Molly: The hostess with the mostest
What did you do last weekend? If you were like a bunch of food52 groupies I know, you had a mozzarella making party! I have been wanting to make my own mozzarella ever since I bought "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter." Mozzarella cheese has a surprisingly short ingredient list: milk, salt, citric acid and rennet. There are internet purveyors of a whole manner of cheese making supplies--everything but the milk. You need whole milk that has not been ultra pasteurized--now that I have a milk source (Whole Foods) there will be more fresh mozzarella in our future.
Arielle inspecting the curd
Milk is heated with citric acid and then rennet (in tablet or liquid form is added). This causes the proteins to coagulate into a curd. If you are squeamish about using a product that comes from calf stomach (rennet) there are vegan substitutes.
Ginny happily gazing at a perfect curd.
The curd is then drained and the liquid portion (the whey) is returned to the pot and heated until ~180F.
A Google search for uses of leftover whey (and we had a ton of it) revealed it is good for making bread, as hair conditioner, smoothie addition, plant fertilizer and so on. You can freeze it if you don't have a half dozen friends to send a jug home with.
It's like science class, but edible!
The gang waiting to get their hands on some hot cheese....
Hot cheese now! You will need a dedicated pair of gloves for cheese making--protects your hands from the near boiling whey that you are dipping the curd into to melt and stretch it. Please don't substitute the gloves you use to clean your bathroom....
Abbie with the record stretch!
How do you like my mozzarella balls?
The yellow ones had absorbed some olive oil--we had way to much cheese to eat which is a shame because it truly is at its most delicious fresh out of the pot.
Thanks Molly for letting us mess up your kitchen!