Friday, June 26, 2009

I Made Cheese!

Earlier in the week, while visiting our family in Hico, my sister-in-law Jennifer taught me how to make mozzarella cheese. It was actually a pretty simple process.

Start with 1 gallon of milk--this is whole, raw milk that they buy from a local farm family.

Pour it into a large pot, place a thermometer in and start it simmering. When the temperature reaches 55 degrees, add citric acid that has been dissolved in water. Once the temperature hits 88, add part of a rennent tablet that has been dissolved in water. After that addition, you let it simmer until it reaches 100 degrees. At that point, remove the pot from the heat.

Remove the solid part (curd) and place it in a bowl. Drain more whey off and push/knead the curd to remove as much of the liquid as possible. You repeat the process of removing the whey three more times, placing it in the microwave for 30 seconds in between times. Once you've done that and removed as much liquid as possible, you begin stretching the cheese.

Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the stretching part.
When the cheese is to the consistency you like, reform it and place in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. You can keep stretching and eventually end up with a string cheese.
The cheese was very mild. Jennifer used it on homemade pizza the next day.

Very fun, educational and tasty!