Making Mozzarella Cheese in Under 30 Minutes

On a recent discovery to using fresh, farmers market and home grown food, I’ve learned over the last few months that if you can actually save money by cooking at home. Yes, there were the days where I’d eat out 4-5 times a week and yearn for more. Gone are those days and hello home cooking!

I don’t claim to be a good cook, but I’m great at throwing a bunch of vegetables into a pot and making a soup. I can also stir fry a chinese bok-choy dish with savory mushrooms and a nice serving of rice. Anything more elaborate or challenging might meet a horrible ending.

While reading “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”, by Barbara Kingsolver, I learned that despite living by a rule of consuming food grown and produced within 100 mile radius, they were able to eat ingeniously great food with a good deal of farming effort where it counts. To summarize the book, Barbara and her family relocated from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia to realign their lives with the local food chain and document their year long experiences.

At the end of day when it was all said and done, her family spent roughly $0.50 cents per person per meal for the whole year. Incredible!

Anyhow, I’m telling you this for a reason. And, I’m sorry I went off on a tangent.

Barbara made mozzarella from scratch in the confines of her cabin home on a regular basis. Really. No joke. At home! I think if she can do it, so can I! And so I purchased the Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit and made it in 30 minutes.

Ingredients & utensils you’ll need:

  • 1 gallon of fresh local milk. Don’t get the ultra-pasteurized kind!
  • Citric acid, 1.5-2 tsp
  • Rennet, 1/4 tablet dissolved in water
  • Themometer
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Slotted spoon would be helpful

I forgot to take photos because 30 minutes went by so quickly, but here are some photos from Ricki’s website (I claim no ownership of these images!)

How to make Mozzarella (or click here to buy the kit I purchased) :

  • Crush a 1/4 tablet of rennet and dissolve in 1/4 cup of unchlorinated water and let it dissolve. Set aside.
  • Pour the milk into the stainless steel pot and heat it to 90F.
  • Add the citric acid (pour and stir at the same time). Continue to heat the milk until it reaches 90F.
  • When it’s 90F, add the rennet to the mixture and stir evenly for 30-60 seconds.
  • Turn off the heat and let the milk stand for 3-5 minutes. Don’t touch it!
  • The milk should have curdled by now and is a firm curd.
  • Cut the curds in the pot into a 1″ checkerboard patter and then scoop it up into a microwaveable bowl. If the curds are too soft, let it sit for another minute or two)
  • Press the curd gently and pour off the excess whey
  • Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 1 minute on high. More whey will come out. Drain it.
  • The cheese will be hot, so use your hands or spoon to fold and knead.
  • Microwave 2 more times for 35 seconds each and continue kneading. Keep draining the excess whey.
  • Knead & fold the cheese until it is smooth and shiny. You can add salt or herbs at this point.(That’s Ricki in the photo)
  • When it’s cool enough, you can try a few pieces. YUM!
  • Wrap in saran wrap to keep for a few days.
  • Voila! You’ve just made cheese.

Just because I showed you how to make cheese makes me no expert. Ricki Carroll IS THE QUEEN of cheese making. And she also makes it super easy for anyone to try their hand at making cheese at home.

Visit Ricki online at the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company – which provides cheesemaking and dairy products to cheese lovers around the world. (No, this isn’t a paid endorsement!!)

On her website you’ll find…

• the best selection of cheesemaking ingredients & equipment for home and artisanal use available online and delivered to your home or office,
cheesemaking kits for making 30 minute Mozzarella and Ricotta – great fun for the whole family including little kids,
a new quarterly newsletterMooos Letter – featuring cheesemakers from around the world,
the first and only online photo essays with step-by-step instructions for   making the most amazing cheese at home,
books and videos on cheese and cheesemaking,
contact information for getting answers to every question you have as you go through the cheesemaking process,
a full schedule of cheesemaking classes offered for young and old, beginners to experts, held all year round in the beautiful hills of Western Massachusetts.

Or, click here to buy the Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit. Happy cheese making!

Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

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