how NOT to make homemade mozzarella

I’m my own worst enemy. It took three tries to, finally, be successful. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. The first go-around ended up more like an Indian rubber ball than silky smooth mozzarella. I actually had to use a serrated knife to slice it! Attempt number two, which I tried with Meaghan, never made it to the slicing stage at all. We ate it like ricotta.

I read and re-read the instructions: check, check, check. I’d done everything as instructed. The only thing that I could see as the possible problem was my milk. It states clearly NOT to use ultra-pasturized. I used ultra-pasturized. I’m not really sure why I chose to ignore that little point.

I love the idea of making my own HOMEMADE MOZZARELLAYears ago, while on our first visit to Italy I had a private cheese-making class with a local farm woman. She made it look like the easiest thing in the world. One of the most charming moments with her was her telling me that we were using fresh milk from her cow! Now I understand how important that cow was!

A couple of weekends ago, Ralph and I were visiting friends in Halifax. Saturday morning, they took us to the Farmer’s Market at Pier 21. Lo and behold, I found Non-Homogenized, Lightly Pasturized Whole Milk. I bought a gallon, lugged it back to the farm and ta-da…

Homemade Mozzarella

I ended up with a little under a pound of fresh mozzarella. The first ball was perfect. Sadly, I didn’t think that I’d left the cheese in the hot salted whey long enough so I increased the dip time. The last three balls ended up a bit tough. I’m not posting a recipe today. There are all sorts of ‘How to make Homemade Mozzarella’ on the internet with great step by step instructions.

I followed my kit’s instructions to the letter which is why I had a bit of a ‘dog- on-a-bone’ attitude with trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Now that I’ve figured it out, I need to find a local supplier of lightly pasturized milk. Any suggestions?

Homemade Mozzarella 2

You have to plunge your hands in ice water so that you can hold on to the 185*F cheese! I have so much respect for cheese-makers!

Homemade Mozzarella 1

Moral of the story: You have to use a gently pasturized milk to make mozzarella and don’t stray from the instructions.

Thanks for reading.