Adventures in Cheesmaking

This all started out as a curiosity. Like most stuff we eat there is a rich history behind it. Centuries of experimentation. Cheese is just another example.

From the horse back tribes of the Asian Steppes to the Silk Road camel caravans to Romans Legions to European Monks to today, milk was a great source of nutrition but spoiled quickly and was heavy to transport.

The answer was cheese.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mozzarella - update on microwave method

I made another batch of Mozzarella based on the fast microwave method that I have outlined earlier on this blog. A few extra suggestions:

- Don't use any calcium chloride during production. It is not needed for the acid precipitation and can inhibit the stretching process
- After you start to heat it in the microwave make sure you keep pressing out and removing the whey
- Persist with the heating and kneading. The more you work it the better it gets.
- You will need to wear gloves. The temperature that is needed to get the cheese glossy and stretchy is over 140 F
- I have had a range of problems with the product going slimy on storage. This often happens to Mozzarella and Feta. A few things I have tried include storing in whey, adding a 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid and a few drops of calcium chloride. Mostly this seems to be the result of loss of calcium from the cheese. In fact it is pretty hard to stop and much harder with this fast production method. One solution is to make it as a log and not the traditional balls and vac seal or wrap tightly in cling wrap or store in olive oil.

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