Author Topic: Pizza Test - Failure  (Read 1752 times)

Offline mako

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Pizza Test - Failure
« on: March 25, 2009, 04:43:16 AM »
Or maybe more of a weak passing grade. I made some 30 minute mozz. It came out as well as I've made it. Not great, but not too bad. I forgot the lipase, but found the effect on the flavor to be pretty minimal. A little sweeter, a little less depth.

Then I really put it to the test. Had a bunch of people over for pizza, and made one of the pies with half store bought fresh mozzarella, and half my own.

The storebought stuff completely melted down and got delightfully stretchy. Mine... did not. It melted a little, got chewy, but remained in thick white globs on the pizza, and the blistering was much more like a goat cheese or other lactic cheese (fried panir, maybe?) than the bubbly browned bits on a mozzarella. A few big black spots of burnt, no spots of more smooth golden brown deliciousness.

That said, the guests said mine tasted better than the storebought stuff. And I'd probably agree. Very rich and creamy (perhaps too creamy, although I'm eventually shooting for something that compares with bufala, so I'm going for creamy). I think at this point I'd prefer homemade for a caprese salad, but for pizza, it's not yet there.

As far as the make, it was good. 30 minute make + knowing you'll be using the cheese within 24 hours = no worrying about sterile procedure. What a joy. ;D I kept the heat right at the low end (never above 89 degrees), leading to a really delicate curd. Thought it would be a problem, as the curds would almost fall apart when i stirred, but I got the whey drained off, and microwaved, and drained off more whey, and they started to come together. After about 1 min, 35 sec, 35 sec, 15 sec, 10 sec, it stretched really well. Pulled it to about 5 feet without it breaking. It's possible I needed to stretch it even more, but it looked smooth and happy when I started pinching off balls.

Couple other questions, if anyone's got any ideas: 1) Could the microwave method be used for a traditionally acidified moz? I don't see why it wouldn't work... something about the dry heating vs the wet method might throw the moisture content out of whack, but I'm not sure.

2) I have yet to produce a brine/pickle that doesn't completely dissolve the cheese within hours. Last time I tried a bit of CaCl2 with salt and water, and it dissolved and imparted a poisonous CaCl2 flavor to my cheese. I don't remember if I've actually used straight, unsalted, unacidulated water, but I feel like I have, and that was a failure as well. This time, I used 2 Tbsp salt in 3 cups of undiluted fresh whey from this make, after dunking the balls in cold water to firm them up. Upside: the saltiness was just about perfect -- too much for a real delicate bocconcini, just right for something that'd have to stand up to the flavors on pizza, not so much as to overpower the other flavors. Downside: after about 18 hours, the balls are smaller, quite slimy, and the brine looks completely opaque, like a glass of milk. >:(

Not sure if whatever's causing them not to be stretchy enough is also meaning they're not strong enough to sit in a liquid base, if something about the 30 minute method produces a cheese that doesn't quite function like other fresh mozzarellas, or if something else is leading to the meltdowns.

Here's a pic of the pizza, but it's a bit out of focus. My cheese is on the right. Not gooey.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 01:13:24 AM by mako »


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 01:46:30 PM »
This may or may not help but I make the microwaved mozzarella often and I don't use CaCl2 at all - so far no problems. I also use Junket rennet when making it which some people think is a poor choice - it's never let me down.

It seems to me that the biggest problem most people I have dealt with have is they don't squeeze out enough whey before kneading and when the cheese goes in the brine it disovles. I could be making the wrong assumptions here but I think that is the cause based on what they have told me about their process.

I am not sure which process you are using there are so many. I use the Junket recipe method for mozzerella and riccotta from the same whey as I rarely use one without the other.




Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 07:31:37 PM »
If you got a little melting that sounds about right for 30 minute mozz. You really have to make the all day stuff to get it to melt corrrctly.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 07:58:12 PM »
I'm guessing we are talking about the same thing. I make the micrwave mozzarella and mine always melts nicely.



Maybe it's the sauce?

Offline mako

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 01:28:01 AM »
I imagine that if I cooked at a higher temperature (100-105F instead of 88-90), and held at this temperature a little longer, I would expel more whey. But I also imagine that if I did this, I'd end up with drier mozzarella. It's worth experimenting with. It'd seem that dry would be better for pizza, but mine wasn't really any more moist than the storebought -- just a little slimier.

OK, so at this point, on my list of things to play with, I've got: more kneading and more whey explusion. (And going back to bacterially cultured, but I'm trying to hold off on that until I can get the rest of the method mostly sorted out. I can't devote another 8 hours to babysitting a batch of mozzarella to have it turn into crumbly, dissolving chunks when I heat it up. I'm not strong enough for that. :P)

For the record, I'm using Ricki Carroll's recipe.

Also, not to be a jerk, but I have to tell you, Debi, George Carlin never said anything about the moments that take your breath away. He said a lot of great stuff, but he was way more cynical than that.


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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 07:56:41 AM »
I've had the same problems with my mozz getting slimey when left in brine for any length of time.  I now only brine it for about 2 hours at most, just enough time to give it some saltiness.

I've found that the 30 minute mozz just doesn't get that nice, gooey stretch to it when it melts.  It's an okay recipe when I'm short on cheese and time, but if I have my druthers, I make the cultured variety.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 06:27:34 PM »
Hi guys,
I've posted this quite a few times before, but from my experience, melting cheese comes from a difference between the brine and the cheese.
The solution to this problem is really quite simple....make your brine out of the whey you drain from your cheese.
I used to have a terrible problem with my provolone melting during the brining phase yet once I switched to using the whey the problem went away.
Now, with any cheese that requires a brine batch I use the whey from the make.
Hope this helps.

Dave

Offline mako

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 08:57:04 PM »
But but but... I DID make the brine from the whey I drained from my cheese.  >:(

A bunch of recipes call for a little bit of whey in your brine, but I figured if I wanted it to be the same acidity as the cheese, I might as well just use all whey. Especially since it was directly acidified, and wasn't going to continue to get stronger. (Although, maybe I do want it more acid than the cheese that's sitting in it. Some brine recipe I read the other day called for brines to be below a pH of 4.7, which is going to be more acid than just about any cheese. I don't remember enough chemistry to figure how that would affect things. Hmmmmm.)

Knowing that all whey has worked for you, Dave, I guess that leaves other options for why my cheese didn't stay together -- chief among them that 30 minute mozzarella just doesn't have the wherewithal to stand up to brining. Maybe I'm going to have to start making more zillion-minute mozzarella.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 10:01:09 PM »
Also, not to be a jerk, but I have to tell you, Debi, George Carlin never said anything about the moments that take your breath away. He said a lot of great stuff, but he was way more cynical than that.


Oh well I copied from the Plan of the Week at work. People get miss quoted all the time.

Offline Terfst

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2009, 03:38:16 PM »

It may be, and I am not sure of it, the exchange of calcium from the cheese to the brine. If you add calcium chloride to the brine mixture or use the whey, it should not happen. The cheese will retain it's calcium instead of transferring it to the brine and then becoming mush.


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Offline squirrel

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2009, 10:06:59 PM »
To address the question of brine pH differing from cheese pH, we can look to "American Farmstead Cheese" for an answer. The book says:

  • brine pH greater than cheese pH produces a soft, pasty, slimy rind with whey drainage out of the cheese and fast salt uptake.
  • brine pH equal to cheese pH produces a firm, thin skin with ideal, consistent salt uptake and cheese salt content
  • brine pH less than cheese pH produces a hard, tough as cow horn rind with slow salt uptake

Offline Michelle

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Re: Pizza Test - Failure
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009, 03:27:21 PM »
Hi mako

Your mozz looks great.  I'm guessing you prefere the mozz when it melts all over your pizza.  But to to be honest, the half with your cheese on it looks exactly like the way pizzas do in Italy.  The italian fresh mozzarella stays in white lumps on the pizza and does not spread out, melt and bubble like the older, yellower stuff you get from the shops (and on the Chain store pizzas).  So, I guess you could say yours is much more authentic and definitely not a failure!

Regards,
Michelle
Taranaki, New Zealand