Author Topic: Need help diagnosing problem with mozzarella...  (Read 1099 times)

Offline bdasko

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Need help diagnosing problem with mozzarella...
« on: September 20, 2008, 09:41:04 PM »
Hi folks!  Been lurking for a bit and this is my first post!  I'm a complete newbie, and so now I have a question.  I've made mozzarella, twice now.  The first time it wasn't that great since I forgot to salt it and so it was super bland.  Made it again tonight and it was nice with a good flavor but here's the problem I'm trying to figure out:

It crumbles after it's melted.  So basically, I put it on a pizza and it doesn't stay melted like the storebought mozz, it melts a bit but then if you poke it with a fork it pretty much just disintegrates, even while it's hot.  When I was kneading it, it was stretching like crazy!

I've used two different brands of milk, both somewhat locally produced though not what i would consider "local" milk.  Raw milk is difficult to get, I could drive an hour and pay $10 a gallon for it but that would make for some expensive cheese!

Anyway, I'm wondering if this is something that others are familiar with?  Would this be something that calcium chloride would fix?  I'm such a newbie I don't really know the ins and outs of what does what.

Thanks :)

bethany


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Offline Tea

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Re: Need help diagnosing problem with mozzarella...
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2008, 10:23:19 PM »
Hi Bethany and welcome to the forum. 
There are different methods of making mozz, so maybe if you posted the recipe, method, temps, etc exactly as you did it, we might be able to help you, and maybe a pic of what you mean by crumble/disintegrate.

Glad that you found our little corner, and hopefully someone will be able to help you.

Offline bdasko

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Re: Need help diagnosing problem with mozzarella...
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 09:01:52 PM »
Hmm let's see if I can remember, it was at my parents house but let's see.

2 gal whole milk
2 tsp citric acid, dissolved into 1/2 c bottled water
1/2 tablet rennet, dissolved into 1/2 c bottled water
2 1/2 tsp cheese salt

So I dissolved the additives, and first mixed the citric acid with the milk in the pot.  Heated it up to 90 degrees, then added the rennet.  I then let it set for 8 minutes, and then cut the curd into 1 inch cubes.  At that point it was sort of curdle-y and didn't have a super firm set.  The curds disintegrated pretty easily, so we poured the whole thing into a wire mesh strainer to separate the curds.  Nuked the cheese in a bowl for 1 minute, kneaded it like bread, nuked for 30 seconds, kneaded, etc.  I think I nuked and kneaded about 3 or 4 times until it was super stretchy like taffy, mixing in the salt at the last minute (my mom was watching and very impressed at the stretchiness, lol).  Then formed it into 2 balls, threw into ice water.  We ate some of it warm and it was great.  The rest of it was chopped and put onto a pizza.

The first time I made it, I made it similarly except after adding the rennet I just kept stirring and the curds sort of formed on their own, very small, and were easier to strain out.  That time I chopped the cheese into larger pieces, breaded and fried them in oil (trying to make cheese stick type bites).  The breading came off some of them but they didn't melt at ALL. 

I can't really describe the texture after heating/cooking, it was almost like it was mealy with a plastic-y skin on top after it was "melted" (cooked onto the pizza) and then cooled.  I wish I'd taken pictures but I didn't :(

Offline Tea

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Re: Need help diagnosing problem with mozzarella...
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 03:13:08 PM »
Ok well I admit upfront that I have never made the microwave version.  I will say however that 8mins seems a very short time for curds to set, so it doesn't surprise me that they seemed soft and not well formed.  Did the recipe say to nuke the cheese that many times?   I know it I heat mine more than twice, the cheese takes on a rubbery feel.
Maybe some else can give you better advise.  Sorry I couldn't help more.

Offline bdasko

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Re: Need help diagnosing problem with mozzarella...
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 04:22:04 PM »
Well the recipe actually said to let it set for 3-5 minutes.  as far as heating I do remember it said 1 minute and then twice more in 30 second increments or until it stretched right... but I wonder if that's why it had that rubbery skin on it? 


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