A few weeks back, we were talking mozzarella with Rynn Caputo of Caputo Brothers Creamery. This week, we're pleased to announce that Caputo Brothers 'cagliata' (i.e. mozzarella curd) is on sale at Saxelby Cheesemongers! Now you can make your own delicious mozzarella any time your little heart desires! (Yes, we realize this could be a dangerous proposition)
Now the idea of making cheese at home may sound daunting... but as Rynn reassured us, her 11-year-old niece made mozzarella for her school science project. We at Saxelby Cheesemongers are firm believers that if a pre-teen can do it, hopefully so can we... So do not fear! Just pick up a bag of curd and follow these simple instructions. Or better yet, watch Caputo Brothers Creamery's incredible informational video for a hands-on look at the mozzarella-making process.
How to make delicious mozzarella at home:
1. Start with a bag of Caputo Brothers Creamery 'cagliata' mozzarella curd. Be sure to thaw overnight in the fridge.
2. Have two big bowls on hand... a large one for stretching the curd and a small one filled with cool water to deposit finished mozzarella balls.
3. Break up the curd into nickle and dime-sized pieces. Be sure not to make the pieces too small, or it won't stretch correctly!
4. Add 1-2tsp salt to the broken up curd, depending on how salty you like your cheese. Be sure to use a non-iodized salt like kosher or sea salt.
5. Pour hot water (between 170 and 180 degrees) into the bowl containing the broken up curd. Pour enough to cover the top of the curd completely. The temperature of the water is key! Too cold and the curd won't stretch correctly, too hot and you'll have a puddley mess on your hands.
6. Stir the curds gently with a wooden spoon. If possible, use a wooden spoon or paddle with a flat bottom, it'll help you stretch them.
7. Gather curds toward one side of the bowl and begin to lift them up in a big mass using the wooden spoon. Let gravity do its job... don't overstretch!
8. Once the curds strech out a bit, replace into the hot water, regather, and re-stretch. Repeat this process until there are no more lumps in your curd, and it looks smooth and shiny.
9. Once the curd is smooth and elastic, gather a mass of it in one hand, allowing the rest to stretch back down into the hot water. Form a c-shape with your other hand, and close it around the mozzarella, creating a ball shape. Then, release the first hand and make a c-shape with it as well, close it around the ball, and pull it apart from the rest of the curd.
10. Drop your finished mozzarella ball into the cool water immediately so that it retains its shape.
11. Repeat till there's no more curd, and eat immediately! Your friends and family will be VERY impressed. We promise.