When I first started using fresh mozzarella on pizza I was hooked. It is way too expensive for me so I had to learn to make it myself. It is a bit more complicated than making ricotta or cottage cheese but the end result is well worth it.
I also make into small balls and marinate them, or slice for my Caprese Salad. Fresh mozzarella will make your You'll wonder why you didn't always make your own.
Crush the rennet into the 1/4 cup of cool water and stir to dissolve. Pour milk into a non-reactive pot (NO ALUMINUM OR CAST IRON). Place over medium heat. Sprinkle the citric acid over the milk and stir a few times. Heat milk to
88-degrees. Milk will begin to curdle.
At 88-degrees, add the rennet solution and continue stirring slowly for a few minutes until the milk reaches 105-degrees. Turn off the heat. Large curds will appear and begin to separate from the whey (the clear, greenish liquid).
With a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, scoop the curd into a large glass bowl. (If it is still too liquid, let it set for a few more minutes). Press the curds gently with your hand and pour off and reserve as much whey as possible. Microwave curds on high for 1 minute, then drain off and reserve all the excess whey. With a large spoon, press curds into a ball until cool. Microwave two (2) more times for 35 seconds each, and continue to drain the whey and work cheese into a ball. In the meantime, place the reserved whey over medium heat and let it heat to about 175-degrees.
When cheese is cool enough to touch, knead it like bread dough until smooth. You can sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt into the cheese while kneading and stretching it. The cheese will become elastic, smooth and shiny. If it is difficult to stretch and breaks easily, dip it into the hot whey for a few seconds to make it warm and pliable. Then pick it up again and stretch it into a long rope. Fold over and stretch again. Dip in hot whey as needed to make the cheese pliable. When you can stretch it like taffy, it is done.
Junket Rennet is found in pudding section and citric acid is found in the canning section of your grocery store.