How to Make Mozzarella
1/2 Gallon (2 L) Whole Milk (Not Ultra-Pasteurized)
1 Cup (237 ml) Non-Chlorinated Water (Bottled or tap water left out overnight)
Add 3/4 teaspoon citric acid to 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water in a cup. Mix and set aside.
Add 1/4 tablet rennet to 1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water in a separate cup. Mix to dissolve, and set aside.
Add milk to stock pot. Add citric acid solution to milk, and stir thoroughly.
Heat slowly on medium-low until milk reaches 90° F (32° C). Occasionally stir while heating, scraping the sides and bottoms of the pot to prevent scorching.
Upon reaching temperature, add rennet solution to milk and stir gently stir for 20 seconds. Remove from heat, and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes while milk begins to firm.
Check on your milk. It should be thick and no longer runny. Test the curd formation by running a knife through the milk. If you observe a clean break (meaning the you noticed a defined line while curling through the curds), you're ready to move on. Otherwise, just let your milk sit an extra couple minutes.
Cut your curds into 1" (2.5 cm) cubes, first vertically (starting from your body going away from you) and then horizontally (from left to right). Then cut again horizontally, holding your knife at a 45° angle.
Return your curds to the stove, and heat on medium-low to 105°. Upon reaching temperature, remove from heat and gently stir for 5 minutes.
Line strainer with dampened cheese cloth and place over a large bowl. Pour curds and whey into lined strainer. Reserve whey. When most of the whey has drained out (about 2-3 minutes) form a draining sack out of the cheese cloth by tying the four corners of the cloth together (two opposite corners at a time). Hang the curd-filled draining sack from your kitchen faucet, or use a spoon suspended across a pot or large bowl. Drain for 10 minutes. Gently squeeze sack remove excess whey.
In order to stretch the curds into mozzarella, you must heat them up. You can do this 2 ways.
Option 1: On a Stove.
While your curds are draining, assemble a double boiler or place a smaller pot into a larger one. Create a water bath (or use the whey from the previous steps).
Form curds into a ball and lower into heated water until internal temperature reaches 135° F (57° C).
Once temperature is reached in around 2 - 3 minutes, use slotted spoon to remove from water bath.
Option 2: In a Microwave.
In a bowl, heat curds on high for 1 minute. Gently stir with a spoon and drain off any whey.
Check temperature, and repeat previous step until internal temperature of the curds reaches 135° F (57° C).
Squeeze balls of curds to remove excess whey.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cheese salt atop curds. Fold, knead and stretch to incorporate.
The more you work the ball of curds, the firmer your mozzarella will become. Form it into a ball (or whatever shape you like).
Quickly dunk finished mozzarella in ice water to help it maintain its shape.
Enjoy right away, or store (wrapped in plastic) in the fridge for up to a week.