I've had some success with this procedure so I thought would try again. Unfortunately, I misread the amounts and put 2.5ish mls of citric acid rather than 2.5 tsp! This meant the curd was way too soft, and not acidic enough. I noticed this after cutting the curd, so I thought, let's add the missing citric acid and, since the curd had set somewhat, let it stand for a good long time (another hour). But, all I ended up with was curds that barely matted together, were quite tough, and have, if anything, negative stretch. At least the curds taste good, but it's not usable as mozz. Can't slice it as the balls just crumble. Sigh.
Still, when followed properly, this make procedure is a good one - the failure is entirely my own.
Karen’s Mozzarella, Citric Acid (Thursday, Dec 19, 2013; sunny, 24 C)
The key to success with this recipe, if you are using pasteurized/homogenized milk, is to have the milk cold from the refrigerator when you begin. Also, make sure to be very gentle with the milk and the curd. You want to prevent curdling of the milk after adding the citric acid and you want to prevent the curd from shattering once you are in the cooking/heating phase. Use a skimmer to gently lift the curd, rather than stirring, during the initial minutes of the cooking phase.
2.64 tsp citric acid powder dissolved in ¼ cup lukewarm water
8 Litres HomeBrand Dark Blue (3.3% fat, 3.1% protein)
3 Litres Light Blue (1.5% fat, 3.7% protein) (F:P ratio for make is 0.86:1)
¼ tsp calcium chloride
3.8 Litres whey reserved from cheesemaking process
3/4 cup kosher or cheese salt
1/32 tsp lipase (optional) disoloved in ¼ cup lukewarm water
6.6 ml Renco (65 IMCU)
1. While milk still cold from fridge add dissolved citric acid, stirring very gently to blend well. (9:30 8 C)
2. Warm milk to 29.5 C, occasionally stirring gently.
3. Add Rennet (time: 9:45:00 floc time ??:??:?? = ? m ?? Sec 4x floc = ?? m ??s – cut time ??:??)- For this citric acid make ignore floc and wait 45 minutes (until 10:30)*
4. Cut into 1.25 cm cubes. (10:33; exceptionally weak curd? Citric Acid may be too old? Did not use CaCl2 in this make as I’ve read you get better stretch without – could also result in weak curd – actually, just realized that says 2.64 tsp, not ml of acid. I only added just over ½ a tsp. No wonder. Well, will see what we get.; after cutting I’ve added the extra 2 tsp, stirred a little, will heal 20 minutes to see if it helps, may need to recut)
5. Heal 10 minutes (10:35- 11:30 temp ??.? C – gave it a good soak due to previous acid shortfall)
6. Raise heat over 20 minute to 41.1 C (time 11:30 - 11:45 Temp ??.? - 41.2 C – bit quick)
Curd will be very fragile, so move it around by inserting skimmer under curd and lifting it to prevent matting.
7. Maintain temp and cook for 20 minutes, stirring to prevent matting. (time 11:45 - 12:05)
8. Let stand 5 minutes. (time 12:05 - 12:10; ??.? C )
9. Ladle curds into a cloth-lined colander and drain for 15 minutes, reserving whey. (time 12:15 - 12:30)
10. Place curd mass on a clean cutting board and cut into 1-inch cubes.
11. Add salt to reserved whey and heat whey to 79.4 C (temp ??.?)
12. Place about 1 cup of the curd cubes into a heat-resistant bowl or pot and pour some of the whey over the curd. After about 30 seconds, remove a chunk of cheese and start pulling on it. The centre may still be cool, so if it breaks, just mush it back together, then put it back in the whey and allow it to warm a bit longer. When the curd begins to stretch well, take it in your hands and pull into a long rope, putting the curd back into the whey as necessary to keep it soft and stretchy. You will probably have to dump the cooling whey out and replace with hot whey about every five minutes or so – if the curd gets hard to stretch or breaks, it is too cool.
13. Continue to pull and fold over the curd until it becomes smooth and shiny, then put it back in the hot whey for a few seconds to warm up again. Use your hands to form it into a ball or pinch off pieces for bocconcini-sized cheese, or stretch into ½ inch long strand and roll between palms to form string cheese
14. Place stretched and formed cheese into a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes to firm up. Remove and drain/dry on paper toweling. Either use immediately or store in plastic wrap, Ziploc bag or container and refrigerate up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for later use.
* I’ve decided to ignore the floc values for two reasons. First, I’ve always had bad luck with Mozz and I know Karen (who’s make this is) doesn’t use floc times. Also, we’re not using culture in this, the acidity comes from the citric acid, which makes it floc really quick but I’m not sure if this “quick mozz” version really should follow the floc guide since there’s no culture working away so it’s not really interacting with the acidity profile of the culture.
Monster fail. Absoultely no stretch, just crumbled. The “long soak” must have over acidified it. Should have guessed that would happen. Sigh.