Cheese making is a perfect balance of art and science. You need to have the logics and you also need to have the skills! You should know about cheese making because this is one ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
Let us get to learn about some basics of cheese making before moving to the process, per se
First of all, temperature control while making cheese is really important.
Use pasteurized full cream milk, also known as homogenized milk to prepare cheese at your own home.
Next comes, a culture of health friendly bacteria that would help the cheese solidify. Different types of bacterial cultures produce different types of cheese that vary in tastes. Most commonly used culture, in households is the mesophilic bacterial culture. The bacteria in this culture best grow at medium temperatures up to 38 degree Celsius and are used for making cheddar cheese, soft creamy cheese etc. Likewise, thermophillic cultures that can tolerate much higher temperatures are used in making Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Addition of bacterial cultures is not an absolute must, though.
Next ingredient is called Rennet. There are basically two types of Rennets, one is obtained from plant extracts and the other, non vegetarian variety is derived from Calf enzymes. Rennet basically helps in coagulation of Cheese.
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Process of Cheese Making:
1. Pour two cups of full fat milk in a sauce pan and heat up to 80 degree Celsius. You must stir the milk well while it is getting heated up. This is essential to avoid the milk from getting burnt. Turn off the heat once the required temperature is reached. You need to monitor the temperature using a thermometer, specially designed for use in kitchens. This thermometer is called a floating dairy thermometer.
2. Add 4 teaspoons full of vinegar in this heated milk while stirring well. You should be able to notice the appearance of curds and whey. Stir well and then let the mix stay for around ten minutes.
3. Pass the curdled mixture through a cheesecloth or a cotton handkerchief.
4. The liquid would rinse out. You need to then wring out excess liquid from the remaining solid part using the handkerchief.
5. Add a little salt to your cheese and again wring out left over liquid.
6. You may now make a ball out of cheese or use moulds to form it into shapes.
Your North Indian paneer, is ready!!
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1. You may use either goat’s milk or cow’s milk to make cheese. To improve the taste and texture of your cheese, you should allow the milk to ripen overnight in a cool place at a temperature of around 50 to 60 degree Fahrenheit.
2. To improve and strengthen the flavor of your milk, you may add certain starters to your cheese like: bacterial cultured buttermilk or plain yoghurt into your heated up milk and then let this mix settle at room temperature before adding Rennet or coagulating agent. Then, you need to add Rennet tablet into some water, as per the manufacturer’s directions and dissolve the Rennet water solution in milk kept in a double boiler. The water in the outer pan of double boiler should be warmed up to 88 to 90 degree F.
3. Remove from heat and set aside till curd has formed.
4. After the curd has formed, use a stainless steel knife to cut the curd into pieces.
5. Allow the saucepan containing the curds to cool down in a basin filled with water for a couple of minutes and then slowly, transfer on heat and heat up to 100 degrees while stirring well for nearly 20 minutes.
6. Use a muslin cloth to wring out the whey from the curd, as described earlier.
7. Cut the solidified mass of curds into strips and heat them to high heat using microwave. The curd strips would turn sticky. Need the curds into balls.
8. Drop these cheese balls into ice cold salty water.
Your mozzarella cheese balls are ready!!
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