After trying to order a cheesemaking kit online and finding out they don’t ship to individuals and the nearest distributor is in Duncan, BC, I kinda gave up for a few weeks. All I needed to make mozzarella was rennet, so I called around to every store I could think of and nobody even knew what rennet was.
On a whim, I looked up U Brew stores online where you make your own wine and beer.
They carried cheese kits too. And rennet.
Since all I needed was rennet, I got a kit that makes 8 different kinds of cheese, and it comes with rennet tablets. I can get more from the store when I run out.
I just happened to have a whole lot of skimmed milk sitting around, so I started with a double batch of mozza. 2 gallons of skimmed milk, half a rennet tablet and some citric acid (which I already had).
I warmed up the milk with the citric acid, then added the rennet and let it sit for 5 minutes.
The curd had a clean break, so I cut it into 1 inch squares.
So far so good!
Then I heated up the whey and drained the curds out through cloth.
I was thinking about letting it drip overnight and finishing the next morning, but I kinda just wanted to finish. I followed the recipe for stretching the cheese using a salt water bath, since I don’t have a microwave and wouldn’t adulterate good food even if I did have one. That’s where things started to get screwed up.
The brine got too hot and I couldn’t get all the cheese out of the pot at the same time using every utensil I could think of. It was too soft. I think it got a little too hot. It stretched too quickly to grab more than a little lump. Eventually it cooled down enough that I could fish out most of the larger pieces.
I ended up with a slimy lump of cheese.
I confess, I did try some.
It was like eating a slimy booger.
Not that I know what that’s like. I just imagine it was like eating a slimy booger.
Really salty too.
Sooo…I had to try again. I had a LOT more milk to use up.
The second batch went swimmingly like the first one, only this time I didn’t heat the water up so much for stretching it, and I didn’t put salt in the water. I tried working it into the cheese after I stretched it like some recipes do.
This time it looked a lot better.
But when I tried it, it had an okay texture, but absolutely no flavour.
I guess the working-salt-in-at-the-end method didn’t work so well.
Third time’s the charm right?
I made some more, and everything went quite well. I used a salt water bath for stretching again, I just didn’t add as much salt as the first time.
It turned out quite nice, but could’ve used more salt.
Then I made it again, adding a bit more salt to the water.
Again, it could’ve used more salt, but it was almost just right.
It’s texture is just a bit rubbery though and I don’t know how to fix that.
I had to take a little break cause I ran out of citric acid, but now I have a 2 year stash so I should be good for a while. Until I run out of rennet.
Maybe 5th time’s the charm in this case?