Making your own cheese is a wonderfully rewarding experience! Not only do you know exactly what is going into your cheese and are saving money in the process, but you are creating an awesome, educational experience you share with family and friends!
Now, the first step to successful cheese making is to have the proper equipment on hand. For making your own quick and easy goat mozzarella, here’s what you’ll need:
1. A heavy stainless steel or enamel pot. A non-reactive pot is important, because acidifying milk can dissolve aluminum.
2. Curd knife.
3. Measuring cups.
4. Measuring spoons.
5. An accurate thermometer which reads 32-225 F (0-100 C) is very important. A candy or meat thermometer will work. The reason an accurate thermometer is so very important for cheese making is because the texture of your cheese relies on getting the called-for temperatures.
6. Either a good whisk or something that will help you to thoroughly stir in rennet.
7. A colander or cheesecloth.
2 gallons of milk
2 1/2 teaspoons citric acid powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet or 1/4 rennet tablet
1 cup cool water, divided in half
1 teaspoon cheese salt (optional)
(To convert this to a 1 gallon recipe, go ahead and just put in half of everything listed.)
In your stainless or enamel pot add the cool milk. Dissolve the citric acid powder in 1/2 cup of water and add, then add to milk. Stir well. Bring the temperature of the milk to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the rennet with the other 1/2 cup of cool water and stir into the milk.
Allow the mixture to set at 88 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes to coagulate. After setting for 15 minutes, the curd should be firm to the touch. Cut into about 1 inch squares with your curd knife. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Then place the pot of curds into a sink of very hot water and slowly bring the temperature up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Curds will shrink during this process. Keep the curds at 108 degrees for 35 minutes. Drain the curds for 15 minutes either in your colander or cheesecloth (you can add your 1 teaspoon of salt at this point, mixing it into the cheese with your hands). If using a cheesecloth, you’ll have to tie it with something to a deep bowl or pot (something clean to catch the whey that will drip out of your mozzarella).
I recommend saving the whey to make ricotta with or heat treating your curds if you use the stove top method rather than the microwave method. When the curds have drained, they are ready to be heat treated to get their stretch.
Microwave Mozzarella Method:
Seperate your curds into about two equal part and put half in a microwave safe plate or bowl. Heat on high for 50-60 seconds.
Take out and work the cheese with either your hands or the back of a spoon. This process is a lot like kneading dough. Place the cheese back into the microwave safe dish and heat on high again for 25 seconds.
Remove from microwave and work the cheese again, stretching and shaping it. Work into a soft ball shape with the hands and allow to cool. Cheese will become opaque and shiny.
Wrap in plastic wrap or freeze for later use. Cheese will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. I love using this cheese on pizza, lasagna, omelets, and many other things! Bon appetit!