Mozzarella is popularly known as pizza cheese. It melts easily and is used not only as a pizza-topping, but also in many other western dishes such as shepherd's pie, mushroom, chicken pie, and many more. Mozzarella of the finest quality is usually made from either buffalo milk or cow milk.
Always remember to use fresh milk while making cheese regardless the source of milk. And, keep the milk in the refrigerator until it is ready for use. Liquid rennet is an enzyme used to curdle milk while making cheese. It is available in 3 forms in the market―animal, vegetable, and microbial. Vegetarians can opt for vegetable and microbial rennet as a substitute for animal rennet.
- ¾ tsp. liquid rennet
- 2 gallons milk
- 3 tsp. citric acid
- ¾ cup cool water
In ½ cup of cool water, dissolve the citric acid. Transfer the milk to a thick-bottomed vessel, and add the dissolved citric acid to it. Heat the milk stirring continuously, and when it starts boiling, add the liquid rennet mixed with ¼ cup of water. Lower the flame and let the milk simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring in between, before removing it from the heat. Do not disturb the milk for 15 minutes or till the yogurt is formed.
Once the milk is clabbered, cut the yogurt into small chunks using a stainless steel knife. Place the pot into a basin filled with water. Transfer the basin to a stove, and heat the yogurt to 100 degrees, while stirring continuously for 15 minutes. If there are any large chunks of yogurt, gently cut them. Lower the flame of the stove, and stir the yogurt for 20 minutes.
Line a wide-mouthed vessel with a muslin cloth. Transfer the yogurt and whey into this muslin cloth, and wait till most of the whey drains into the vessel beneath. After 10 minutes, tie the cheesecloth and hang it above the kitchen sink. The whey has to be drained off completely.
Once the dripping stops, cut the mass of yogurt into strips. Put one-quarter of the yogurt strips in a microwave container, and heat them until the strips start to melt and turn sticky. Remove the cheese from the microwave. Wear rubber gloves, and knead the cheese to make it into a smooth and shiny ball. Drop this cheese ball into salted ice water. Repeat the same process for the remaining yogurt strips.
You can eat the mozzarella cheese once it cools down. Refrigerate the cheese in an airtight container to let it remain fresh for a couple of days.