There are few things I enjoy eating more than cheese. Back in May, I caught the cheese making bug when I made goats cheese with my friend Kat. This time I’ve flexed my cheese making muscles and made mozzarella. It’s magic! Here’s how I did it…
I kickstarted the process with 4.5 litres of full fat milk and some citric acid.
When I mixed the two together the milk started to curdle. You can see little curds forming in this photo.
After heating to the correct temperature and adding the rennet, my milk started to look more like curd soup. Then I covered it and left it to rest for a while.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the curds after leaving them to rest! The smaller curds came together to form a semi-solid layer at the top. I cut this layer up with a knife and returned it to the heat. Once back on the hob, the curds broke up a little and the yellow liquid you can see is the whey.
These lovely big curds were spooned into a bowl ready for the next stage. I didn’t have a slotted spoon so I used a turner to scoop mine out. It was like trying to catch a goldfish with a spatula but I got there!
You might be looking at this bowl of curds wondering how on earth this will become mozzarella. I did tell you it was magic. The next stage was stretching. This could be done in one of two ways; with a microwave or without. I chose the microwave method this time. I heated the curds in the microwave then kneaded the whey out. It was starting to look like cheese!
And then it was time for the fun bit… stretching. On reflection, my microwave is a little low in wattage so I don’t think I managed quite enough heat for a proper stretch. Even so, I think I did pretty well for my first attempt. I made 2 balls of plain cheese and one red chilli ball with chillies from the garden.
After rolling my mozzarella into balls I dropped them into cold water to set the shape.
30 minutes later it was ready to slice and taste. It was really rich and creamy and the texture was light.
After pondering how to eat our cheese, we decided to make pizza. I made some pizza dough and we smothered the bases with passata, pesto, sundried tomato, onion, pepper and chilli mozzarella.
The result was seriously tasty pizza with bubbling mozzarella. Yummy! One batch of dough made 3 big pizzas so we reheated the leftovers in the skillet the next day to crisp the bases up nicely.
I’m not sure if I’ve done the Italians proud, my tastebuds sure are happy. Making this cheese was good fun and much easier than I thought it would be. One of the best things about making it yourself is knowing exactly what has gone into it. If I use milk from happy cows, free from nasty things like growth hormones, my cheese will be the same. I hope this step by step post has inspired you to give it a go :)
I used the Big Cheese Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit. This great little kit contains step by step instructions, ingredients (minus the milk of course) and apparatus to make both mozzarella and ricotta. Big Cheese make a range of kits and if you aren’t sure which one to go for, their recipes might help you decide. Once I’ve made ricotta, I’ll let you know how I got on.
Big Cheese kindly sent me the Mozzarella And Ricotta Cheese Making Kit to review. All thoughts, opinions and photography are my own.