#1  
Old 05-15-2009, 06:47 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: San Antonio
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Default Making Mozz!

Some time ago I commented on making mozz and Acbova asked about it and I said I would put it onlne under ingredients.

Before describing anything, I need to comment that I think the fresh made mozz is better than any cows milk mozz I have had and only marginally behind buffalo milk mozz (that has been processed, etc.). I think it is worthwhile and I do it. In fact, I made mozz this afternoon for tomorrow's pizzas.

In theory making mozz from milk is pretty easy - except getting milk that hasn't been processed to death is not easy for most of us in the US. If you have a good source of fresh, whole milk, some internet research should quickly find you an answer. I have never done this, but I have made some weird plastic-like substances that were probably formed from milk proteins but don't deserve to be called cheese.

There is, however a pretty good alternative, which is to make it from cheese curds. The best source nationally seems to be Polly-O. Be warned, it comes in20 pound platic bagged slabs. There are some places on-line that will ship it but it is far better to find someone local to buy it from. Preferably in smaller quantities. My first purchase was an express shipped bag via the internet. I now get it from a pizzaria who also makes their own mozz. The good news is that cheese curds freeze well, so if you have to buy a 20 pound blob, cut it into 1 1/2 to 2 pound chunks, vacuum seal them if you can, and freeze them. Then thaw them out one at a time as you need them.

Making mozz is both easy and tricky! There are a number of recipes online. I would suggest looking at them to understand how uncritical it is (for no two methods are the same). Here is mine.

First, break the block of cheese curd into chunks. The more uniform the size the better off you will be. I shoot for chunks about a half inch in diameter. Length isn't too important. Uniform diameter helps them melt at a similar rate which helps with the cheese making.

Heat a gallon of water in a stockpot or large sauce pan to 170 to 185 degrees F and add 1/2 cup table salt or about 3/4 cup of kosher. As a beginner shoot for 170. Don't get the water too hot, it will make things happen too fast for you!

Before the next step, put ice and water in a large bowl to chill the mozz balls in when they are made...

Dump a pound to 2 pounds of broken up cheese curds into the hot water. Using wooden spoon handles, stir and mix the curds. They will melt and mass into a globby mess. Keep mixing, working and stretching the melted cheese until it is smooth and a bit glassy/shiny. The water will get milky. If the top gets "buttery" the water is too hot or you are overworking the curds.

Once it is smooth and shiny and a bit runny, I move it to a stainless bowl - mainy using wooden spoons but... try to get the globs into the stainless bowl
.

Using your hands continue working the cheese, stretching, and folding. Milky water will be coming out. As it cools it will begin to stiffen. While it is still soft and will stick to itself, start squeezing the cheese into balls. I typically make large balls about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Simply pinch the cheese with your thumb/forefinger while stretching the suface to create a ball. (Hard to describe but... its pretty natural.)

When the cheese ball is formed put it in icewater to stiffen. Let them chill for 10-20 minutes.

Store them in a solution made half from the salty water you heated them in and half from the ice water you chilled them in. They will store about a week.

In addition to making mozz balls, you can also take the hot cheese and form sheets and fill them with pesto or mascarpone and ricotta with herbs or... and roll them up in saran wrap (tight!) and chill. Slice into rounds to use on salads or pizzas.

I know it probably sounds kind of troublesome, but if you have curds it can be pretty fast once you get the hang of it and the flavor is GREAT!

Good Luck!
Jay

Last edited by texassourdough; 06-22-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2009, 07:14 PM
acbova's Avatar
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Location: York, PA
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

Thanks! Now I wonder where I can get the curds locally. Must be some place....
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2009, 07:22 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

I had forgotten you were in PA. I am pretty sure my curds came from PA but I can't remember who I got them from. I think curds are a lot more popular in the upper East probably because of higher density of Italians and a large grocery ought to be willing to order it for you as a special order if nothing else or an Italian Deli (may use it for a variety of products)...

A quick scan online found JB and Sons in Yonkers, NY that sells Polly-O. Also Brimar in NH. Sometimes you can find it on Amazon. I had a real hassle finding someone to order it from a couple of years ago. NOTE: by vacuum sealing the curds and keeping frozen, it is still fine 2 years later! So a large quantity is not a big problem. Which leads to the question, "Why is it so old?" and the answer is that the way I was taught to make it was REALLY messy and a pain to clean up so I didn't do it very often. I finally found a better way, much faster and tidier and I am using it much faster.

Good Luck!
Jay

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  #4  
Old 05-16-2009, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

Thanks allot Jay!

I have been planning mozz as my next trick, perfect timing. I found a certified dairy in Schulenberg that sells unpasturized whole milk, now I just need to decide to go all the way or start with curds first.
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  #5  
Old 05-16-2009, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

We have been making home made mozzarella for some time now. We start with pasturized milk bought from the store. First time we made it we went the the local dairy to get "Fresh" milk, second time, just bought it from the grocery store...no difference in the out come. So we stayed with the store bought milk!! As long as the milk is NOT ULTRApasturized it will be fine to make cheese with.

You can make 1 pound of mozzarella from 1 gallon of milk in 30 minutes (we make 2 pounds at a time)!! Then from the whey that is left over we make riccotta which is to die for with a bit of lemon zest and sugar (my favorite breakfast)!

We purchase our supplies from "the cheese queen" CheeseMaking - Online Store

All you need is citric acid, liquid rennet and milk optional ingredients lipase and cheese salt (kosher salt works too).

It is SOOOO easy and you will NEVER buy mozzarella in the store again...its that good.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2009, 10:32 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

Hi Wade!

As Chef pointed out it is the ULTRApasteurized that is a problem but thanks to only having HEB in San Antonio that seems to be all I can get. As Chef points out it is really easy to make mozz from milk and (to me more importantly) it is easy to make smaller amounts. Getting less than a block of curds can be challenging.

If I had a reliable, easy source of milk I would try that first. Go for it and let us know how it works for you.

Mozz on!
Jay
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2009, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

Jay:

What is HBE??

We have made goats milk cheese from Ultra pasturized goats milk...its OKAY but the curds are VERY fine and the cheese is very soft. So walk away from the ultra pasturized stuff!!
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:06 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

HEB is a regional grocer in south Texas. They have an almost stranglehold on the region. There are only a handful of grocery stores in San Antonio and no major chains (outside of Walmart and Target and ONE Whole Foods) in a city of 1.4 million people. So we have some rather odd availability issues. I need to go to a farmer's market and find someone who has real milk!
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  #9  
Old 05-17-2009, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

Whole Foods does not carry plain "ol pasturized milk??

Next time we make mozzarella I'm going to take photos to post on my facebook...may put a link here as well.
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2009, 06:53 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Making Mozz!

Whole Foods probably does carry plain old pasteurized. Maybe even HEB. But after making plastic-like stuff, I simply gave up and ordered curds and have done that ever since. I didn't trust regular pasteurized after the "plastic" and I couldn't locate a good raw milk source four years ago. It is good to know regular pasteurized milk works. I will have to try it!

Thanks!
Jay
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