Making Mozzarella in One Hour!
I like to make my own cheese at home and have had success with Ricotta, Halloumi and Feta but Mozzarella has always evaded me and I have never been able to get it to stretch. It is also the most expensive to buy here in NZ at around $15 for 100 grammes so it is well worth mastering! The Muriwai Girls who I cook with wanted me to do a class and show them how to make Mozzarella so I knew what I needed to do was go back and see NZs cheese guru who first showed me how to make cheese, Katherine Mowbray. I’m sure Katherine won’t mind me calling her the cheese guru, since she has been making and teaching people to make cheese for many years and is also involved in cheese making awards. She holds classes all over New Zealand, which are such a pleasure to go to as Katherine has a wonderful way of presenting to a crowd.
Anyway, Katherine fixed my problem, my curds weren’t acidic enough to ‘stretch’ and she just happened to be showing a new method that allows you to make Mozzarella in an hour with the help of a little addition of citric acid. Normally the curds are left at least a day in the fridge to create their own acid but this method requires measuring the PH to ensure it is ready to create Mozzarella with. Katherine calls this Mozzarellia since it is not the ‘official’ way of making it.
I made 3 batches with this new method which all came out perfect so I knew it was time to show the girls my new found trick. Thanks Katherine. Six girls, 2 litres of milk each and they all work out perfect and we had a lot of fun at the same time, I highly recommend it. Below are a few action shots and the recipe.
If you are too nervous to make it yourself, look for one of Katherine’s classes if you are in NZ or if you are in Auckland give me a shout.
Ingredients & Method – makes 3 medium balls
1. In a pan add;
- 2 litres full cream milk (not homogenized)
- ½ tsp salt (not iodine salt)
- 1tsp citric acid (dilute with 1 tsp water)
2. Gently heat to 32C, use a water bath if you are not confident with the milk.
- ½ tsp rennet (diluted with ½ tsp water)
4. Stir well and leave for 20 minutes to allow curds to form.
5. Cut curds into 1 cm cubes with a knife.
6. Heat gently to 41C slowly forming the curd into a ball with a slotted spoon, take your time the process should take about 15 minutes so it stabilises properly. This should gradually come together into a ‘milk brain’ shape. Do not force or squeeze the curd together. Do not over heat. Remove from heat.
7. In a small pan heat some sterilized water to 70C.
8. Place a ball of curd into the hot water (inside a sift for ease of lifting out) to cook & stretch the curd. Roll around with a wooden spoon. It should start to become stretchy/sticky.
9. Take the ball out of the hot water and stretch (do not pull, let gravity do the work) then fold, then shape into a ball shape.
10. Plunge into a bowl of ice cold water. This helps cool the cheese quickly and retain its shape.
11. Eat immediately or it can be retained in the fridge in a sealed container for a few days only. Remember, it has no preservatives!
(note; To acidic will be too stretchy. Not enough acid, will snap so use exact citric acid offered)