For 4 gallons of milk
1.Strain 2 gallons of warm milk into a stainless steel stockpot, and add a thermophilic culture: either 1/4 teaspoon DVI or 5oz. of fresh culture.
2. Mix 1 teaspoon Type K or KL lipase enzyme powder into a half-cup of cool water, and add to the warm milk.
3. Let incubate at 86 degrees F. for about 45 minutes to an hour.
4. Then mix 4 teaspoons citric acid powder in half a cup of cool water, and add to 2 gallons of 35 degree F. milk.
5. Add the cold milk to the warm milk, and bring the temperature of the combined milks up to 86 degrees F.
6. Add 1-teaspoon liquid rennet (or half a rennet tablet) to 1/4-cup cool water, and add to the cultured and acidified milk.
7. Let stand for 15 min (or until you get a clean break), and then cut curd into cubes 3/8 to 1/2 inch in size.
8. Let stand for 5 minutes. Apply low heat to raise temperature to 118°F in 30 minutes, stirring to keep curd from lumping. I put the cheesepot in a sink of hot water to achieve this, or use a Weck canner….stovetops just heat up too quickly.
9. Stir 15 minutes longer, holding at 118°F.
10. Drain curd into colander, but save the whey for traditional ricotta. Drain curd for 15 minutes in colander, and then cut into 1 by 1" cubes. Put about a pound cubes in a large bowl or bucket, and cover with 145 ° F water. Let the curd soak in the hot water until the curd reaches a temperature of around 130°F. Watch carefully that the curd doesn’t go over 135°F or it will seize up.
11. Using your hands, stretch the curd with upward motion until it is smooth and shiny. Shape into ball or pear or use mold. Work quickly, but if loses it's stretch, dip it again in hot water.
12. When stretched until it’s smooth and glossy, place cheese in iced water until firm.
13. Place in 23% brine (2 1/2 lbs. canning salt to 1 gallon water) at 50 to 55°F for one to three days, depending on the size of your cheese balls.
14. After 2 1/2 days in brine, remove and tie in heavy twine. If desired at this point, smoke cheese for 3-4 hours (cool-not hot smoke; hickory, apple sassafras). Hang to cure at 45-50°F for about three weeks. Relative humidity should be 85 to 88%. Rub surface with vegetable oil to prevent mold and cracking.
15. Clean surface with dilute warm salt water; dry and then wax at 240°F. Hang to ripen at 45-55°F for 3 months (mild cheese) to 12 months (sharp cheese).
To make a tender, fresh Mozzarella, don’t cook the curd after cutting, and don’t age or smoke it. It’s also best to salt the curd to taste as you’re stretching it when making Mozzarella.
Notes and recipe from the "cheesemakingring" which is not longer active.
The Pasta Filatas such as Provolone and Mozzarella have been a long-standing source of fascination for me as a cheesemaker, as well as a wellspring of real frustration because of the variability and lack of quality produced by some of the recipes floating around. One day the curd I made from these recipes would stretch like taffy, the next it would sit like a lump in the hot water, or worse, seize up into a hard, dry mass.
Traditional recipes---those that used only thermophilic cultures to acidify the curd---were tasty, but didn't stretch, while the cheese made with food grade acid stretched well enough (although not always consistently) but tasted like white plastic. Because of these problems, I resolved one summer to understand this class of cheese better, and set about doing my own hands-on research by making these cheeses three times a week. This is what I learned....
One of the key issues I noted in making Citric Acid Mozzarella from goat’s milk was that the stage of lactation had a significant effect on whether the cheese curd stretched as it is supposed to do. Milk produced early in a doe's lactation made a lovely curd that stretched beautifully, but later in the summer the recipe would stop working and the curd would sit there like a lump on a log.
As I began playing around with amounts of recipe ingredients and finally found that different amounts of citric acid were required at different times of the lactation. Too little citric acid made a curd that was unstretchable---this happened with late lactation milk or with milk with high somatic cell counts, which seems to have a buffering effect on acid development. Too much made a curd that stretched like a dream, but would never quite become solid again no matter how cold it got. This happened with milk early in my does' lactations, which were running very low SCCs.
So early in the spring, I could make a stretchy Goats Milk Mozzarella with 1 teaspoon of citric acid per gallon of milk, but as the year wore on it would slowly require more to get the stretch I wanted. By increasing the citric acid in eighth-teaspoon increments I could eventually determine the amount of acid the milk required to make the cheese I wanted.
Having now found the texture I wanted, the problem of flavor remained. The typical Citric Acid Mozzarella recipe makes a cheese very reminiscent of plastic. The flavor is almost nonexistent.
It wasn't until a member of Artisan_Cheesemakers-L posted a sort of hybrid recipe utilizing both thermophilic culture and citric acid that I found the cheese I wanted. This recipe for Provolone and its cousin, Mozzarella, is a variation on that idea.