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Mozzarella making class...

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by zwiefel, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    I attended a mozzarella cheese-making class last night. While the technical content of class was a bit lower than I'd have preferred, I did learn a few things and had a great time. It's oddly fun to play with mozzarella....and my hands finally got warm.

    Our instructor Micah, talking and walking us through the process we were to follow.

    Here, he is showing us the technique for making braids. I had never seen mozzarella in shapes like this before, nor had I ever seen a braid made from a single strand.

    The finished product. Nice looking piece of cheese.

    We were each given a block of curds to start. Obviously, the hardest part of this is producing curds properly. From this point forward, this is a pretty trivial task, in terms of producing something tasty and recognizably mozzarella. But still shockingly fun. I can totally see buying the curds and doing this for a party.

    After bringing the curds together in the bowl, a few taffy pulls to complete the re-organization of the proteins in the curd. I spent a little while talking to the instructor about this. I was a little surprised to discover that this is a physical change, not a chemical one. The heat and physical manipulation takes the disorganized mess of proteins in the curds and aligns them so that they act in unison, creating the stretchy, chewy goodness of mozzarella.

    Attempting my first braid.

    Which worked out perfectly. I meant to give the instructor a few pointers on his technique but got distracted.

    After making individual pieces and dropping them into a water bath to cool, we moved them into a very heavily salted bath. This infuses them with a bit of salt which is great for flavor, but also helps to preserve them for a bit longer. I put some paper towels on top to keep the tops of the cheese wet. If the top is exposed to oxygen while in the salt bath, it turns a bit yellow and dries out.

    Toss with a little EVOO, minced garlic, pepper flakes, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Ready for snacking.

    Was a lot of fun, and was mildly educational. Perfect for a date night.
  2. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    I miss that fresh mozzarella. When I lived in Italy, all the little markets would have a tub of them floating around. Mozzarella di bufala from Italian water buffalo common in Compana but where I lived, Gaeta, Latina, Lazio it was also produced. It was always quite fresh and I've never had anything quite like it since returning stateside. Good stuff.
  3. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    That was one of the things we talked about actually. That milk is hard to come by here and has a higher butterfat concentration, so you get a bit of a different taste/texture in the final product.
  4. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  5. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    I'm willing to share...come on down/over to Dallas!
  6. apicius9

    apicius9 Founding Member

    So, would I gain anything by increasing the fat content and mixing in a bit of cream with the milk? You are now the resident expert... ;)

  7. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

    Danny you are having all the fun!
    Many of the Mom and Pop Italian shops in NY still make their own "mootsy" it sure is a treat on some homemade pizza or a hero.
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Founding Member

    Road trip to Dallas :)
  9. mr drinky

    mr drinky Founding Member Gold Contributor

    I've made mozzarella a few times, but haven't made it in a long while -- maybe four years. Now that I have (more) kids, I should make it again. They would surely chow it down. I just found that I couldn't eat it all and some of it eventually went bad. One time I gave the neighbors some since I couldn't eat it all, but they looked at me as if I just handed them a jar with a turd in it.

    Now I put bread, butter, and cheese (mozzarella) in the same category: Things that taste great fresh and are relatively easy to make, BUT the wife tamps your enthusiasm with talk of weight gain.

  10. I'm in!
  11. Wagner the Wehrwolf

    Wagner the Wehrwolf Founding Member

    I remember doing it in school. I would love to make some with my daughter. But where does one buy rennet?

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