Living in the desert, In the cactus, In the way out here, I discovered something heart wrenching. Dominos does not deliver. I did not think it was possible to raise kids in a place that did not deliver pizza, cheesy bread and little molten chocolate cakes. But it is. Sadly, it is.
1) Milk: I tried making mozzarella cheese with the milk I found at the grocery store with no luck. Too pasteurized, which is good for humans, bad for cheese. Getting Milk directly from the dairy was not an option for me either because I am terrified of all things bacteria and temperature related. I want any chance of mad cow or weird heifer disease eradicated before I cook with it and I don’t possess the brains or technology for that. I did however come up with a milk plan ( thank you Rikki the Cheese queen) which consists of powdered milk and Cream. Worked like a dream. Make a gallon of powdered milk according to directions and add a pint of whipping cream or whole cream from your local dairy. pasteurization is not an issue here. I have no idea why.
1 gallon of your milk mix
2 teaspoons of citric acid dissolved in 1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon of vegetable rennet ( I use liquid mixed in 1/4 cup water but you can also get the tablets.)
1/4 cup cheese salt or to taste.
I”ll give you a link at the end of this post as to where to get all this cool stuff.
Make sure everything is very clean. You don’t want any floaties in your cheese. You will need a thermometer for this as well. Pour your citric acid mixture into a large cooking pot and pour the milk on top of it. Stir to mix thoroughly. Slowly heat to 90 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. I have an electric stove so at this point I simply turn off the burner and it stays heated for a time. If you don’t, you could set this in a hot water bath, just so it will cool slowly. Add rennet mixture and stir for about a minute to incorporate. Put a lid on it and wait 15 minutes for the curds to set up. You should be able to pull the curds away from the side of the pan and see a separation from the curds and whey.
4. Phase 2: Cut the curds which is completely different from cut the cheese, not to confuse the two. Cut them into 2 inch squares, stir ever so slightly and allow to sit for another 15 minutes.
5. Phase 3.
Drain the whey from the curds by using a lid. Drain as much as possible without losing the curds. Place the curds in a microwave safe bowl and add cheese salt. DONT forget this salt. It makes all the difference in how the cheese tastes. Microwave for 1 minute. Knead it and drain off the whey. Knead it some more and remove more whey. It’s going to be hot so if you’re a bit of a sissy, get your gloves. Put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds. While this is going on, get a bowl of cool water ready, large enough to put your cheese in. Knead and pull your cheese until it is shiny and elastic. Drain off whey. Repeat one more time. Shape into a ball and place in the cool water to cool for about 5 minutes.
6. Phase 4: Do NOT resist the urge to taste it now, while it’s warm. Just a little. Then refrigerate. It’s super Yummy and fresh mozzarella is so good. I love this cheese partly because you dont have to age it. It’s ready to eat!
Cheese making supplies at the New England Cheese Making Supply Company http://www.cheesemaking.com/