The mozzarella recipe that is included with your Cheese Monkey Kit is nice and quick, it is a foolproof recipe that we include because it is a great introduction to cheesemaking. But as you’ve had your kit for a while now and introduced yourself to the world of cheesemaking; we thought you might like the challenge of making a slightly more involved mozzarella cheese! This is a very traditional Italian recipe and the result will be both tastier and meltier than the recipe you’ve already used. If you haven’t already done so, we recommend trying the kit’s included quick mozzarella recipe first.
Mozzarella is a member of the cheese family known as “Pasta Filata” which literally translates as Spun Paste but is usually translated as stretched curds. It is the stretching & kneading part of the recipe that makes mozzarella so super-soft and melty.
This traditional mozzarella recipe is an improvement upon quick mozzarella because instead of using citric acid to acidify the milk you will be creating a natural culture. It is a slower process but during this extra time the mozzarella will develop extra flavour. However, because the acidification is a natural process then it can be a bit more variable, but when it works then it’s worth the additional time and effort!
What to do if you don’t have a water buffalo…
If you wanted to be totally traditional then you would use non-homogenised milk from a water buffalo to make mozzarella. I’ll assume that you haven’t got access to a herd of buffalo? But if you do then please get in touch!! You might also find it difficult to get hold of non-homogenised milk.
Buffalo milk contains twice as much cream as cow’s milk and the homogenization process breaks fat molecules up to make them smaller, for both of these reasons regular supermarket milk doesn’t quite do justice to this recipe. A simple way to recreate buffalo milk is to combine 3.5L of skimmed milk with 0.5L of double cream and mix until the cream doesn’t float.
4L Milk (see note above), 2 tbsp natural yoghurt, 4 tbsp Table Salt, ¼ Tablet Rennet
Large Saucepan, Stirring Spoon, Slotted Spoon, Cheesecloth, Long Knife, Thermometer, Bowls
1. Dissolve ¼ tablet of rennet in 60ml of water
2. Warm the milk to 32⁰C
3. Add yoghurt to the milk and stir
4. Wait. Put a lid on the saucepan and leave for 1 hour. It helps to keep it warm if you can wrap it in a towel.
5. Add the rennet solution to the milk and stir briefly
6. Insulate the saucepan and wait for another hour
7. Check the curds cut cleanly. If so cut them into 2cm pieces, if not wait another 15 mins
8. Warm the pan back up to 32⁰C, being careful not to overheat.
9. Stir gently every 10 minutes for the next hour
10. Drain the curds using a cloth-lined colander. KEEP ALL OF THE WHEY! Don’t throw whey away!
11. Wait. Allow the curds to form a single mass and leave them for one hour to solidify
12. Cut the curd into 4 pieces and return to the whey
13. Wait. Leave the curds and whey at room temperature to develop acidity. Every half hour or so break off a small chunk of curd and drop it into a mug of hot water. After a few minutes it should soften enough to be pulled into a string. How long it takes before your curds reach this point depends upon a number of factors such as the temperature of the room. Expect it to take anything from 30 minutes to 5 hours for the correct acidity to develop.
14. Heat up a pan if water to 68⁰C
15. Take one of the curds and drop it into the hot water. Give it 5 minutes to warm up before fishing it out with a slotted spoon.
16. Stretch, knead and play with the pliable curd until it starts to loose it’s plasticity then form it into a ball briefly lower it back into the how water. This will give a nice round shape and smooth skin. Repeat this step for each of the four curds.
17. Eat or Keep? The mozzarella is ready to eat immediately, but can be stored for up to a week. If you are not going to use it immediately then place it in salted whey (4 tbsp salt in 1L of whey)