Thursday, May 16, 2024

Making Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

In the past few years this blog has turned into a recipe book more than anything else. I apologize for that but nothing very interesting happens anymore. Everyday is a Choose your own Adventure and most of the time that revolves around taking pictures of the same things or making something in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I have a very nice fulfilling life, but it’s nothing to write home about or blog about. Today I made Fresh Mozzarella cheese. 

Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 gallon of milk

1/2 cup of white vinegar 

Heat the milk on the stove to 120 degrees. You will need a thermometer for this.

Next stir in a scant 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The milk will start to curdle. Put a cover on the pan and leave it for 20 minutes.

It looks kind of disgusting at this point but don’t worry. After twenty minutes take out the curds in any manner that works for you. I have a fine sieve I use for yogurt but putting cheese cloth in a strainer works just fine. Press out as much liquid as you can.  This process is separating the curds from the whey. Save the whey and start forming the curds in a ball. The ball will be a bit crumbly at first but stretch and knead it just like you would a ball of dough for bread. 

At first it looks a little rough and bumpy, but just put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. When you take it out, it will be a little hot but just keep working with it. Add some salt or even Italian seasonings at this stage and stretch and knead until the cheese is smooth. You can microwave again and again if you need to get to the smooth end product.

Now you can drop the ball in a bowl of ice water to cool it. I cooled it but then refrigerated it for an hour or two. It is ready to use. I sliced some so you can see the texture. It’s good for whatever you use fresh mozzarella for. It is good on pizza, in salads, on crackers or eat it plain. This cheese is lactose free for the most part because all the lactose is in the whey.

Now for the whey you have saved. It can be used for many things. It can be used in place of water or milk in recipes, it can be fed to animals or put it in your smoothie. Some people dilute it and water plants with it. I haven’t done that but Mr. Google says whey contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and chlorides. I will try it on a few plants and see if I notice a difference. I mainly use it to make bread. I just substitute the liquid for whey. It gives the bread a little sourdough flavor and adds protein.