Archive | 10:02 am

Cheese at a stretch

24 May

My mozzarella

I’ve been cheesemaking on and off for the past 7 years. I first attended a cheesemaking course run by Carole Willman of Cheeselinks, and I’ve made various cheeses at home, including camembert, blue, fetta, quarg, marscapone, sour cream and (of course) yoghurt.

Once children came along, cheesemaking seemed a lot more difficult. I’ve been making yoghurt, but I haven’t made any cheese since J was born. You try maintaining a sterile environment while looking after children!

Gav from The Greening of Gavin made some mozzarella last week, and his recipe didn’t look too hard. He even claimed it could be done in 30 minutes.

Mozzarella is a fresh cheese that gets cooked in the process, so its pathogen risk is much lower than matured cheeses that use mould, like camembert and blue.

So yesterday in the chaos of toddlers and gyozas, I thought I’d throw some cheesemaking into the mix too.

Little D is on a cow’s milk protein elimination diet at the moment, so when my milk was delivered I had more than I needed. The recipe called for a gallon, but I used 4 litres.

So I’ll say from the outset that this was a comedy of errors. I discovered after I started that my cheese thermometer was broken, and the only other one I had was a basal temp thermometer, which reads only between about 34 and 38 degrees, so I had to guestimate all the temperatures as I went. I managed to break the thermometer in the sink halfway through, so was distracted by heavy metal contamination that obviously needed to be dealt with straight away.

The really cool thing about mozzarella is the kneading and stretching. It would have been fun if I hadn’t heard “Mum, I need you to wipe my bottom!” in the middle of it.

Matured cheese? Bad idea.

So in the end, I had mozzarella. Due to my dodgy temperature estimates the yield was pretty low for 4 litres of milk, but it worked. Might try it on pizza tonight.