Hey People of the Internet,
I’ve been making cheese. Actually I made cheese a long time ago and then totally forgot to post it. But, I am thinking of stepping once more into the breach and it inspired me to hunt this down and get it out.
To get me started, I bought a Mad Millie Italian Cheese Making Kit which came with all the bits and bobs, you need, the cheese cloth, the thermometer, a ricotta mould, citric acid, rennet, steriliser, etc as well as recipes for mozzarella, ricotta, salted ricotta, burrata and mascarpone. You can of course do it without the kit and there are some recipes below but I found the kit was very useful in pulling together all the items listed above.
All I needed to buy was the milk. They recommend you buy unhomogenised milk – i.e milk where the milk and cream are still separate. I thought this might be difficult to find but my local supermarket stocked it.
Now make way for a super thrilling picture of milk heating. Here it is, if you can stand the heat, milk in a saucepan. Oh, the cream blobs I’ve circled? Are actually blobs of cream. That’s about as exciting as the first part of cheesemaking gets!
Once your milk gets up to temperature, pop in your rennet and citric acid. And wait a bit. Your milk mix will thicken into gel like consistency.
Now get your knife and slash away. If you want to make that noise from Psycho, go right ahead. After all, you’ve just spent twenty minutes watching milk heat. You deserve it.
And now you have…no, not a dead girl in the bathtub but some slashed up curds and whey.
You then stir some more, heat them some more until they start to look kind of like melted cheese:
Next up, pour the entire mix into a colander lined with cheesecloth. The whey will run off and the curds will remain in the cloth. I deft you not to think of Little Miss Muffet when you are separating curds and whey.
Now take a handful of curds. Drop them in hot water to let them melt a bit.
Not like this:
And when you’re done stretching, form a ball.
Then drop your balls in ice-cold water….
And you’re done! Fresh delicious mozzarella. Perfect for your next pizza or why not try my cheesy eggplant and salami sandwiches?
I also made some ricotta:
Until I made it, I never realised how much milk you need to make cheese. I think I used two litres of milk for the mozzarella and I got five fairly small balls (bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball) of mozzarella. With the ricotta, I used a litre of milk and got the cheese shown above which even taking my huge man-sized hands into account, is not all that much! Still, it is a great experience and not at all hard to do – the ricotta was even easier to make than the mozzarella.
In a few weeks, I will be trying my hand at goat’s curd but shh don’t tell my book club, it’s a surprise!
Have a wonderful week!
PS…you didn’t think you were getting a post on cheese making without this did you?