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30 MINUTE FRESH MOZZARELLA

Posted By: Joe Ames
Date: Thursday, May 11, 2000 at 4:58 p.m.

30 MINUTE FRESH MOZZARELLA

1/2 rennet tablet
1/4 cup cool chlorine free water
1 gal. milk (2 percent, 1 percent or skim)
2 tsps citric acid

Crush the rennet tablet into the water and stir to dissolve. Pour milk into a non-aluminum or non-cast pot. Place over medium heat. Sprinkle the citric acid over the milk and stir 2 - 3 times.

Heat milk to 88 degrees (check with cheese or candy thermometer), Milk will begin to curdle.

At 88 degrees, add the rennet solution and continue stirring slowly every few minutes until the milk reaches 105 degrees. Turn off the heat. Large curds will appear and begin to separate from the whey (the clear greenish liquid).

With a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, scoop out the curd into a large glass bowl. (If itís still too liquid, let it set for a few more minutes). Press the curds gently together with your hand and pour off as much whey as possible.

Microwave your curds on high for 1 minute, then drain off all excess whey. With a spoon, press curds into a ball until cool. Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each, and continue to drain the whey and work cheese into a ball.

In the meantime, place the whey over medium heat and let it heat to about 175 degrees.

When cheese is cool enough to touch, knead it like bread dough until smooth. When you can stretch it like taffy, itís done. You can sprinkle 1 - 2 teaspoons salt into the cheese while you are kneading and stretching it.

The cheese will become stretchy, smooth and shiny. If it is difficult to stretch and breaks easily, dip it into the hot whey for a few seconds to become warm and pliable. Then again, pick it up and stretch it into a long rope. Fold over and stretch again. Dip in hot whey as needed to make the cheese pliable.

When the cheese is smooth and shiny (This takes just a few minutes), it is ready to eat. Shape into a log or golf ball -size balls, then store in a solution of 2 teaspoons salt to 1 cup of water. This makes 3/4 pound of cheese.

NOTE: If you donít have a microwave, you can heat the whey to 175 degrees on top of the range in a non-aluminum pot. Add 1/4 cup salt to the whey. Shape cheese into one or more balls, put into a ladle or strainer and dip them into the hot whey for several seconds. Knead between dipping with spoons and repeat this process several times until the curd is smooth and pliable.

Thanks to
Beatrice Ojakangas
KRT New Service

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