There are few things that are as simply delicious as cheese. And while aged cheeses have their virtues, there is something inexplicably satisfying about a fresh, simple homemade cheese. With springtime produce including vine-ripened tomatoes and sun kissed basil, a fresh baguette and mozzarella are required accompaniments. Here’s a simple method to make your own home made from scratch mozzarella; ours was made with raw milk from the cow that very morning!
- 2 gallons fresh, whole milk
- 1 Tbs citric acid, dissolved in ½ cup cold water
- 1 tablet rennet, dissolved in ½ cup cold water
- 4 Tbs salt
Heat the milk over medium heat in a large stockpot. When the temperature reaches 55 degrees F, add the citric acid. Continue to heat and when the temperature reaches 88 degrees F, add the rennet. Continue to heat the mixture until it reaches 105 degrees F. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to rest for about 15 minutes. The curds and whey should separate, and the whey should be almost clear. Remove the curds and place in a mesh strainer. Reserve the whey. Gently push down to remove excess moisture, they curds should still drip when you are done; removing too much liquid at this stage results in tough cheese. Place the curds in a bowl. Add the salt to 8 cups of the remaining whey and heat to 180 degrees F. Pour enough of the whey mixture over the curds to cover. Remove golf ball sized chunks of the curds and stretch gently and fold them back for about 30-45 seconds. They should have sheen to them, overstretching here will result in tough cheese. Form the stretched cheese into a ball and place in a bowl of cold water so they are completely covered. Enjoy!