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Cheesemaking

juliejulez Dec 11, 2012 08:14 PM

So I took a class on cheesemaking where we watched the instructor make Ricotta and Mozzarella. I plan on trying both next weekend. My friend that I took the class with will be coming over and she took a lot of notes (I did not, I'm a slacker). I've already purchased the liquid animal rennet and a pound of citric acid.

But, I was wondering if any folks here have any additional tips or hints or tricks or anything to make sure this goes smoothly?

Also, how much milk is required to make approx 30oz of ricotta?

I'd like to be able to take the mozzarella with me to BF's moms for Christmas so it'd be nice to not screw it up. I'll make something w/ the ricotta the day we make the cheese, probably stuffed shells.

  1. biondanonima Dec 12, 2012 08:28 AM

    I think I get about a pound and a half of ricotta from a gallon of whole milk, maybe a little more. Your yield will depend on the fat content of your milk and how wet you like your ricotta - I drain mine until it's pretty dry, then add cream until I have the consistency I want (makes it richer without the pastiness that comes from adding the cream to the milk before curdling).

    Mozzarella is much trickier than ricotta, and honestly I haven't had a lot of luck with it. I end up with cheese, of course, but it's not as good as the fresh cow's milk mozzarella I can purchase at just about any supermarket (and not NEARLY as good as the Italian imported mozzarella di bufala that I can get at Costco).

    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima
      juliejulez Dec 12, 2012 08:35 PM

      Thanks! We'll see how it turns out. In the class there wasn't enough time to drain the mozzarella properly so I never actually got to see/taste the end result.

      I guess that's what's nice about these easy cheeses, if they don't turn out you're not out a ton of money. I spent $20 on the bottle of rennet and the pound of citric acid, and the milk will probably be around $10. Not bad for a fun Saturday afternoon experiment.

    2. s
      Sal Vanilla Dec 11, 2012 10:34 PM

      You are going to need a couple gallons of milk to get 30 ounces of mozz. and about a half gallon for the ricotta.

      I learned to make ricotta from Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/02/ho... There you can get all answers to all conceivable question and click to the actual recipe.

      Remember - no ultra pasteurized milk!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sal Vanilla
        juliejulez Dec 12, 2012 08:30 AM

        Thanks Brandon and Sal! I'll do a gallon for the ricotta and 2-3 for the mozzarella. That link should be helpful. The lady teaching the class was kind of nutty and went off topic a lot, so I had a hard time following her. I definitely remembered the no pasteurized milk part though!

        1. re: juliejulez
          s
          Sal Vanilla Dec 12, 2012 07:05 PM

          Ultra no. Pasteurized is A O K.

          Read thru the recipe thoroughly first, lay out your tools (sterile) and then have fun. It is not brain surgery, but the eaters will insist it is.

          I have seen some do mozz partially in the micro. If you go that way, let's hear from ya!

          Happy Holidays!

          1. re: Sal Vanilla
            juliejulez Dec 12, 2012 08:33 PM

            Yes sorry, I meant no ultra pasteurized :) We are going to try the ricotta in the microwave, at least for a portion of it. Eventually I'll try the mozzarella that way too. This time since it's the first try we'll stick to the stove :)

      2. b
        Brandon Nelson Dec 11, 2012 10:13 PM

        Seems to me it took me a gallon of milk to get @ a quart and a half of ricotta.

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