- 1 gallon milk
- 1 1/2 tsp powdered citric acid dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water
- 1/4 tsp liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool water (if using rennet tablets, follow conversion instructions on the package)
- 1 to 2 tsp cheese salt
- Slowly heat the milk to 55 degrees Fahrenheit in a stainless steel pot. While stirring, slowly add the citric acid solution to the milk and mix thoroughly but gently.
- Heat the milk to 88 degrees over medium-low heat. The milk will begin to thicken like yogurt.
- Gently stir in the diluted rennet for 30 seconds. Then don’t disturb the milk while you let it heat to between 100 and 105 degrees. In about 5 to 8 minutes, the curds should begin to break up and pull away from the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat.
- The curds will look like thick yogurt and become a bit shiny, and the whey will be clear. If the whey is still milky white, wait a few more minutes before turning off the heat. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl. Reserve the whey. Press the curds gently with your hands, squeezing out as much whey as possible.
- Heat the reserved whey to 175 degrees. Shape the curds into several small balls, rolling them between your palms. Put them, one at a time, into a ladle, and dip them in the hot whey for several seconds. Then gently fold the cheese over and over (as in kneading bread) with a spoon or your hand. (You’ll want to don rubber gloves at this point, as the cheese will be extremely hot.) This distributes the heat evenly throughout the cheese, which will not stretch until it is too hot to touch (145 degrees inside the curd).
- Repeat this process several times until the curd is smooth and pliable; mix in salt after the second time. When the cheese stretches like taffy, it’s done. If the curds break instead of stretch, they are too cool and need to be reheated.
- When the cheese is smooth and shiny, roll it into balls and eat while warm. Although best eaten fresh, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or so.
Make even more homemade cheeses in the kitchen. Read Easy Cheesy: 4 Super-Simple Cheese Making Recipes.
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