September 12, 2010

Mozzarella, I think

I finally made cheese!  At least I think I did.  I'm not really sure it all went as it should.  I bought this kit from The authority on home cheese making, Ricki Carroll.  I bought her book last year.  Soft fresh cheeses are supposed to be the easiest so I started with Mozzarella.  It's unlike me to start small, I'm surprised I didn't buy a full on cheese press and bust out some Manchego.

It tasted okay, but a little weird.  Creamy.  I added it to a heirloom tomato, peach and basil caprese salad I made to bring to a dinner party and it was a big hit.  I think making cheese is going to require practice and more patience. I wish the instructions gave some modifications to account for the altitude, that might have been part of the issue.  Given you have to buy a gallon of milk to make a couple of balls of cheese, it is not much of a money saver but it is kind of cool to try.  I can't wait to try the goat cheeses!  If only I had a goat.

Editor's note: I forgot to mention, Bernie did not try the cheese or eat the tomato salad.  I'm still mad about it.

Supplies: 1 gallon of whole milk, pasteurized but not ultra pasteurized, cheese making kit
 Here's the part I'm unsure of, if my curd is as firm as it should be?
 Cutting the curd, the instructions show this looking much firmer
 Seriously, I don't think it is supposed to look like this
 Straining off the whey, I only strained half the pot at a time and had to throw out the second half because my strainer clogged up.
 Stretching the cheese, ignore our messy counter
 Final step, 10 minute ice bath.  Not smooth nor perfect.
A bit on the bumpy side

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