Mozzarella is a fantastic cheese for just eating by its self or for cooking with. Who could have a pizza without it? While we are probably able to make our own pizza dough, did you know you could make your own Mozzarella in your microwave in about 30 minutes? Full instructions, ingredients and any specialised equipment, such as a thermometer, are available in the Mozzarella & Ricotta kit.
Here's the short version:
- 4 litres full cream milk
- 1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride diluted in ¼ cup of demineralized or non chlorinated water
- One and one half teaspoons of citric acid powder diluted in ¼ cup of demineralised or non chlorinated water
- 1/10 teaspoon of Lipase, dissolved in ¼ cup of demineralised non chlorinated water. (This is optional for increased flavour)
- ¼ rennet table or ¼ teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in ¼ cup of demineralised or non chlorinated water
- Important note: If you are using Lipase, increase the rennet to ½ a tablet or ½ a teaspoon of liquid rennet, as the addition of Lipase makes for a softer curd and the increased rennet will counteract this.
- One to one and a half teaspoons of cheese salt
- Large pot;Cheese thermometer
- Stainless steel slotted spoon
- Long bladed stainless steel knife for cutting the curd
- Microwave safe bowl large enough for your curds, if using the microwave method
- Rubber gloves
1. Pour your milk into a large stainless steel pot and add your calcium chloride, mixing in well.
2. If you are going to use Lipase for additional flavour, add this now and mix it in well.
3. Stir in your citric acid solution.
4. Using a low setting on your stove, gently heat your milk to 32 degrees C. As the milk heats it will start to curdle. Stir gently while the milk heats through.
5. Once your milk has reached 32 degrees C, add the rennet solution and stir gently but thoroughly, in an up and down motion, to ensure that the rennet solution is evenly distributed throughout your milk mixture.
6. Remove your pot from the heat and allow to set for five to ten minutes, or until you have a clean break. The curds will begin to form and appear to be shrinking and pulling away from the sides of the pot. If the curd is not firm enough to brake cleanly as you move the knife within the curd, leave for another five minutes and try again. The whey should be clear. If it is milky, wait a few more minutes. This is an important step, as if you do not achieve a clean brake your cheese will not work.
7. Cut the curd using a knife that reaches all the way to the bottom of the pot. First cut it into strips about 2 centimetres wide; then do the same across the original cuts. Then slant your knife and make cuts on as great an angle as the confines of the pot will allow, so that the result is the curd cut into evenly sized cubes.
8. Place the pot back on the heat and heat your curds to 38 to 40 degree c, stirring gently to keep the curds moving around the pot.
9. Once the desired temperature has been reached, remove the pot form the heat and stir for a few minutes more, to help the curds dispel further they. The longer you stir, the firmer the curds will be.
10. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the curds into a microwavable bowl.
11. Gently press the curds with your hands and pour off as much excess whey as you can.
12. Microwave the curds on high for one minute and then remove and again press out and drain off any additional excess whey. The cheese should begin to mass together and become sticky. Fold the cheese over itself and press like you are beginning to knead bread. It will become smooth and shiny and form into one piece.
13. Place the curd back into the microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and drain any remaining whey. Knead the cheese like bread again until in begins to cool. This time the cheese should be too hot to handle and you may need to wear rubber gloves.
14. Microwave again for 30 seconds. Knead again until the cheese is smooth and shiny, only this time; work in your salt as you are kneading. When the cheese stretches it is done.
15. If the cheese does not stretch, microwave it again for an additional 30 seconds. Note that the cheese will not stretch properly if it is below 58 degrees C.
16. When your cheese is finished, make it into two balls and drop then into cold, non chlorinated water to cool for a few minutes.
This cheese can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to one week or stored in the freezer for one month. If your cheese is too soft to shred for pizza, place it in the freezer then shred and use it partly frozen.
Happy cheese making!