Further adventures in cheesemaking: Homemade mozzarella

After the success of my homemade goat’s cheese, I wanted to delve a little further into cheese-making. Unfortunately, I don’t have a curing chamber, so I’m limited to fresh cheeses. (For now…)

That’s OK, though, because some of my favourite cheeses require no affinage. And I was recently reminded that Ideas in Food, a continuing source of inspiration, contains a recipe for one of them: mozzarella.

So far, the hardest part of cheese-making has been finding the milk. I’ve never seen a retail source for buffalo milk, so I was going to have to make a cow’s milk mozza, sometimes called fior di latte. Even good cow’s milk can be hard to come by, but I went with the organic brand that’s ubiquitous around here.

It took two tries, but I managed to get a workable curd, which I then dipped in the hot whey until it was malleable, and I stretched it and molded it into a ball, before immersing it in ice water to firm it up. When all was said and done, I got 195 grams of finished cheese from 1.9 litres of milk. Now I know why mozzarella is so expensive!

The best-known use for mozzarella must be pizza, but it seemed like a shame to take my freshly made cheese and melt it in a blazing hot oven. Which is why I went for no. 2 on the list: insalata caprese. Normally, I think this salad of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil is overrated, but with fresh field tomatoes abundant at the farmer’s market and fresh mozzarella on hand, it seemed like the perfect dish for the occasion.

I wasn’t blown away by the mozzarella itself: it was a little rubbery, and the flavour wasn’t as good as I had hoped for. Certainly it didn’t stack up to the better examples I’ve eaten in the past. But as a first attempt, I was pleased, and certainly encouraged enough to do it again!

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  1. Last-ditch cheese: Ricotta salata | Kayahara.ca - September 21, 2011

    […] glossed over it before, but my first attempt to make mozzarella was not so much a success. There are ways to draw success […]