LET'S MAKE MOZZARELLA CHEESE!!!
Thank you all for making your way over to the "CHEESE" section of your Homegrown Collective website. We understand that it's another step - but weighed the options when curating this month's GREENBOX and could not replace the video & pixel option with anything "deliverable". These are nuanced processes that require some close attention to detail. So, as we venture into the world of cheese making, let us become experts together. Below you will find videos, instructions and recipes (including directions) for download. If at anytime, you have questions, please do not hesitate to email us. We look forward to going down this road together. We also encourage you all to share your experience, your success, your failures with each other. You can do this on our Facebook or Pinterest pages and look out for additional blog posts we have scheduled to publish all April. GO CHEESE GO!!!
THE VIDEO TUTORIALS
1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid powder. This can be in the form of loose powder or tablets like these. We provided you the powder form.
1/4 teaspoon tablet vegetable rennet tablet combined with 1 cup of water.
1. Sprinkle the citric acid powder into a cool, empty, large non-reactive stockpot. Pour 1/4 cup water over it and stir it to dissolve.
2. Pour the milk into the citric acid solution and stir it to combine.
3. Put the pot over medium-low heat and heat it to 90 degrees (use the provided thermometer.) You may notice the milk beginning to curdle, but this is a good thing!
4. When the milk reaches 90 degrees, remove the pan from the burner and pour in the rennet mixed with water.
5. Stir the mixture with a gentle, circular up and down motion for about 30 seconds, then use the spoon to stop the motion of the milk so it will “be still".
6. Place the lid on the pot and walk away and live your life for exactly five minutes. Don’t touch the pan!
After five minutes, the mixture should resemble a very soft custard.
7. With a utensil, like a knife long enough to reach the bottom of your pot (we used an offset spatula), cut the curd into a 1-inch checkerboard pattern, making lines across, then lines in the other direction.
8. Return the pot to the the burner over medium heat and stir it gently until the temperature of the whey (the liquid that separates from the curd) reaches 105 degrees.
9. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the curd to a colander lined with the cheese cloth set over a bowl. And yum! I sneaked a bite. It was so darn delicious. Stringy and fresh and delightful.
10. Slowly spin around the colander to allow the whey to drain from the curd (note the missing cheese cloth, it helps to have it in place).
11. Remove the cheese and gently squeeze it a few times to drain off more excess whey.
12. Then transfer the cheese to a microwave-save bowl and microwave the curd on high for 1 minute.
13. Remove the bowl from the microwave and pour off as much whey as you can. By the “whey” (har har har) you can reserve all the excess whey and use it to make bread (as Rebecca did) or add it to beverages to make them higher in protein!
14. Press the curd together with your hands and again drain off the whey that comes out.
15. Microwave it again on high for 35 seconds, the press the curd together again to drain the whey.
16. Knead in the salt and roll it under itself until it forms a neat ball.
17. Knead and stretch the curd a bit to drain more whey, then microwave it one last time for 35 seconds.
18. Then set the ball into an ice water bath and let it rest in there until totally cool.
Then came the olive oil and (later) the balsamic.