.
CRITICAL STEP FOR PROPER "SPINNING" OF THE CURD:
sit at room temperature overnight to develop acidity. The final pH
should be 5.3. You can monitor the acidification using pH paper with a range of
about 4.8 to 6.2. (It might be ready in only 5-10 hours, but with goat's milk,
overnight has works best. You can tell that proper acidity is
achieved when the curd, upon heating, "spins."
Check for proper acidity using the "spinning"
- Heat 2 cups water to 85° C.
- Drop several chunks of curd in, stir gently with a fork.
- Test for acidity by pulling and folding the hot curd.
If it softens and draws into strings ("spins"), and appears glossy on
the surface, it is ready. If it breaks when you pull it, let sit several more
hours until it does.
Once the curd will "spin",
- Break or cut up
the curd into pieces about ½ inch diameter.
- Place cut curd back in shallow
glass baking pan.
- Heat ½ gallon water to 85°C.
- Pour heated water over the curd, and stir with a slotted
spoon. The temperature of the water should drop no lower than 57°C, but
should not go above 60°C. As the curd warms, it should become more
elastic, and finally "spin."
- Press or cut the hot cheese into pieces (mozzato in Italian)
and form into balls about the size of a lemon (size depends on how you wish to
use it. In Italy, they are most often about 2 inches in diameter). Stretch and
fold over and over on itself to form thin layers. The balls should be glossy
and smooth on the outside.
- Plunge into cold salted water (1 tblspn salt per quart) and store
in the refrigerator a few hours to firm up. It may be stored for several days
in this brine, but is best when it is freshest.
When freshest mozzarella is cut, the thin
"onion-like" layers should be visible, surface smooth
and tight and a texture between rubbery and soft. The "onion" layers
disappear after less than a day after making.
Idaho Web Design