We've been talking about making cheese for months now. This summer we bought Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll (the queen of cheese-making). Then, with the harvest season well and truly over, Jeremy bought a couple supplies from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. We decided to start simple, with 30-minute mozzarella.
This called for milk, citric acid, and rennet. It also called for lipase powder, but we didn't use that this first time around. Lipase just makes the cheese taste a bit stronger. You can also add salt, but we didn't do that either. We went with the bare minimum to make cheese.
(No, we did not put wine in the cheese!)
Jeremy put the milk in a big pot and stirred in the citric acid:
When the milk got to 90 degrees, he added the rennet and then things started happening!
Jeremy spooned out the cheese curds into a bowl:
After pouring off excess whey, the next step was to microwave the cheese a couple times for short bits, then lightly knead it like bread to distribute the heat:
The instructions said when the cheese "stretches like taffy", it's done:
Looks like taffy to me!
Our two balls of mozzarella, done in just about 30 minutes:
Jeremy did all the work because it involved a lot of handling hot cheese, and I'm a wimp when it comes to hot things.
What's a girl and guy to do with all this cheese? We gave some to the family right away - they thought it was very cool. We made BLTs for dinner (with fresh tomatoes that have been ripening on the vine in our basement and homemade bread) and we added hunks of fresh, warm mozzarella. So I guess they were BLTCs.
A day later we made pizza and sprinkled mozzarella over the top. I think we used the rest in an omelet the next morning.
30-minute mozzarella doesn't keep quite as long as its brother that takes longer to make. We'll be making cheese again soon. Jeremy is excited to make chevre and anything moldy, and I'm excited about cheddar. Boy it would be nice if we had a cow or goat...