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SECO Step by Step - Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

Submitted by: Vicki (Minnie) Australia

This recipe is from Rikki Carroll's 30 minute Mozzarella (see Ricki's site) I found the steps helpful on her site but there were some things that just worked differently for me, which meant the first time I made this cheese I thought it was ruined and threw it out. I hope between Ricki's steps and mine that you find success with this 30 min, microwave mozzarella. It's not gourmet cheese but it has good stretchy, tastes and looks like mozzarella. It's great for pizza and toasted sandwiches. Some photos of steps are missing and each time I make this cheese I will look to filling in the gaps.

FIRST: Get all your tools ready

Tools

  • Double boiler (stainless steel, both from Crazy Clarks @ $10 each)
  • Slotted spoon (stainless steel from Woolies)
  • Microwave safe dish (I got this $2 one from Crazy Clarks)
  • Colander (stainless steel from Woolies)
  • High heat resistant rubber gloves (Woolies)
  • Thermometer (I have a digital one, I find it easy to read)
  • Citric Acid (from Woolies)
  • Rennet (I get mine from cheeselinks.com.au)
  • Scales (or use spoon measures)
  • Ice (to put in water and quickly chill the finished cheese)

Note: Makes:approx 400g dependant on skimming the cream

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 7ml citric acid dissolved in 60ml (1/4 cup) of cool water.
  • 4 litres of whole milk (I didn't pastuerise it's up to you) Ricki also talks about supermarket milk, I don't buy milk at the supermarket but if you want to try this with supermarket milk I'd get the full cream milk 'not homogenised'.
  • 1ml lipase (optional, I don't use it)
  • 1ml liquid rennet diluted in 60ml water (1/4 cup) (Ricki says unchlorinated water I did boiled then cooled water as I was taught)
  • 5ml of salt, (not iodised preserving/cheese salt)

Notes:

1. I make up my rennet with the water and hold it in a jar, and the same with the citric in water. I also have the salt ready for then end, as it makes the steps easier and everything is on hand when the tempuratures are correct.

2. Rennet - I boil the syringe and small dish I use for the rennet to steralise. Then when the dish is cool and dry I pour some rennet from the bottle into the dish (this ensures the rennet stays steralised and you don't put anything into it). Then I syringe from the dish 1ml and squirt into the 1/4 cup of boiled, cooled water.


STEP ONE: Heat milk

Pour 4 litres of milk into your double boiler (water in the bottom boiler so the milk doesn't burn), bring the tempurature up to 13 degrees (celsius) and then pour in the disolved citric acid and water and stir through the milk to mix it well.

Keep heating the milk until it reaches 32 degrees (celsius) .

Once it's 32 degrees (celsius) pour the rennet and stir with a chopping up and down motion to mix, not too roughly though.

STEP TWO: Developing the Curd

Turn off the heat and keep the milk sitting in the double boiler with water (I move it over to a bench), the milk will continue to heat up to about 38-40 degrees (celsius).

I used to take the temperature at this stage but find it's better to just watch the curd developing.

STEP THREE: Checking the Curd

When the curd begins to pull away from the sides it's usually set.

You can use the back of your finger to pull it a bit to see if it's done. In this photo the large portion pulled away is from when I checked to see it's development.

The whey will be a greeny colour at this time, if it's still milky leave it a bit longer for the curd to keep forming.

I notice the top often looks as though it's 'curdled' a bit, but it hasn't.

 

STEP FOUR: Cut the curd

With a long big knife cut the curd into squares approx 25-30mm (1").

STEP FIVE: Drain the whey

Using a slotted spoon, spoon out the curd into a colander, I rarely have the curd stay square like as Ricki's steps show, so it looks sloppy but formed.

 

STEP SIX: Squeeze the whey out of the curd

Spoon it all out and then push the curd to push out the whey, the more whey squeezed out the dryer the cheese. Try different amounts to see which you prefer, I like it dryer.

Turn the colander on the side while pushing helps to get the whey out.

Note: Ricki Carroll uses the whey to make ricotta, I didn't have success with the whey from this recipe with my whey ricotta recipe. Usually I just give to the chooks. If I make the Ricki Carroll one I'll post here how it goes. Ricotta made on whey is lovely and especially good if made on mozzarella whey.

STEP SEVEN: Place into microwave dish

Now it's ready to microwave. Mozzarella needs to reach a high tempurature to stretch, normally approx 80 degrees (celsius) so the microwave heats the curd so that it's very hot to handle.

Here's where you put on the rubber gloves (no it doesn't make the cheese taste of rubber).

Put the bowl with curd into the microwave on high for one minute.

STEP EIGHT: Microwave curd

Take the curd out of the microwave, at this point mine always looks like 'very' melted cheese (this photo is from a separated milk version, it wasn't as creamy or as nice as the full cream version).


Fold it onto itself like kneading bread and drain out the excess whey.

Be careful the entire cheese doesn't slip out, it's tricky.

You'll notice it starts coming back to together, form into a ball and return to the microwave for 35 secs (I do 30 secs in mine).

Remove and fold over and over again, I add the salt before kneading this time.

Return for another 30-35 secs and remove.

STEP NINE: Almost there

Now you stretch the cheese and fold on itself a few times. If it starts to break it's too much so give it another 30 secs in the microwave to get it back.

Form into a ball.

STEP TEN: Chill quickly

Place into ice water immediately and leave for approx 30 mins.

The ice water stop the cheese from continuing to heat (cook).

Note: I put the cheese into a freezer bag and tie tighly so I can keep the shape a bit better, I found the cheese spread more without putting it into a bag.

STEP ELEVEN: Finished

From the 4 litres I get approx 400g of mozzarella, plenty for us to use for pizza and toasted sandwiches.

The textures good and I have noticed that over time making this on a regular basis it gets easier, quicker and the quality has improved.

Give it a go!

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