June 16, 2015

Mozzarella Making Revisited

Hand-crafted goats milk mozzarella

I don't usually re-post things I've previously published on my blog, but I thought I would make an exception for my goat milk mozzarella. This is because I find myself revisiting this post at the beginning of each mozzarella making season. I need to refresh my memory for the amounts of citric acid and rennet. It's a good post with lots of good information, but I'd like it a bit more concise. Hence a heavily revised re-post.

Goats Milk Mozzarella

Preparation -
  • Let milk sit in the fridge for at least three days. Back when I was a mozzarella making beginner, I was advised that for mozzarella, at least, goat milk should be at least three days old. This has to do with pH changes that make a more elastic curd (as opposed to crumbles). I can absolutely verify that this is true.
  • Skim the cream and save. You can make whole milk mozzarella, but this is an excellent skim milk cheese.

Equipment

You don't need these exact items, just something similar

You'll need:
  • stainless steel cooking pot large enough to hold a gallon of milk
  • strainer or colander for draining whey from the curds
  • 2 bowls, I like my old crockery ones
    • one to hold the strainer and catch the whey
    • one for hot water for curd stretching
  • rubber gloves, insulated if you can find them
  • instant read thermometer
  • slotted spoon for removing curds from cooking pot
  • knife for cutting the curds
  • skimmer for diffusing citric acid and rennet solutions as they are poured into the milk
  • measuring cup 
  • smaller sauce pan for brining the cheese

Ingredients

For the cheese:
  • 1 gallon goats milk, raw or pasteurized (I use raw)
  • 1/2 tablespoon citric acid
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet 
  • 1/2 C non-chlorinated water
  • 1/4 C non-chlorinated water

For the brine: (mix and heat until salt dissolves)
  • 1 quart whey
  • 1 quart non-chlorinated water
  • 1/2 pound canning salt

To Make
  • Optional: skim the milk and save the cream for something else. Mozzarella is the one skim milk cheese that I make.
  • Pour milk into the large pot. Mix citric acid in 1/2 cup water, stir well. Pour into the milk through the skimmer. Stir to mix well.

The skimmer helps diffuse the liquids being poured,
 especially rennet, so that it mixes before curdling

  • Slowly heat to 88 - 90° F (31 - 32° C)
  • If the brine is already made, I begin to heat it now to about 100° F (44° C). If this is the first batch, the brine can be made from the drained whey (see below)
  • Mix the rennet in the 1/4 cup water. Pour it into the milk through the skimmer. Stir to mix well. (To read about the different types of rennet, click here). 
  • Allow the pot to sit about 30 minutes, or until the curd forms a "clean break". Clean break is when it can be sliced cleanly with a knife.
  • Cube the curds with a knife and let rest 10 minutes.

The curd is cut at an angle to hopefully make 1 inch cubes of curd

  • While the curds are resting, set a kettle of water to boil for stretching the curds.
  • Gently drain the whey from the curds through a colander or by scooping the curds from the whey with a slotted spoon
  • Pour the hot water into the large bowl. With cold water adjust the temperature to about 145  - 150° F (63 - 65° C).
  • Break the curd into small pieces and place in the hot water.
  • With rubber gloves, stretch the curd until it is smooth and glossy. If it begins to get stiff, return to the hot water for several seconds. The heat keeps the cheese soft and pliable. 
  • Place in the warm brine. Turn every 15 minutes for a total brine bath of about 2 hours.
  • Drain the brine from the cheese. Wrap the cheese (plastic wrap or baggie) and let sit for several hours in the fridge for the salt to dispurse. 
  • Enjoy fresh, or grate and freeze for later use.  


My goal is to make enough for when the goats are dried up before kidding.

23 comments:

Weekend-Windup said...

Nice work done by you. I think it is not so easy to make it. You need to put some effort to get it in good texture...

Ngo Family Farm said...

I refer to your mozzarella-making post so often! Thank you for the condensed version, and for sharing your tried-and-true recipe. It has never failed me, and I'm currently making mozzarella about twice a week right now, filling the freezer for future pizzas as well. So great :)
-Jaime

Ngo Family Farm said...

P.S. I also have a good amount of milk frozen for soap-making, but still haven't leaned that skill. Wondered if you shared a goat's milk soap recipe at some point (couldn't seem to find one in the archives)?

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Is this recipe for goat's milk only? We no longer keep goats but have recently met someone who sells raw cow's milk.

Leigh said...

I had a lot of trouble with a good texture in the beginning, but after I got the information here my texture improved to very few fails. Letting the milk sit for at least 3 days seems to be key, which is supposed to go back to the pH of the milk. It would be interesting to keep detailed records of all that!

In addition, all the temperatures here a lower that the recipes for cows milk mozzarella, which may make a difference. Goat milk curd is supposed to be more "fragile" than cow, but I honestly don't know why.

Leigh said...

Jaime, I'm so glad to know you've had good success! I have not yet done any posts on soap making, but like you, have some in the freezer for that purpose. I'll have to dig out my recipe and get to work!

Leigh said...

Gill, the temperatures and times are different in this recipe than the ones for cows milk, because the curds are more delicate in goats milk (or so I'm told). For a good cow milk mozz, I would highly recommend Ricki's 30 Minute Mozzarella. (She's also done a video, here.)

Mama Pea said...

Great post, Leigh. As if there isn't enough to keep me busy during this short summer season of ours, I've had a bee in my bonnet regarding making cheese lately. No access to goat's milk but I do have access to as much raw cow's milk at I need. (If I'm smart (ha!), I'll wait until fall to jump into the cheese vat though.) That shot of the pizza looks amazingly delicious!

jewlz said...

Thanks for adding the more precise info to your recipe. As you know, many of us use your posts as guide posts, so any time you can add specifics, the better!.

Leigh said...

Trouble is, once you get used to good homemade raw milk cheese, the store bought stuff is blah.

Leigh said...

I am so glad they are useful! That makes it all worth it. :)

charlotte said...

That's amazing, didn't know it even was posssible! The mozzarella looks really yummy, but unfortunately I have no raw milk available.

Leigh said...

Charlotte, mozzarella (or any cheese) can be made out of any milk except ultra-pasteurized. The heat from the process alters some of the protein molecules which ruins it for cheese. If you can find regular pasteurized, you're in business!

Lynda D said...

How smooth and creamy does that look, i think you have mastered it. Does the texture change after freezing?

Sarah said...

Man- I really need to find someone around here with goats! I want a Caprese sandwich ASAP! :)

Mark said...

Once again you have me wishing for goats in the pasture. One day! Great post and great looking cheese.

Leigh said...

Lynda, this cheese freezes extremely well. I do grate it first so it's ready to use once defrosted. Most cheeses get crumbly from freezing, but this one keeps its nice texture. :)

Leigh said...

Sarah, I hope you find them!

Leigh said...

Mark, something to look forward to. :)

Lynda said...

Yummy! I haven't had goat's cheese ANYTHING in years. But I am lucky enough to have a neighbor with a Jersey cow. The goats are in my future, tho...I have 4 granddaughters begging Papa for Niggi's every weekend!

Lise said...

About how much mozzarella do you get from one gallon? And do you have any interesting uses for the whey? Thanks! Super motivated to try this and see how it compares to cows mozzarella.

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Lise said...
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