Being a bit of an old Hippie at heart, in the sense that I like home-made foods, I thought I would try to make my own cheese. But I wasn’t prepared to go it alone, so I enlisted the help of Mad Millie, a cheese making kit. Today I tried making Italian cheese – “Mozzarella.” Here is how it went:
I needed a slotted spoon, large pot, Citric acid, calcium carbonate, vegetarian rennet, salt, 4 litres full cream (non homogenised ) Milk.
1. You have to be clean and sterilise all utensils and pots first.
2. Then heat some milk that has NOT been homogenised (pasteurised is ok, but it has to be non- homogenised) to 13 Degrees Celsius or if you are in a hot climate you might have to refrigerate it to this temperature.
( I used Maleny Dairies milk, if you live in Queensland), unless you are lucky enough to have access to fresh milk from the farm.
3. Add 2 mls of Calcium chloride to help clot the milk and 2 teaspoon of citric acid diluted in some cool non-chlorinated water.
4. Mix thoroughly with a slotted spoon and heat to 32 degrees Celsius – you must keep stirring at this point..
5. Add in 1 tablet of rennet (supplied by Mad Millie), diluted in cool non-chlorinated water and mix thoroughly with the slotted spoon.
6.Put the lid on the pan and set aside for 30 minutes so the milk can set.
8. Slowly heat the curd to 42 degrees celsius whilst stirring VERY GENTLY. Don’t rip into the curd, stirring it like a mix-master on warp speed!
9. Gently lift out the curd and drain in a colander lined with butter muslin cloth for 5 minutes.
10. Have a bowl of salted ice cold water ready and a pot of water heated to 70 degrees Celsius.
11. With the slotted spoon, take a handful of curd and lower it into the hot water. Immerse it several times until it obtains a glossy smooth texture.
12. Now you can begin to fold it and stretch it over and over and over, turning 90 degrees each time, until it resembles the even texture of Mozzarella cheese then squeeze it through a closed fist to make the characteristic mozzarella shape.
13. At this point, you can dunk it in the ice water and allow it to cool.
14. Let it sit in the cold water for 20 minutes and then you can eat it.
Delicious on pizzas. Lovely fresh, home-made mozzarella. There is nothing like it.
Is it economical? If you make several batches, then yes. You do have to remember it is fresh cheese and it does not have preservatives. So you must be prepared to eat it within a few days. I am going to experiment to see if it freezes well. Something to ponder about by people with food sensitivities as they know exactly what is in the food they are eating.
More info at http://www.madmillie.com