Took another hack at making a batch of mozzarella tonight. Here's the recipe:
1 gallon organic pasteurized whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. citric acid hydrated in 1/2 cup filtered water
1/8 tsp. lipase powder hydrated in 1/4 cup filtered water for 20 minutes
1/2 rennet tablet hydrated in 1/4 cup filtered water
Cheese salt as needed
Heated milk to 55˚F in a stainless steel stock pot and stirred in citric acid and lipase. Raised to 88˚F and stirred in rennet. Here's where things got tricky...
After about three or four minutes I opened the pot to take a temperature reading. The curd was already forming in the middle of the pot, so I stuck the thermometer in and got about 94˚. Closed the pot. Checked again in about five minutes. Still about 94-95˚. Something was up. I took the temperature of the whey around the sides of the pot and got almost 120˚. I panicked, since it's only supposed to go up to 100-105. The curd was already looking pretty good, so I decided to start draining it from the pot. Totally fell apart on me. Made a mess. So I dumped back into the pot and let the whole thing sit for another 20 minutes.
I was able to get the curd out of the pot then, but it was still very loose. Formed into four balls. Heated them in the whey at approximately 175˚, kneaded, repeated. Took a few tries as the curds were still very loose. After about three passes the remaining whey had drained pretty well and I was able to stretch them a bit. I had to form them like meatballs at first. After another three or four passes able to stretch them, I salted them, formed them into balls, and chilled them in ice water.
I ate one at room temperature with some sliced red onion, farm fresh Jersey tomato (thank you Hoboken farmer's market), and some balsamic and oil. Not bad. Could use a touch less salt next time.
I think we'll go for one more shot at the mozz before taking on cheddar.
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