Making fresh mozzarella cheese

Lars

I found this site that sells equipment for making cheese, and I thought I might try making mozzarella cheese. All I need is rennet and calcium chloride, plus the milk, of course, and I'm not sure which milk I should use for this. Do I need to look for raw milk? I have citric acid, although I'm not sure why. I think I bought it because I happened to see it on a store shelf and thought I might need it at some time. Unfortunately, I have a lot of ingredients like this. I also have cheesecloth for the same reason. I was thinking of using this recipe from the same site. I noticed that some people on the Pizza Making Forum make their own, and it seems easy enough.

When I lived in Venice, there was a restaurant supply store a block away across the street from me that sold fresh buffalo mozzarella, and so I would go there to buy it just when I needed it, but now I have to go at least a mile to the nearest market, and so that's nothing something I do on a simple whim. I think there is one market I can get to on my bike without going on any major streets, and I'll have to remember to try that. There may be some steep hills between here and there, but I do have a 27 speed mountain bike, and so that should not be an issue, and that might help get me back into riding my bike more often.

What tips do you have for making fresh mozzarella? What milk do you use? Do you use rennet tablets or liquid rennet? I was concerned about storing liquid rennet or spoilage during shipping.

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lindac92

I am wondering if I can make mozzarella from lactaid milk......that would be lovely if it would work!

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plllog

Linda, I've made ricotta from Lactaid and it came out great. I'm sure mozzarella would work just as well.

I can heartily endorse New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. (the linked site). You might enjoy their moosletter.

Lars, I've only made mozzarella once, but it worked out fine. I don't remember which recipe I used, but I did use liquid rennet. I didn't have any trouble with the shipment. It stores well in the fridge, but has a limited life. It still worked for me beyond its date, but that's to be expected. Well, beyond the date, I got rid of it. I'm not sure if it freezes, but some of the cheesemaking supplies do.

That was before I had the immersion circulator. That makes cheesemaking a lot easier! But once you've done it a few times, it's just an extra chore. One can buy such fab cheese so easily! So I generally limit it to things I can't buy, like the lactose free ricotta and the hoop cheese for blintzes.

You don't need raw milk, just not ultra pasteurized. I use Clover Organic. I don't know of a source for buffalo, but there might be one. They have Clover for sure at Whole Foods, and I think at most Ralphs as well. It seems to be more and more available in SoCal (they're from up North).

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Lars

I ordered the tablets because I thought they would store better, but I think I will keep them in the freezer or refrigerator.

Yes, I can buy fresh mozzarella di bufala at the grocery store, but it is fairly expensive and has a short shelf life, and so I thought it might be worthwhile to make my own fresh mozzarella. There are water buffalo farms/ranches in California (one that I know of in SoCal), but I think all of the milk goes into making cheese and is not sold as milk. I think the other farm is in Sonoma County and is somewhat smaller.

I generally shop at Bristol Farms instead of Whole Foods, and I think they may have Clover Organic, as they have a very extensive selection of milk, including goats' milk, which I will not be using.

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annie1992

Lars, I took a cheesemaking class and the first thing we learned to make was mozzarella, it was drop over easy to do. The only issue I had was that I didn't knead or pull it enough, you have to pull it while it's hot, and many people in the class wore rubber gloves to handle it. I think if you do the microwave heating method it's easier to handle than the way we did it in class, which was to dunk the balls of cheese into the hot whey.

I have Ricki Carroll's book on cheesemaking, so I use her 30 minute mozzarella recipe, I think most of them are pretty much the same.

I have used the Country Dairy milk I get here, they're local, and I've used some from Hilhof, which is a small local organic dairy. They both worked, just make sure they are not ultra-pasturized. I have only used whole milk, never any reduced fat milk.

And, when you are done with the whey, don't throw it out. Add another quart of milk and with just a few more steps you have bonus ricotta from the whey left after the mozzarella

Ricotta

Whey from one gallon of whole milk used to make mozzarella

1 quart whole milk or half and half

1/4 cup cider vinegar

In the pot you made the mozzarella, add the milk or half and half to the whey. Heat to 200F. Stir every minute or two so that you don't boil it or it will taste burned.

Once the temperature gets to 200F, which will take 25 or 20 minutes, stir in the vinegar then remove the pot from the heat. Let it sit 5 minutes for the vinegar to acidify the whey.

Pour the whey into a colander lined with a couple of layers of cheesecloth and let the whey drain through the cloth into a bowl. It will take about 20 minutes to completely drain and what you have left is ricotta. Refrigerate and enjoy!

I can't wait to see what you do with your homemade cheese...

I'm editing this to add the old thread, with pictures I took from that cheesemaking class, so you can see what the milk/cheese looks like at different steps.

https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/2483452/cheesemaking-101-what-i-did-today

Annie



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plllog

Annie, thanks for posting that! I never have enough whey and don't want to freeze and gather it. I do, however, have the whey left from a gallon of milk when I make the hoop cheese.


Lars, buying the milk is just as expensive, or more, than buying the cheese! I'm not sure how well fresh cheese freezes (dry cheese does fine). People here freeze whole milk successfully, IIRC. So that might be a way to take advantage of sales. In general, however, the best reason to make your own is for the fun and bragging rights. ;)

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Lars

Bragging rights are not important to me - I am more concerned with efficiency. I have the time at home to make this, and I do not expect it to taste as good as what I can buy, but I might find a way to make it more to my liking.

Annie, I am saving your instructions for ricotta, as that is something I have been wanting to make but as yet have not. Thanks for the link to 2009 cheesemaking, I don't think I missed that thread, but I guess I was not ready for cheesemaking ten years ago!

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I learned from the VermontLady years ago. (I have the tablets).

Even though I can get fresh, sometimes warm/fresh, in NY, from my local market. Even smoked fresh straight from a bullet smoker on the sidewalk from a deli in Brooklyn, I still like making my own. I can use better milk and enjoy fresher than most purchased. We only make it to enjoy warm/room temp. With garden tomatoes and fresh basil.

I did find Annie's post above but did not find mine. (buried in a 'what's for dinner' vintage post I'm guessing)

Check out CulturesForHealth. link HERE

Good recipes and another good supplier. We have made many of the soft cheeses.

Mozzarella is silly easy but I did find the first batch or two did have a learning curve. Just watch a few videos.

The first try will not be 30 minutes. You will be searching for the best heavy bottomed pot for the milk, (Do low and slow), and the best vessel you have on hand for the warm bath, etc. So give it an hour. The easy soft cheeses will open the gates for so many more.

I do find it much cheaper to make my own but not necessarily why I make it. I control the quality of the milk, organic, pasteurized, and can add fresh herbs to a cheve spread with toasted garlic, green onion, fresh basil, rosemary.

If you have access to freshly made mozzarella like I do, where is the curd/milk from? Organic would be a bit pricy. I've not noticed a label using better quality milk. Most of the NYC Italian markets get their curd in a cardboard plastic lined vat. A box. Already separated. The whey goes to other uses like protein powders/drinks. (?)

Cannot compare the price value/comparison without knowing where your local fresh mozzarella is made.





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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Lars, once you get the basics focused, it will be so much better than purchased. like most home made product. It is so much better than anything you can buy.

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dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

Every time I was thinking of making mozz cheese, stores cheese go on sale for $3.99 - $2.99 a lb. I have a freezer full of mozz cheese.


For fun, I do want to try to make some using dehydrated milk..


dcarch

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Lars

Thanks for that link, Sleevendog. I think I have enough to go on now, once I receive my tablets.

I am somewhat interested in using dehydrated milk, as that is what I normally have on hand, but Kevin has started buying whole milk for his coffee, and so we do have some on hand now, but if it requires a whole gallon, then I would not have leftover milk. I noticed that the recipe for mozzarella said you could use goats' milk, but I don't think I will be doing that - at least not at first.

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plllog

Lars, I can't imagine dry working. You need the living milk to make cheese. If Ultra-pasteurization kills to milk beyond cheesemaking, what must drying do to it?

Sleevendog, I'm not surprised that your local joints are making theirs from industrial curds. Here, we're not getting it warm out of the vat, and I understand why you prefer making it for that purpose, but we do get small dairy made fresh mozz, which is very good, as well as large dairy made fresh style mozz which in pizza or lasagna is good enough not to notice the difference.


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Lars

Thanks for the correction!!

This recipe combines cream with dried milk.

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plllog

Oh, dear, NO, Lars! I was on the iPad and must have accidentally brushed the "d" without noticing. I'm so sorry! Why couldn't it have been the "q"?

So, this is where my understanding of the process was flawed. I didn't realize you were talking about one of their recipes, which I'd trust to be reliable. The explanation for why it works (which I also trust) is very different from what I'd thought, that the protein doesn't break down in the drying process. Thanks for linking the recipe and teaching me something important.

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Lars

I know you can make yogurt from dried milk, and I think that would taste okay (although I will not be doing this), and I will most likely stick with fresh milk for the mozzarella, as I have to think it will taste better. I buy Nestle powdered milk, which comes from Mexico, and it has a very good flavor when reconstituted, although I do not drink it. In fact, I do not drink milk at all, except very occasionally in a White Russian.

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donna_in_sask

It is very easy to make. I use regular whole milk, citric acid and liquid vegetable rennet. If you want the recipe, I can post it here. When ready to form, I prefer the microwave method because I don't like dealing with scorching hot cheese.

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Lars

I've wondered how liquid vegetable rennet would work, but I've already ordered the regular rennet tablets. Do you notice a difference with vegetable rennet? I think I would like to try that.

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plllog

I used the liquid vegetable rennet and it worked fine. For mozzarella, I don't think you have to be too picky. Cheeses that require more craftsmanship might show some differences.

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dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

Making smoked mozz was easy for me because my smoker is refrigerated.


dcarch

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donna_in_sask

Lars,

I've never used the tablets, only the liquid type (both vegetable and animal). I have had very good results with vegetable rennet. It needs to be refrigerated so that may be an issue for some people. I can get it at my local organic food store and also at the farm supply place so don't have to order it.

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party_music50

I've only ever made ricotta (once) and it was wonderful. My BF had mistakenly bought a gallon of 1% milk, so I decided to try ricotta based on a recipe I found on the net. I really should make it again. Just wanted to say that my sister told me that she uses the whey to make bread.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Just a note. Grainlady uses powdered milk as I was reminded doing a search. She has bulk storage and cycles through it all. I have powdered milk, goat and regular in the freezer. Not bulk. We do not use much milk at all so never purchase as it goes off quickly. Powdered is handy to have. (I buy fresh for cheese).

Buying a gallon for cheese making?, just pour off a 1/2 pint or pint for your brothers use. The quantity needed for cheese making is not at all like baking. A missing cup or so from a gallon does not really mater. (in my experience)

This reminds me I need to purge my fridge freezer. I have a half gallon I intended to make some queso fresca a couple weeks ago. Bummer I never got around to it. I like to purchase the day of or day before to not be wasteful.

Alex is really good and entertaining. he has a few videos preceding and visited Italy learning from pro cheese makers. He did fail at first, then paid attention.



I did not have good videos when I made my first. I like to see it made live, not just a recipe and photos. I failed at first, then was determined and did not give up.




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