Cheese update – trying to make mozzarella

While my goudas mature, I decided to make a cheese that is quicker to eat. So here I am, making mozzarella. I’m quite good at following directions and when I’m not following them, I usually get away with it. This time however… well read on.

Mozzarella is a fresh cheese, usually made from buffalo milk. I didn’t have buffalo milk, so I used organic, un-homogenized full milk. The process felt quite nice and following the guide from my Making Artisan cheese, the pictures even looked quite similar.

However, I didn’t have the right mesofilic culture, and furthermore, instead of a direct set culture, I used a normal lyophilized culture that was supposed to be used as an inocula for a mother culture in making mozzarella. I didn’t let that bother me.

Making mozzarella
Starting the inoculation

This was the first time I used an Anova sous vide cooker to maintain the fermentation temperatures required for the cheese. The water bath worked like a charm and it was easy as pie to mainted the required temperatures. I definitely recommend this trick over a kettle on the stove any day.

Making mozzarella
Cutting the curds
Making mozzarella
Letting the curds and whey separate
Making mozzarella
After draining the whey
Making mozzarella
cooking the curds and turning them frequently
Making mozzarella
After the cooked curds have been cut

The photo montage above shows quite a nice process. In the end however, the cooked curds were supposed to heated and molded into those niche shiny soft balls everybody’s familiar with. My mozzarella balls ended up looking like small brains: wrinkly and crumbly. I didn’t let that bother me either and I put them to the ice cold brine solution and into the cheese cave.

Cheese cave update

Making mozzarella
My mozzarella “balls” are sitting next to my natural rind goudas

My dry-aging fridge was initially supposed to hold just meat, but as I described earlier, I modified it to have a second temperature zone to mature cheeses. The goudas I made earlier are still maturing (until November) so now the mozzarellas were the second cheese to get into the fridge.

After few hours of salting in the brine, I tasted the mozzarella. It had a consistency between ricotta and halloumi (or traditional Fininsh “leipƤjuusto“). It was relatively hard and not soft like a proper mozzarella is. This made it ideal for grating and topping a pizza with it!

A sourdough pizza dough, with self made mozzarella!? It doesn’t get any better than that!

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