We have been greatly blessed with beautiful spring weather... and a fridge full of fresh milk! So, here in the farm kitchen we had a yummy good time today. Using our fresh milk, citric acid, rennet, a little know how, and a lot of silliness we make some delicious mozzarella cheese.
Having your own milk doe, creativity is often needed to use up the excess milk. We make several different cheese, yogurts, ice creams and even butters with our delicious milk. By far it seems the most fun dairy delight is mozzarella cheese.
After adding citric acid, the milk is warmed to 90 degrees. Rennet is added and the temperature is raised to 105 degrees. The milk is left to set for a few minutes to allow the curd to form. We heat the curd to 110 degrees and stir gently to stretch the curd. After about five minutes at this temperature, the whey is drained from the curd. We salt the curd while gently kneading them..this helps remove the remaining whey.
Now the fun begins! Grab that curd and start pulling and twisting it as you would taffy (by the way, yes, we make taffy every year). Yes, it's fun .. yes, teens love it....yes, the curds are HOT! That makes it all the more interesting/entertaining.
After the cheese takes on a glossy appearance and becomes some-what firm..place it in ice water to set the cheese. Now enjoy it! The cheese can be stored in the fridge for two weeks or even frozen for six months.
This cheese tastes just like the string cheese you purchase in the store... delicious on pizza, salads, sandwiches or just by itself as a snack. No, it does not last long....but it is a great way to use up an extra gallon of fresh milk.
Now the question is, how would you use up an extra gallon of fresh milk?