We make home-made pizza once a week in our house. We do this for two reasons, to avoid the chemicals in shop-bought pizza and to limit the amount of non-compostable / non-recyclable waste that we generate. We’ve managed to crack the pizza base, but for a long time struggled with the mozzarella. Then I stumbled upon raw organic milk at my local market and this video of a simple mozzarella recipe.
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The milk I get comes in a recyclable 2 litre plastic container, which makes 2 mozzarella balls (see pic above for size). I find this enough mozzarella for 4 x 12″ pizzas, so I use 1 litre of milk to make one mozzarella ball one week and freeze the other litre to use the following week.
Essentially this is how I make mozzarella ;
- I stir just over 1/4 of teaspoon of citric acid into a 1 litre of raw milk and bring it up to 90 degrees fahrenheit on the hob. This happens quickly so watch it like a hawk.
- When it’s reaches 90degrees fahrenheit I turn off the heat and put in 20 drops of Vegetarian rennet. (I got my rennet in Down to Earth, St Great Georges St, Dublin 2 for €2.30 for 30ml)
- Then i leave to sit for 20 minutes until the curd forms a solid mass and separates from the whey.
- Next, using a knife that reaches to the bottom of the pot, I cut the curd into squares (see video linked to above).
- Then i put the heat back on under the pot and heat the mixture again until it reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now if you want stretchy gooey mozzarella you need to start folding and stretching the curd but I’ve started to skip this step and just drain the curd use non-stretchy mozzarella directly on the pizza. You just have to leave the curd drain for approx 5 minutes, because it continues to shrink releasing more whey.
- If you want to give your mozzarella that characteristic stretchiness then drain off most of the liquid and then start folding and stretching the curd. If it is too hot to handle just use wooden / plastic spoons until it cools down a bit. Try to handle it gently.
- If the curd starts to cool down and becomes hard to work with simply heat up again in a pot or microwave it for another 3o seconds to make it soft and pliable. Then shape it into a ball.
In my experience this cheese doesn’t store for long, so I’d make it for immediate use.
Ricotta is even easier to make when you go by this simple method for making ricotta from whey.
- Add 2 cups of regular milk to the whey that was used to make the mozzarella. I’ve been told it’s best to use whey that’s been resting for 24 hours as you get more ricotta.
- Bring the milk to the boil. Watch it doesn’t boil over.
- Turn off the heat.
- Leave to sit for up to an hour. The curd will clump together over this time.
- Pour the whey and curd into a sieve lined with a cheesecloth / muslin.
- Leave to drain and it’s done.
The only thing I don’t like about making my own mozzarella is the left over whey – they’re lots of it. I’ve looked up uses for it but most require baking, which I’ve more than enough to do already.
I recently came across this recipe for vegan mozzarella from the Minimalist Baker. I haven’t made it myself but thought some here might want to give it a whirl.
I’ve also come across another recipe for home-made cream cheese, which looks relatively simple. It doesn’t make sense for me to make this because I can only buy yogurt in plastic, which I can also get cream cheese in. If you can find yogurt package free or in glass it might be worth giving this a whirl.
Update – I gave up making the mozzarella on a weekly basis. It just ended up being too time consuming for me plus I wasn’t able to get the milk package-free so it wasn’t as low-waste as I would have liked.