Monday, July 18, 2011

My first try at Mozzarella cheese! Also, Ricotta cheese and Pizza!

Ok, so I have been wanting to make mozzarella cheese for QUITE sometime and I finally got a chance to a few weekends ago.  HERE is where I got the recipe so you can get that and a more thorough set of instructions.
Here is how things went down for me:  I'm gonna call this one:

                                                            Salty tears in my Mozzarella
                                                           (you'll understand that soon....)

First I got all my supplies together ( listed on recipe sight)
Then I heat my milk up with a electric thermometer ( works better and longer then going all out and buying the dairy one)

Keep stirring here and there to keep your milk from scalding
OOps, ok this one you do before you heat the milk, gotta dissolve the citric acid in soft or distilled water and stir it into the cool milk.

Once the milk is at 88 degrees, add dissolve in water half of a rennet tablet and stir for 15 second, then let sit still for 15 minutes.

Cut your curds!  ( YEAH IT WORKED!!!)  use a long knife that will go to the bottom.

Let them sit for 5 minutes to get out some of the Whey.

I made some french toast with homemade bread and butter during this.  Probably not the best idea, as you will see, but it was really yummy!

By the way, this is butter:)  I made this from raw cows milk.  I thought, instead of using a stand mixer, we would try the shake method....... it would NOT work, we should for HOURS...  so weird.  SO, i took it all and put it in this container.  It was VERY creamy cause alot of the buttermilk never came out.  BUT, and this is the COOL part, I made my own SPREADABLE butter!  I can store this in the fridge and it still is spreadable from all the buttermilk that remains in it!  SO, happy mistake!  I got to make the restaurant style butter scoop balls on top of there breakfast this morning:)

Back to cheese.... Slowly heat the curds to 108 degrees over about 10-15 minutes time. Then shut off the heat and continue to stir every few minutes for an additional 20 minutes.

During that time, I got my hot water boiling for the next stage.

Drain your curds.  WAIT!!!!!!!!!  This is where everything went TERRIBLY WRONG for me.  SO IMPORTANT thatyou check and make sure that your drained of whey ( which you WANT to keep to make ricotta with when your done) is NOT TOUCHING YOUR MOZZARELLA!  I didn't realize it, but mine was sitting in it at the bottom, and I believe that is the only reason that it didn't turn out right, as you will see...:(

This is my "drained" mozzarella.  It is still  really pretty moist, so that is why this next step didn't work properly.

Salt your boiling water

Break up your cheese

Poor your hot salty water on your cheese and....

Start stretching!

Insert MELTDOWN.... this is where I curl in a bawl and start crying..... BUT, it doesn't have to happen to you!!!  Drain that cheese well and I know this will work just fine!  I tryed to save it, but in the end at least I came out with alot of ricotta!!  I hung some of the ricotta in a cheese cloth over night and made a dryer ricotta batch.  This lot below I used on some super fantastic pizza, I wasn't given up my homemade cheesy pizza night!!!

This is the left over whey, your suppose to wait 12-14 hours to make ricotta from the whey, but I was distraught and just wanted to get it over with at this point and try again another day.  SO, I made some ricotta.  Just heat your whey to 200 degree's and tiny fragile curds will form.  I used a few splashes of vinegar ( or you can use lemon juice) to help it out.  Then, using a strainer and some sort of cloth ( I used a cheese cloth and it was a pain to get all the cheese off it, so I suggest a clean pillow case or tea towel etc..) drain whey when it is cooled off, easy to touch.  the left over whey is still good for soups, breads, and animals.  hang up your cheese to let it drip for as long as you want, depends on how moist you like your cheese.  You can add a little whey if it drained off too much.  This is the traditional way to make ricotta, there is a much easier way to make ricotta just using normal milk from the store.

Easy Ricotta

Just poor your milk into a stainless steal pot, heat till 200 degrees stirring frequently to keep from scorching.  At 200 degrees, add 1/4 lemon juice or vinegar.  Stir for a minute and then let it sit for for a few minutes with an occasional stir.  Drain in a colander lined with a cloth.  I saved this whey.  It looked JUST like regular milk, so I figured I use it for bread or soup.  I tasted it.  It taste almost exactly like milk, can hardly tell the difference.  So we also used it for drinking, cereal ex.  NO WAIST!! YEAH!  Here is a more thorough recipe ( this is what I used).

There you have it, not much ricotta from one gallon of milk, but it will do!

Oh yeah, side note, this is our first cantaloupe from our garden! yeah!!

This is all the left over whey.  I used some of it for the pizza crust I'm about to show you below. Some for soup, the rest went to our supper spoiled chickens!
Now, pizza time....  I just used my bread machine recipe, but made it myself.  Much faster!
Sorry, out of order picture.  I cut the dough so that 2/3's of it would be for one BIG pizza and the other 1/3 will be for a small one.
Here is the small one ready to go in the oven.  This one doesn't have marinara sauce, but has the homemade "mozercotta" cheese :) , basil and garlic.

The one on the right has sauce, turkey sausage, turkey pepperoni, Colby/jack cheese, shredded mozzarella and homemade mozercotta :)

Oh ya, this is the pic of the ricotta draining, just tied it to my towel rack in the kitchen.

almost done, melting well!

Finished, OH SO HAPPY I AM.  Pizza dries up all tears!!!

So, that's the end of a long day.... did I mention I made
THIS skirt in the middle of all that, cause I just really NEEDED to make something that turned out right!!!  Don't worry though, I will be getting back up on the horse this week. Time to try again!!!   PRAY FOR ME!!!  :)

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