Bread and Butter Farms located in Shelburne, VT, offers a mozzarella cheesemaking class ( recipe to follow)through Vermont Farm Tours which the family and I partook in. Chris Howell from Vermont Farm Tours was kind enough to let me post the fresh mozzarella recipe for my readers, so now you can try and make this easy and delicious cheese with only a few basic ingredients and tools you already have at home. The only ingredient you might not have lying around is rennet, which is needed to help with the curdling process. You can find it on Amazon, Cheesemaking.com, or health food stores. My girls said this was their favorite activity while we were in Vermont. Our instructor, Phoebe, was so knowledgable about the process and the farm, and answered all the questions we threw at her. We were lucky enough to be the only ones attending the class that day, so it felt like a private lesson for the four of us. The class itself is about two hours long, and while the cheese rests we were able to tour the farm and learn a few things about it.
Taking pieces of mozzarella and shaping it into small balls. The longer you shape/handle it, more of the whey drains off and leaves a firmer cheese. If you like a softer cheese, handle it more lightly when you shape it.
This was such a fun and informative class, I can’t wait to recreate that mozzarella at home!
- 1 Gallon Milk yields 12-16oz cheese
- 1 tsp Citric Acid Crystals found at grocery stores
- 12 drops Rennet
- Ice Cubes
- 6qt Stock Pot Thermometer, Rubber Gloves, Kinfe, Slo ed Spoon or Spatula
- sea salt about a handful
Mix salt into a bowl(3-4 qt) of ice water to make brine (used to cool finished cheese), set aside
Pour milk into 6qt or larger stock pot
Dissolve citric acid crystals in 1⁄2 cup cool water; add acid solution on to the cold milk, stir thoroughly
Gradually heat the milk to 90F; stir occasionally to heat evenly
Dissolve ~12 drops rennet in 1⁄2 cup cool water
Take the milk off the heat and thoroughly stir in rennet solution
Let milk sit undisturbed for 20 minutes or until the curd sets and breaks cleanly
Use a long knife to cut the curds into 1 inch by 1 inch squares
Place stockpot with the curds back onto stove and very gently stir the curds as you heat to 130-140F. The curds will become stretchy and stick together when they are ready(it will look like slightly melted cheese)
Using a slotted spoon, remove a fist-sized ball of curd from the whey. Using gloves to avoid burning your hands, stretch and work the curd for 5-10 seconds. The more you work the curd, the more dense/rubbery the final product
Submerse the mozzarella in the brine to cool for 10-15 minutes. Mozzarella will last for up to a week in the fridge if stored in the brine
Warm milk is made slightly acidic, enabling rennet (an enzyme) to knit together milk proteins (casein), causing most solids (curd) to separate from the liquid (whey).
We use raw—unpasteurized/unhomogenized—milk in the workshop, but store bought milk may also work if it has not been ash or ultra pastuerized (heated to 161F for 15 seconds or 275F for 1-2seconds). Look for “vat pasteurized” milk—meaning the milk was heated to 145F for 30min. This low temperature pasteuriza on retains more avor and, important for cheesemaking, also retains the protein structure necessary for the curd to properly set.
Enjoy! Share photos on Facebook/VermontFarmTours