This past weekend I went to an Amish market and bought a gallon of raw milk. So, I decided to make homemade mozzarella cheese. It's really pretty easy.
Dissolve 1/4 tablet of rennet in 1/4 cup of cool chlorine-free water. Stir it and set it aside. Mix 1-1/2 tsp. of citric acid into 1 cup of cool, chlorine-free water until dissolved and pour it into a heavy pot. Pour 1 gallon of milk into your pot and stir vigorously. Heat the milk to 90 degrees while stirring. remove the pot from the burner and stir in the rennet for about 30 seconds in an up and down motion. Cover the pot and let it sit from 5-10 minutes. Check the curd. When you push on it gently, it should clearly separate from the whey. Do not use ultra pasteurized milk or you will have trouble getting it to curd.
Using a large knife, cut the curd into cubes all the way to the bottom of the pot.
Return the pot to the burner and heat it to 105 degrees while slowly stirring the cubes. Take it off the burner and slowly stir for 2-4 minutes. All of these steps depend on the type of milk you are using. Practice makes perfect!
Pour the curds into a colander. Gently fold it over on itself to get all of the whey out. I don't have photos of the next few steps because it's hard to use a camera when you are stretching hot cheese. Heat a pan of water to 185 degrees. Split the curds in half to make them easier to handle. Drop one ball of curds into the water and then remove and stretch like taffy. Picture Furio in the Sopranos. The cheese has to be about 155 degrees to stretch it so you might have to drop it back in the water a couple times to warm it up. You should also incorporate about 1 tsp. of salt at this time. Form it into a ball and drop the balls of cheese into a bowl of 50 degree water for about 5 minutes.
Then plunk it into ice water for another 10-15 minutes.
Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. I have 3 balls because some of my curds fell apart.