Getting your hands on the freshest mozzarella in town

Getting your hands on the freshest mozzarella in the world may be easier than you think. All you have to do is make it! The moist cheese is a staple in Italian cooking and is surprisingly simple to make at home. Online cooking school students should have no problem whipping up a batch for themselves. Once you are finished you can use your new cheese to make delicious caprese salads, margherita pizzas or stuffed pasta!

1 gallon of milk
¼ teaspoon rennet
½ teaspoon citric acid

The milk can be any kind you desire: Cow, goat, sheep, whole, 2%, etc. all work well. However, you don’t want to use any milk that has been ultra-pasteurized (UHT) as that process destroys the milk protein that forms the cheese. Raw milk is the best option but can be difficult to procure. Rennet is an enzyme derived from the stomach lining of young animals, however, vegetarian forms are available as well. Finally, citric acid can be found at most grocery stores and is necessary to help with the acidification process.

Start by dissolving your citric acid into a ¼ cup of water. Pour this solution into a large non-reactive stockpot with your milk.
Heat the mixture to 90 degrees F while gently stirring.
Add the rennet to a cup of water.
Remove the pot from the burner and add the rennet/water.
Stir for 30 seconds to combine and then let the whole mixture rest for five minutes.
After five minutes you should have a pot full of curds, cut them into a grid pattern.
Put the pot back on the stove and cook the curds to 105 degrees F.
Transfer the curds to a strainer using a slotted spoon.
Submerge the strainer into a pot of water at around 190 degrees F.
Once the curds reach an internal temp of 135 degrees, remove them from the hot water.
Sprinkle the curds with a bit of salt and begin kneading them into whatever shape you want.
Cool your mozzarella in an ice water bath.
Enjoy your new cheese immediately or store for up to a week covered in a mixture of whey and a teaspoon of salt.

Slice your fresh mozzarella and plate with sliced tomatoes and basil. Top with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a perfect summertime caprese salad.

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