Looks Like Another Mozzarella Failu…..Wait…..Success!

Anyone who knows me knows that there are two cheeses that I have difficulty with, Camembert and the Demon Cheese; Mozzarella!  It was time to tackle the infamous 30 Minute Mozzarella again, it was time for a few reasons:

  1. The Demon Cheese should NEVER know you are afraid of it!
  2. I have been asked to teach an “Introduction to Cheese Making” class for Metro Continuing Education, here in Edmonton, with the class to take place in the new year. One of the cheeses that they wanted me to cover is Mozzarella. More information will come when people can register for the class.

So it was time to gather my supplies and on a dreary Sunday morning to slay the Demon Cheese once and for all!

Armed with Citric Acid, Dairyland 2% Milk, Kosher Salt and Rennet Tablets, I sprang into action

Armed with Citric Acid, Dairyland 2% Milk, Kosher Salt and Rennet Tablets, I sprang into action

So sit back and enjoy this harrowing tale of cheese woe, well just me fighting with this cheese again and that damned Mozzarella Monkey

A while back I received a Mozzarella Kit for doing “Guest Blogg” post for New England Cheesemaking Company’s Cheesemaking Help Blog , so it was time to get all the ingredients together and give it a go.  It really is a nice kit that comes with a little booklet

Would this book be my way to finally be successful?

Would this book be my way to finally be successful?

I followed the instructions to the letter, I added the citric acid to distilled water, then into the pot, then I added the milk and brought up to temperature.

You can see that the citric acid has started to curdle the milk.

You can see that the citric acid has started to curdle the milk.

It took close to 20 minutes to get to temperature, this was close to the beginning.

It took close to 20 minutes to get to temperature, this was close to the beginning.

I also decided to use rennet tablets for the first time.  The reason for this was that I would be using them in the class, I do not want to use animal rennet for the class for obvious reasons.

My first pack of rennet tablets.

My first pack of rennet tablets.

I only need a quarter of a tablet.

I only need a quarter of a tablet.

Thankfully it has the marks that you can cut along.  I put the rest in a bag and into the freezer it went

Thankfully it has the marks that you can cut along. I put the rest in a bag and into the freezer it went.

The rennet tablet was dissolved into a 1/4 cup of distilled water and when we reached temperature it was added to the milk.

Before I could add the rennet, that damned monkey showed up and started laughing at me!

Before I could add the rennet, that damned monkey showed up and started laughing at me!

I soldiered on and put in the rennet, but something did not look right.

I soldiered on and put in the rennet, but something did not look right.

This is what it looked like after 10 minutes.  It was looking like that the cheese was going to win.

This is what it looked like after 10 minutes. It was looking like that the cheese was going to win.

I wasn’t going to let this little pot of potential fail get the best of me.  I started to heat the curd and stirred ever so gently.  Surprisingly it started to firm up, and looked like proper curd.  I then drained the curd and let it sit on a cutting board covered in warm cheesecloth.  The curd started to knit together, I had hope.

IMG_1531_Fotor

Here is the curd mass

IMG_1532_Fotor

I cut off a section with the hope it would work

I went for broke and started to heat the curd.

I went for broke and started to heat the curd.

I wanted to get some pictures of the stretching, if it happened, my lovely wife came to the rescue.

Working the warm curd

Working the warm curd

IMG_1542_Fotor

working the hot curd

Umm kind of too hot to handle. Note to self - get better gloves

Umm kind of too hot to handle. Note to self – get better gloves

We have stretch and twist!

We have stretch and twist!

It was almost mesmerizing to pull the curd.

It was almost mesmerizing to pull the curd.

I was thinking of making string cheese, but thought against it.

I was thinking of making string cheese, but thought against it.

Nice stretch here.

Nice stretch here.

Really long stretch

Really long stretch

And then it was time to start pulling things in.

And then it was time to start pulling things in.

I had a brine already set up from my previous cheese making, I pulled it out of the freezer earlier that morning, it still had some ice floating in it.  I ended up with three balls of mozzarella of various sizes.

two of the three just chillin'

two of the three just chillin’

These have been the best ones yet.

These have been the best ones yet.

Nice and round and they smell "fresh and salty" kind of like a day at the coast.

Nice and round and they smell “fresh and salty” kind of like a day at the coast.

Here are the three wise cheeses after the cold soak.

Here are the three wise cheeses after the cold soak.

It was time to cut one of them open and try it.

It was time to cut one of them open and try it.

IMG_1558_Fotor

It was close to lunch so I cut the rest of the ball up.

It went into my Hot Dog Supreme.  Fresh Mozzarella beets Cheese Whiz any day!

It went into my Hot Dog Supreme. Fresh Mozzarella beets Cheese Whiz any day!

Today was a great cheese making day for me, I think I have made some headway with Mozzarella.  I have another recipe I want to try that used yogurt to culture the milk, but I will save that for another day.  I will as always have more pictures up on the Much To Do About Cheese Facebook page. Oh, you are wondering about the monkey, you be the judge.

Who's laughing now!

Who’s laughing now!

Until next time go and make some cheese!

19 comments

    1. Thank you. It is pretty hard to get higher than 3.5% fat here, and even harder to get cream-line milk. I am jealous of the 4% milk! I got just under 300g of cheese. I lost some curd during the the heating. I might try upping the rennet a bit.

    1. Thank you The gloves did not offer much help from the heat, they were just simple surgical gloves. I had some paper cuts on my hands so I thought better safe than sorry.

      1. We do smaller balls cooking them one at a time. Gets a bit like a hot potato but I find the stretching goes better as you don’t want to over handle it. I was very nervous the first time I made it as I didn’t want to make squeaky cheese! 🙂

    1. I have done the microwave method with mixed results, but this time I had no choice but to use the water bath method. Our microwave went on the fritz about 4 months ago and we decided not to replace it.

  1. Hurray! Most of my cheese-making ends up a disaster – I have a kitchen full of monkeys 😉 But this looks great, I really want to try it now. Do you think you could just use lemon juice instead of citric acid?

  2. Yay!!! That stretch looks awesome! Ha, Mozza is a demon cheese no more. Its funny how everyone seems to have a cheese that eludes them and the cheeses change from person to person. I would have listed many of the cheeses that you make with ease as too difficult for myself, and mozza as do-able. Then its the reverse for you!

    1. People at work have been bugging me about not being able to make mozzarella, but I can make cheddar and washed rind cheese with ease. I think the next one to tackle may be a return to Camembert.

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