Fresh Mozzarella from a Gallon of Milk

If you are new to cheese making, please read Beginning Cheese Making carefully. Mozzarella is a challenging cheese and should not be attempted as your first cheese. This is a recipe to make a fresh mozzarella which I have developed from a recipe for pasta filata (a type of cheese of which mozzarella is one example) found on an Kenyan Cheesemaking site.

The modified recipe is more straightforward, easier and  dependable than the traditional Italian Fresh Mozzarella I posted on the web in the Summer of 2000. It requires preparation of the curd the night before, allowing the curd to mature in a warm place overnight, and then warmed and molded the next morning.

Stages of Mozzarella

There are six stages to making this mozzarella, many of which follow the general outline of most cheese preparation:

  1. INOCULATION
    Bacterial starter is added to slightly acidify the milk so rennet works
  2. COAGULATION
    Rennet is added which causes acidified milk protein to coagulate
  3. CUTTING THE CURD
    Curd is cut to allow the whey (liquid remnant of milk) to be expressed
  4. ACIDIFICATION
    Curds are kept warm for 8 hours, allowing bacteria to further acidify
  5. MELTING
    Acidified curds are stirred with hot water causing them to melt together
  6. MOLDING AND BRINING
    The soft curd mass is kneaded into balls, cooled and placed in brine

Ingredients

Day 1

  • 1 gallon fresh milk
  • 1/4th cup cultured buttermilk
  • ½ tablet rennet

Day 2

  • ½ gallon 85 C water
  • ½ gallon ice water
  • 1/4 cup salt Equipment

Equipment

Day 1

  • 1 ½ gallon pot with thick heavy bottom and well fitting cover
    sterilized by boiling 1/2 inch water covered, 5 minutes
  • thermometer, 0-110 C (32-230 F)
  • whisk
  • long bladed knife

Day 2

  • 1 gallon bowl
  • ½ gallon jar with lid
  • slotted spoon

Illustrated Stages

Inoculation

 

Coagulation

Cutting the Curd

Acidification

Melting

Molding and Brining

After completing those steps, be sure to:

  1. Drop the cooled mozzarella balls in the brine, cover and refrigerate.
  2. After 12-24 hours, remove from brine, place balls in zip lock bags until used. (Do not leave too long in the brine, or the surface will soften.)
  3. Use within several days or a week of preparation.  Fresher is better.

Related

Beginning Cheese Making

Buttermilk

Troubleshooting a Clean Break, Cheese Making

Mozzarella, Italian

Rennet for Making Cheese

Ricotta Cheese

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