NOTE: The art and science of cheese-making ranges from easy to complex. There are many fresh cheeses that you can make that are almost fool-proof. And if you enjoy that process, the rabbit hole is deep. There’s a whole world of knowledge out there if you are interested and here’s a good place to start.
Homemade Truffle Mozzarella
(Adapted from the Hobby Hill Farm cheese kit)
Yields 1 pound of cheese
- Large heavy bottom pot, which can fit a gallon of milk
- Thermometer (can measure 40 - 214 degrees F)
- Fine mesh strainer
- 1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid diluted in 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 rennet tablet or 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 1 tsp truffle salt (purchased from Whole Food's bulk section) or any non-iodized salt
Add milk to the pot and place thermometer in the milk to monitor the temperature. Heat gently over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until the milk is 55 degrees. While stirring add the citric solution to the milk. Continue to stir constantly and heat the milk to 90 degrees.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the rennet. Stir gently for about 30 seconds and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes.
At this point the curd and whey will be separated. The whey will be a clear, yellowish color and the curd will be small loose chunks.
Place the pot back on the heat and warm until it reached 105 degrees. Again, be sure to stir gently and constantly. Remove from the heat and stir for another 2-5 minutes.
Scoop out the curds with a fine mesh strainer and squeeze out as much whey as possible. Place the curds in a glass microwavable dish.
Microwave on high for 1 minutes. This melts the curds and removes excess liquid. Pour off the excess liquid and knead the cheese with a wooden spoon for about 1-2 minutes to redistribute the heat. Microwave again on high for 35 seconds. Add salt and knead for another 1-2 minutes. Microwave, one last time, for 35 seconds and knead for 1-2 minutes. Form the cheese into little balls, stretching the cheese and pinching at the bottom of the ball. Place the balls in a bowl of cold water to cool down.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in an air tight container for up to 4 days.