As The Dairy Diva, I’ll be really honest…one of my favorite cheeses is mozzarella. When I stumbled across a homemade mozzarella recipe years ago, I tweaked it using Hiland Dairy Vitamin D Milk and I’ve been making it ever since. So let’s celebrate my favorite mozzarella recipe with my favorite month – National Dairy Month!
Stir citric acid in 1 cup of water until dissolved. Add rennet to remaining 1/4 cup of water and stir until dissolved. Pour milk into a large stainless steel or ceramic pot. Stir in the citric acid solution. Set pot over medium-high heat and warm to 90°F, stirring gently.
Remove pot from heat and gently stir in the rennet solution. Continue gently stirring for about 30 seconds. Cover the pot and let sit, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the milk should be set, and it should look and feel like soft tofu. Tip: If it is still liquid to the touch, cover and let sit for another 5 minutes. Once the milk has set, cut it into uniform curds. Tip: Make several parallel cuts vertically through the curds and then make several parallel cuts horizontally, creating a grid-like pattern. Make sure your knife reaches all the way to the bottom of the pan.
Place the pot back on the stove over medium heat and warm the curds to 105°F. Stir slowly as the curds warm. Remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring gently for another 5 minutes. Ladle the curds into a microwave-safe bowl with the slotted spoon.
Microwave the curds for 1 minute. Drain off the whey. Put on your rubber gloves and fold the curds over on themselves a few times. Microwave the curds for another 30 seconds, until their internal temperature reaches 135°F.
Continue stretching the curds. Sprinkle salt over the cheese and squish it with your fingers to incorporate. Using both hands, stretch and fold the curds repeatedly.
It will start to tighten, become firm and take on a glossy sheen. When this happens, you are ready to shape and serve your homemade mozzarella.
Enjoy it over fresh tomatoes and basil with a splash of balsamic vinegar or store in the refrigerator for later!
~The Dairy Diva
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