There is simply nothing better than homemade mozzarella cheese! One you have tried this you will never go back to store bought again. The most difficult part of the process is locating the supplies; we purchase our supplies from www.cheesemaking.com. They ship quickly and the prices are great. Try the cheese warm...it is awesome!
We start by dissolving ½ teaspoon of Lipase powder in ½ cup of cool water; it needs to sit for about 20 minutes before adding to the milk. Therefore, I do this as I am preparing my ingredients and tools. The Lipase is optional but it gives the cheese a better flavor.
I pour two gallons of milk in to a CLEAN stock pot (stainless steel DO NOT USE an aluminum pot)and bring it up to 55F over a medium heat stirring constantly; this step goes quickly so be sure to have your thermometer in the milk most of the time. When the milk reaches 55F, add 3 teaspoons of Citric Acid and your Lipase. (Citric acid can be found in a home brew store if you do not want to order from www.cheesemaking.com)
Heat the mixture to 90F over medium to low heat you will see the milk start to curdle. Off to the side I have waiting in a glass ½ teaspoon plus 2 drops of rennet mixed with ½ cup of water. When the milk hits 90F I add the rennet mixture. Gently stir in an up and down motion, while heating the milk to 105F. Turn off the heat. The curds should be pulling away from the pot and they are ready to be scooped out. (rennet can be fount at the grocery store in tablet form use 1/2 tablet, once again you can order www.cheesemaking.com)
Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon or a Chinese spider (that is what we use) put into a microwave safe bowl. Press the curds with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible.
We then microwave the curds on high for 1 minute. Drain off the whey again. Gently fold the cheese over and over as if you are kneading bread. Again, microwave for 30 seconds on high drain off whey and add 2 teaspoons of salt. We use cheese salt but kosher salt is ok.
When the cheese is smooth and shiny we roll, it into medium size balls and place them in a bowl of water and ice to cool. Once cool we pat dry and wrap in plastic. This makes about 2 pounds of cheese. We also make ricotta cheese for the remaining whey…but that is another post!!
WARNING - if you are making cheese do not bake or cook with yeast for 24 hours prior, the cheese will fail. Also you must use a stainless steel pot not an aluminum one; once again your cheese will fail!