Well the dairy has been running for six years now, and finally, kinda due to life's quirks of circumstance, I have the time this summer to seriously pursue cheesemaking. Emphasis on seriously. Mozzarella cheese from skim cow's milk is the objective.
Until now, we have built up our dairy inventory to include raw yogurt, pasturized yogurt, raw butter, ghee, sour cream, ice cream, and basic farmers cheese. Ghee is king, hence the desire to make skim milk Mozzarella.
One year, on a whim, we tried an experimental wheel of Emmentaler, and boy did we get a big dose of happy beginners luck! I doubt that would happen so good on the second try. Never rolled those dice again.
So do any of you have a good recipe for traditional Mozzarella from cow's milk? I have the standard resources, mainly Margaret Morris' cheesemaking book and also Ricki Carroll's book.
First hand experience is always best though. I plant to start making a ten gallon batch once a week, and storing the cheese in brine in the cellar. In between milking the cow and putting the Mozzarella into brine, I am all questions, and all ears.
Adam - Here's one that we've liked, it's just a traditional mozzarella recipe, simple, but good and doesn't incorporate using a microwave as some people have caved into...
Traditional Mozzarella Recipe
Yield: About 1 pound of cheese
Ingredients: • 1 gallon whole milk
• 1/4 tsp Thermo B (thermophilic starter culture)
• 3/4 tsp liquid rennet, diluted in 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water • Kosher salt without anti-caking agents (Diamond Crystal brand recommended) or cheese salt
Instructions: 1. Set out your milk an hour before getting started to bring closer to room temperature.
2. Slowly heat the milk to 95°F (see above instructions for doing this with a water bath setup) and turn off the heat source once that temperature is reached.
3. Sprinkle the Thermo B starter over the milk and allow it to rehydrate to 5 minutes. Then gently whisk the starter into the milk using an up and down motion. Cover the milk and maintain the temperature at 90°F to 95°F for 45 minutes.
4. Add the diluted rennet, whisking gently with the same up and down motion to distribute. Cover and rest again for 1 hour, keeping the temperature at 90°F to 95°F.
5. Once a clean break in the curd can be observed, cut the curds into 1/2″ pieces. Cover again and rest the curds for 30 minutes, maintaining the same temperature range.
6. Turn on the heat at a low setting and slowly raise the temperature of the curd mixture to 105°F, stirring occasionally to prevent the curds from clumping. Remove from the heat. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
7. Transfer the curds to a colander lined with butter muslin or cheesecloth and drain 15 minutes. The curds should meld into a lumpy block.
8. Check the temperature of the whey and heat to a range of 102°F to 105°F if necessary. Return the curd block to the whey, covering or wrapping as necessary to maintain the whey temperature. Rest the curd for up to 2 hours, checking the pH every 30 minutes until it reaches 4.9 to 5.2.
9. Remove the curd block from the whey, draining briefly, and slice into 1″ cubes. Transfer the cubes to a large stainless steel or other non-reactive bowl.
10. Heat the water from the water bath to a range of 170°F to 180°F. Sprinkle a few teaspoons of Kosher salt over the cheese cubes and pour in enough hot water to cover the curds.
11. The heat will begin to melt the curds together. Wearing heat-resistant gloves, slightly knead the curds into a large ball while still submerged in the hot water. Lift the ball out of the water and stretch into a long rope. Then fold the rope of cheese over itself a few times and return to the hot water. Repeat 2 to 3 times. When stretched, the curd should appear glossy and smooth.
12. While submerged in the hot water, divide the cheese into the amounts to be shaped. Work with one at a time to form into a tight, smooth ball, pulling the top outward and tucking the ends into the center of the ball. Once formed, place the shaped cheese into a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. The finished cheese can be stored, refrigerated, in a light brine or sealed with a FoodSaver or similar sealing appliance.
thanks Ollie, I like the look of that recipe. Interesting that you rest the curds in the whey after cutting. I plan to add a little Lipase powder because I love that flavor.
Do you wear gloves when you cook and stretch the curds? In the past, I have used boiling water, requiring gloves. This also tends to overcook the curd, so maybe that approach is a total bust all around.
Any tips on knowing when the curds are done cooking and stretching? This seems to be the art of the technique.
thanks again for sharing
Adam - It was my understanding that by having the curds resting in the warm whey brings down the pH to the proper level (4.9 - 5.2) which tells you when it's time to stretch and form the cheese. Maybe you are not using the pH Stix/strips..?
Gloves are not something that I like or usually wear, but in the case or 160 - 175 degrees, I have to give in...this goes pretty quickly, tho' I've not made/processed 10 gallons at a time, the cubes melt quickly, begin looking shiny & glossy in the salted water, limit to just 3 stretches (you can stretch too much) and snake-like folding back together upon itself, dipping/dunking into the hot water after each good stretch and lastly into ice water for a firm ending.
Leila Rich wrote:Adam, have you found a good mozzarella recipe yet?
Well, I have made three batches now, mostly following the recipe at the top of this thread. It is turning out suprisingly good, though I still would like the texture to be a little bit softer. I am going to make another batch today, hopefully will take some pics and share.
Still looking for tips on that perfect mozzarella ball...
We've made Ricki's microwave cheese a bunch of times, and have recently started adding the lipase, but it's hard to improve on the raw milk. Her Montasio recipe was our best cheese so far though.
An idea for what to do with the whey: I soak chicken scratch in it until it's mostly absorbed, then give it to the birds. I know I could make ricotta, but honestly, that's not going to float to the top when we are only doing 1 gallon batches and the yield would be a half cup. I'd rather get the protein back in eggs. The love it and don't waste it by tipping over the pan.
this is all very interesting, i am curious to learn more about cheese making.
my level of knowledge of cheese making is pretty basic, i have only made really simple cheese using nothing but raw milk and lemon, with some salt.
it was all about stirring it constantly and watching carefully, getting the right temperature....and does seem like a bit of an art to get the hang of it.
the simplicity of that method appealed to me, and it comes out pretty good. but it did leave me wondering how people make different kinds of cheese, is it different cultures? like is there a cheddar culture?
mozzarella seems bland and plain, is there no flavoring culture? seemed to me like the mozzarella quality came from getting the hang of the art of it in getting the texture right. or is it that there are really different methods, with different additives to get the various kinds of cheese?
the simple cheese i have made is something like mozzarella, and i made some paneer cheese. so i wondered if mozzarella can be made without rennet or additive, just with lemon.
sorry more questions than answers
but i will watch this thread and try to glean some info.
Did your curiosity get satisfied since your post?
I have just read the whole thread for the first time. In the three years since Adam began this thread, I have been making cheese and learning about what makes it gouda or cheddar or manchego.....
At this point, in my arid climate, and without any way to make a high humidity cheese cave, I have come to the point of making "cliffhanger" cheese, my farm stead cheese that dries quite a bit in the aging and so is like a grating cheese. But I do like the texture of those other cheeses, and have begun to play with the variables, what cultures to use, how warm to make the milk, how big to cut the curds, how much to stir the curds, how long to cook the curds, and at what temperature, whether to wash the curds, with cool warm or hot water or beer or wine, whether to salt the curds or "cheddar" or not, how dry to let them get before pressing, how much weight for how long when pressing, how long to let it sit and "dry" after it comes out of the mold, whether to brine it or not, and for how long, and whether to oil it butter it or wax it or leave it naked.
Whether to add herbs to the cheese at some point is another variable, and whether to rub the outside of the cheese before aging is another.
A few more variables: wash the rind or not (and with what), temperature and humidity of aging space, inoculate the rind or not - for "surface ripened cheese"and with what organisms. Add lipase or not, what kind of milk is used, what had the animal been eating that day AND in her lifetime, and the flavor of the milk (which is hereditary to some degree, and how much butter fat was in the milk.
There are probably thousands more variables, but those are the ones I have learned so far.