About a month ago I got to hang out with this lovely lady at PW’s lodge. She taught us how to make cheese and she changed my life forever. Since then I have made the trek several times up to Swan’s Bros. Dairy in Claremore to pick up a gallon of delicious raw milk for some cheese making.
Rebecca thank you for changing my life and teaching me the way….or the whey. He he he he
Cheeeeeeeese! It is one of the sweet nectar of life.
Making homemade cheese is very rewarding. The entire process from beginning to end is so fascinating. The whole time I was making cheese I kept calling OB over so he could see every step of the cheese making process.
Would you like to follow me and make some cheese?
In a large pot sprinkle citric acid, pour 1/4 cup of water over the citric acid and stir.
Let’s talk about milk. The best milk for the cheese making is raw milk. The curd comes hold together the best and you get a smoother textured cheese. However if you live in one of those states where raw milk is illegal you can use homogenized milk. It will require a little more work but it will come together. What you cannot use is ultra high temperature (UHT) milk, it will not form a solid curd.
Pour the milk into the citric acid mixture, stir. The citric acid is what makes the milk begin to curd. Heat pot over medium-low heat.
Another vital ingredient for cheese making is vegetable rennet. The rennet has enzymes in it that cause the milk to separate into curds and whey. I found my rennet at a local home brewing supply store.
Mix 1/4 tsp of rennet with 1 cup of water.
Heat the milk to 90F.
Once the milk reaches 90F remove from heat and pour in the rennet mixture. Gently stir the milk for 30 seconds, using an up and down motion.
Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
When you come back the curds should have set. It will resemble the texture of a custard.
Using a long knife that reaches all the way to the bottom of the pot cut the curd into a 1 inch checkerboard pattern.
Give the curds a gentle stir and they will loosen up and look like swimming marshmallows. Return pot over medium heat and stir gently until the temperature of the whey reaches 105F, remove from heat.
Using a slotted spoon fish our curds.
Transfer curds to a colander lined with cheese cloth and set over a bowl.
Transfer curds to a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave curds on high for 1 minute. Holding the curd back drain off whey, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, press the curd together with your hands and drain the whey the comes off.
Heat in microwave another 30 seconds, drain, sprinkle with salt and knead curd together. It will become soft and stretchy.
Repeat heating in the microwave for 30 seconds until the curds become silky smooth and stretchy, form into a ball.
Drop into ice water bath and let it rest and cool.
TA-DA you have made mozzarella queso!!
Stretchy gooey mozzarella cheese! I cannot express how life changing it is to make your own cheese.
Think about it, fresh homemade mozzarella cheese in just 30 minutes. How would you live with yourself if you denied yourself such awesomeness?
Eat your spoils immediately or kept refrigerated for a week. To refrigerate, place the mozzarella in a small air tight container. Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of cool whey and pour this over the mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate. But let’s me honest, it is doubtful storage will be necessary.
Read more about that weekend!
- 1 gallon cold milk (raw milk for best results, do not use UHF or UHT milk, they will not form a solid curd)
- 1¼ tsp citric acid powder
- ¼ cup cool, non-chlorinated water
- ¼ tsp liquid vegetable rennet, dissolved in 1 cup cool water
- 1-2 tsp kosher salt
- Sprinkle citric acid powder in a large non-reactive pot. Pour ¼ cup of water over citric acid, stir to dissolve. Pour the entire gallon of cold milk into the citric acid. Stir well ad put pot over medium-low heat.
- Warm the milk till it reaches 90F, remove the pan from the burner. Pour the rennet solution into the milk stirring gently in and up and down motion for 30 seconds. Use the spoon to stop the motion of the milk, cover and leave it for 5 minutes.
- Check the curd for a clean break, it should resemble a custard. Using a knife or off set spatula that is long enough to reach the bottom of the pot, cut the curd into a 1 inch checkerboard pattern. Return the pot to the burner over medium high heat, stirring gently until the whey reaches 105F. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the curd to a colander lined with cheese cloth and set over a bowl.
- Gently press the curd to remove excess whey. Transfer the curt to a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave the curd for 1 minute. Remove from microwave, drain whey and press curd together with your hands, drain the whey that comes off.
- Microwave on high for an additional 30 seconds, repeat the process of draining and pressing the curds. Repeat this process one last time. Drain the whey and knead the salt into the curd until silky smooth and stretchy. Form into a ball and drop into an ice water bath. Let rest until cool.
If using homogenized milk you will have to heat in microwave several times until curds come together and are smooth.
*Eat your spoils immediately or kept refrigerated for a week. To refrigerate, place the mozzarella in a small air tight container. Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of cool whey and pour this over the mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate.