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- QA6 – Why Didn’t My Curd Knit Together?
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- QA5 – Why Doesn’t My Mozzarella Stretch Properly?
- Pressing Your Cheese – Bringing It All Together
QA5 – Why Doesn’t My Mozzarella Stretch Properly?
Mozzarella, it’s the cheese that many new cheese makers try first because of its quick results, delicious taste and versatility of use.
Recipes like 30 Minute Mozzarella make it even more appealing, especially for those who are time poor but want to get involved in home cheese making and experience the thrill of creating their own cheese products.
But, while this recipe is quick and simple and caters to that need for instant gratification, it often causes new cheese makers the most frustration and questions about how to master the delightful stringy cheese they imagined creating.
For Mozzarella to stretch well it needs two things – the right amount of heat to soften the curd, and acidity (pH of approximately 5.2).
The heat part is usually easy enough to work out (aim for about 80 degrees Celsius or 180 degrees Fahrenheit) but the acidity part can cause some real problems.
Acidity is increased either over time or with the addition of cultures or acidic ingredients. The 30 Minute Mozzarella recipe made famous by Ricki Carroll includes citric acid to create the acidity. More traditional recipes use the time element.
What can cause problems is that sometimes you might need both elements, depending on the your milk. Yet, if you are following the 30 Minute Mozzarella Recipe, it doesn’t advise you on lengthening your ripening time. And some traditional recipes don’t mention it either and yet it can make all the difference for a successful Mozzarella make.
Before you think that to get good Mozzarella you are going to have to spend a lot more time in the kitchen check out my Mozzarella Recipe, which I always use and never have any problems with.
To get the acidity required, you leave the curd for a 24-48 hour ripening period which means you can make the curd then leave it until you have more time somewhere in that timeframe then go back and finish it off! There’s really no more extra time spent on the make, just a bit of pre-planning required.
I usually test my curd at 24 hours but have always had the best stretch at nearly 48 hours so now I tend to just work with that. Note though that I am using fresh, raw milk so you would need to do the spin test to figure out what your timing is, depending on your milk source.
If you are struggling to get a good Mozzarella give my recipe a try and please, let me know your thoughts, or any problems you have and I will do my best to help you.
BTW: Did you also know that Mozzarella freezes well so you can make more and store it up for use later. Of course fresh is always best but if you use Mozzarella for pizzas etc, frozen is just fine.