Finally – Mozzarella that made my husband say mmmmmm

Last Saturday I set about making mozzarella again. It makes me really mad when I can’t get something to work (or I misplace something and can’t locate it.) I will spend all my energy figuring it out. I knew the last time I made mozzarella that I let the milk get too hot which makes the cheese tough and chewy. This time I figured out how to better control the temperature. And you can too by following my simple instructions.

You will need a few things to make cheese [read the rest of this this entry at the new blog…]

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12 responses to “Finally – Mozzarella that made my husband say mmmmmm

  1. Wow! Love the cheese. I also appreciate your tips on where to buy and what to buy, for supplies. Cheesemaking (beyond the Middle Eastern goat cheese I make occasionally) is on my “someday” list. This was great to read; I appreciate the time you took to share it! Love, Wardeh

  2. How much mozzarella cheese do you end up with?

  3. sustainableeats

    Wardeh: cheesemaking has been somewhat frustrating with a bigger learning curve then I expected, hence my detailed posts. And I was frustrated that I kept having to order little things with high shipping costs so hopefully when you get ready to do it you can just order everything at once or find a local store that sells it all. I think someone at the Portland farmer’s market sells things from Ricki Carrol’s site (the one featured in Barbara Kingsolver’s book.) I know you are somewhere in OR but not sure if you are close to Portland or not.

    Joyce: I ended up with enough for 4 pizzas so 4 of those big blobs you would buy at the store, each about the size of a large navel orange, then I got about a cup of ricotta from the whey and saved what was left of the whey after that to put into my pizza dough & foccacia since it still is high in minerals, vitamins and protein. First run whey is still cloudy and off-white – whey after making ricotta is bright green. It’s good proof that the milk I buy from Dungeness Creamery is truly from grass fed cows!

  4. sustainableeats

    p.s. My favorite homebrew store in the U District just about across from the Queen Mary Tea Room – Bob’s Homebrew – is going to be carrying cheesemaking supplies soon. When he gets that figured out I’ll be doing a post showing everything he has. He also carries wine making items and soda making items (but the extract, kit making soda items not the home fermented healthy kind although you can buy dried ingredients like I just got my sarsparilla from him.)

  5. I am looking at the molds at the website you mentioned.

    Of these:

    http://www.dairyconnection.com/cheesemolds.htm

    Which one is it? I don’t know what “follower” means and don’t see any mention of that. There is an $18 mold and a $26 mold — either of those could be what you mean?

    This is all overhwhelming to me. So this might be a silly question.

    But what is the difference between a press and a mold? Or do I need both?

    Thanks!

  6. sustainableeats

    Hi Wardeh,

    Great question – the mold is the bowl shape and the follower is the round disc that squishes everything down into the bowl. The $18 one is the one I have. You would need to be making 5 gallon batches of cheese (meaning your outer pot is even bigger then a 5 gallon brew pot which is HUGE) to use a bigger press so that is the one I would get. While you are on there you probably want to get some chevre molds too since you just got goats. I use flora danica for my chevre. The goats milk will make great pressed tomme with that mold and I will post directions for doing that hopefully this week since I have that planned.

    You can also make mozzarella with goat’s milk. I’m so excited for your goats!

  7. sustainableeats

    p.s. that $18 mold comes with the follower included so you don’t need to worry about it. You will need cheesecloth though and you may want to get cheese paper for wrapping your tomme when you order. If you salt the rind and wrap in paper you don’t need to mess with wax.

  8. Thank you! So, the $18 mold set is the mold plus follower (now I understand follower).

    As far as the press goes, it will apply pressure to the follower, right? I was going to make my own press ala Fias Co Farm. Or can I just apply weights to the follower? What do you do?

    I have cheesecloth in my shopping cart – which one do you recommend? The 1×1 or 1×3? The 1×3 is $30!!!

    I looked through all Fias Co Farm’s recipes and only saw two cultures required – the MM 100 and MA 11 – so I figured I’d start with those. I can add the florica danica, but it looks to be a combination of all the bacteria strains that are in the other two. What do you think?

    Looking at cheese paper now…

    Thank you SO much for your help.

  9. P.S. Can’t I just use natural waxed paper or unbleached parchment paper for wrapping?

  10. Oh, yes, what about that muslin draining bag? Do I need that?

    I really appreciate being able to ask you questions. Thanks.

  11. sustainableeats

    Hi Wardeh, I’m not sure what the 100 and 11 are. I know you need mesophilic culture for any pressed goat’s milk cheeses and if you want stretchy cheese like mozzarella and provalone you also need citric acid I think it was depending on the lactation cycle.

    Yeow! on the price of the cheesecloth. You could buy it at the fabric store or maybe Azure Standards has it? I got mine from cheesemaking.com and I don’t remember it being that pricey but I washed it with new towels and it’s all fuzzy now so I need to get more. You could also use a loosely woven kitchen towel w/o fuzz. Sometimes you can get cheap waffle weave ones that would work but they will take longer. I do have one draining bag and it’s nice because you can tie it to the sink faucet without string or just wrap it many times around a sp0on that you can lay across the top of a crock. It doesn’t unravel when I wash it either like cheesecloth does.

    Parchment paper absorbs liquid too much, it got soggy when I tried and my guess is the wax paper wouldn’t let it breathe enough. You could use kitchen towels or muslin which you could buy at the fabric store. Once you have a rind on it it just needs to be wrapped to keep out bugs and dust.

    It’s called a press but you still need to put weight on top of the follower. You can use hand weights or fill up 1/2 gallon milk jug or carton with water or sand to get you to the right weight for the recipe.

    If you want one that has weight already you can google for the “cheesy press” which is the lowest priced one I’ve seen. I think it’s good to start out with the cheaper one and figure out the cheese first before you spend so much money.

    Maybe you’ll just make tomme & gouda all the time and then you won’t need such a fancy press since they are simpler cheeses.

    I’ve never made any of the cheese from fiasco farm so please either post on your site or come back here so I can see how it turns out!

  12. Oh, thanks for explaining all that! I think I’m understanding most of it now. I’ll hold off on making the press and use weights on the press/mold you recommend. Now I see why you recommend – it does fit in the budget! (Although my shopping cart is pretty full right now!)

    Regarding the culture, the ones I named are two different types of mesophilic cultures on the Dairy Connection’s website. One of them has 3 of the strains that is in flora danica and the other has 2 of the strains in florica danica. Or something like that.

    I figured I’d start at Fias Co Farm because they’re all goat cheese recipes, and because she names the specific mesophilic culture she’s using, which helps me when navigating the Dairy Connection’s options. Since you mentioned flora danica, I can get that too. Neither of my books, nor Fias Co Farm, mentions thermophilic cultures for goat cheese, so I think I’m okay NOT getting that.

    The 1×1 cheesecloth is not so expensive. It is $10, so I think I’ll get that one and not get the spendier one. I wish I could figure out what the difference is. I can use my own cloth for wrapping, as I’d rather not buy wraps. Thanks for telling me what happens with parchment/wax paper. Wouldn’t want that!

    This is going to be great fun. I’m looking forward to the recipe you share soon. We don’t have enough milk to do cheese yet, but if we can find another couple of does to milk, then I’ll be ready to go!

    Thanks again for all your help. Many blessings to you and your family~

    ~Wardeh

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