Mozzarella & Ricotta Cheese

**The link above gives you pictures of the process.

Ingredients needed are:

1-1/2 gallons whole fresh milk

2 ts citric acid

1/2 ts rennet diluted in 1/4 c water

You will also need a heavy pot with lid, thermometer, timer, cheesecloth, and a colander for draining. Optional ingredients are extra milk and flaked salt to add to the ricotta cheese.

Here are the steps to making fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.

1. Pour 1 gallon whole milk into pot, stir in the citric acid. Then, begin heating slowly.

2. Heat milk slowly to 88*, stirring occasionally

3. Once the milk reaches 88*, add diluted rennet mixture

4. Heat milk slowly to 105*, stirring occasionally.

5. Once it reaches 105*, turn off heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes for the curd to form.

6. After 15 minutes, it’s time to remove the curd.

7. Place the curd in a container to squeeze the whey out of the curd.

Squeeze as much whey as possible out of the curd, pouring it into the pot.

8. Place squeezed curd into colander, cover tightly on top with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

9. After the whey has cooled to under 105*, it’s time to make ricotta cheese. This must be done as soon as it’s cooled some. This is technically not a cheese, as it’s only the whey with whole milk. The enzymes in the whey will die, and not curd into ricotta if you wait more than 30 minutes to make it.

Add 1/2 gallon whole milk to whey.

10. Heat to 105*, stirring occasionally

11. Once it reaches 105*, turn off heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

12. After 15 minutes, drain the ricotta into a cheese cloth (real stuff!) lined colander.

13. If you are saving the whey, be sure to have a large bucket or bowl underneath the colander, you will be getting over a gallon of whey!

14. Hang the ricotta to drain for 15 minutes.

15. After 15 minutes, the ricotta is ready to add salt and milk, if desired. Adding salt will preserve it a bit longer. Adding milk will make it creamier.

16. This shows the ricotta with the added salt and milk.

17. After the refrigerated time is up for the mozzarella, it’s time to stretch it…

18. Put the curd into very hot water, but not so hot that you cannot put your hands in the water. I use very hot tap water. As you put it in the water, press the curd and soften it. You will see the water turn to white. This is the whey coming out of the curd. You want to get all of that whey out! Change the water as often as needed to clear it all.

You will do this repeatedly…until it is easy to stretch and keeps together….

19. Stretch the curd….

And form it into a ball…

That’s all there is to it! You’ve just made fresh, homemade mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. Once you taste them, you won’t want store bought cheeses again!







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