30 Minute Mozzarella

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/30-minute-mozzarella.aspx

A few weeks ago, my husband and I hit up The Cellar Homebrew near our place in Seattle for some cheese making supplies. Since we got a cast iron pizza pan for Christmas to replace our old non-stick Teflon pizza pan, we wanted to try out making pizzas. And what better way to top our homemade pizza dough and pizza sauce I canned from last summer's tomato bonanza than by adding fresh made mozzarella? 

I dusted off my old Home Cheese Making book that I've had for years (and never made anything from) and decided to actually use it. Over the years, I've been too lazy to scout out the odds and ends required to make mozzarella, opting for easy homemade cheeses instead.

Since we were busy with other things, we went with the 30 minute recipe, rather than the more traditional one. The 30 minute recipe is super easy and goes a little something like this:

1. Mix citric acid into gallon of whole milk (make sure it's not ultra pasteurized or it doesn't work)
2. Heat until warm
3. Add rennet
4. Stir and heat until 100 degrees or so - the curds will magically appear
5. Remove curds with slotted spoon
6. Microwave on high for 1 minute, drain whey and knead with spoon
7. Microwave for 35 seconds, drain whey and knead with spoon
8. Repeat #7 and knead in some cheese salt
9. Eat or store

I was flabbergasted at how easy this was and how quickly it came together. My husband was dubious about the whole process and predicted it would take me an hour and a half at least to have some form of cheese ready to go. Nay sayer, I tell you!

With the cheese all ready to go, we sliced it up and put it on the pizza. It was very good, but not exactly what I expected.

My final thoughts 

It certainly wasn't like the fresh mozzarella balls we buy from our favorite market. It wasn't as creamy and looked more like a combo of fresh and the organic regular mozzarella we buy. I was hoping we would be making caprese salad like crazy, but I wouldn't use it for that. The texture is all wrong.

Would I make it again? Maybe. I think I'd rather try making the longer, more involved mozzarella recipe from the book and see how they compare. It's also very possible that we just need to try it a few times to make sure we are doing it properly.

Photographic evidence 

Here are some pictures of the process for your viewing pleasure:

 

Curds separating from the whey 

Cheese curds 

Cheese right out of the microwave 

Mozzarella on a pizza 


Have you tried making mozzarella? Have you made the 30 minute kind or did you go the traditional route?