Raw milk remains unpasteurized or unhomogenized, giving it a unique flavor and texture. Raw milk proponents claim that pasteurization destroys beneficial enzymes and bacteria, eliminating some of the health benefits of drinking milk. Making homemade mozzarella cheese from raw milk allows you to produce the freshest cheese possible. Raw milk improves the fermentation process of cheese-making and boosts flavor. Some states prohibit the commercial sale of raw milk, but raw milk is often available directly from the producer.
Things You'll Need
Making the Curd
Sterilize a large pot by filling it with boiling water. Let it sit for at least five minutes before pouring out the water. Allow the pot to cool to room temperature.
Add 2 oz. thermophilic culture to a gallon of raw milk. Let the milk ripen uncovered in the pot at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes. This promotes lactic acid production, lowering the pH of the mixture.
Dissolve 1/2 tablet of rennet in 4 tbsp. water. Ensure that the rennet is thoroughly dissolved by stirring gently until no crystals remain. Add the rennet mixture to the raw milk. Stir slowly for five minutes, keeping the milk at room temperature. Let the mixture sit for 60 minutes to promote curd formation.
Test curd formation by probing the top layer using your finger. Curds should be firm to the touch, breaking cleanly from the force of your finger. If the top layer is gelatinous or too soft, let the mixture sit undisturbed for an additional 30 minutes. Cut the soft curds into 1/2-inch cubes using a bread knife.
Heat the curds and whey on the stove in the same pot until your thermometer reads 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain this temperature for 30 minutes to allow the curds to heat. Increase the heat to 105 degrees over a 30-minute period. Avoid heating the curds too quickly. Maintain a 105-degree temperature for an additional five to 10 minutes.
Place cheesecloth in a large strainer, and place the strainer over a mixing bowl. Gently pour the cheese mixture through the cheesecloth to drain the whey.
Heat the cheese curds in a double boiler to 105 degrees, cooking for three hours. Stir the curds occasionally to maintain even heat.
Test the pH level of the curds using litmus paper. Cheese curds should have a pH of 5.2 or 5.3. If the pH is high, cook the curds longer, retesting them until they reach the appropriate pH.
Drain the excess whey through cheesecloth. Add 2 tsp. salt and thoroughly incorporate it by stirring the curds with a large spoon. Drop the curds into 170-degree water and mix them together to form a large ball.
Place the cheese ball into ice water for two hours. Remove the cheese, and refrigerate it to maintain its freshness. Homemade raw cheese tastes best when eaten immediately, but it will keep for up to 10 days.
Cheese-making suppliers and specialty grocers sell thermophilic culture and rennet.
Freeze the raw cheese to prolong its life to two to three months.
References and ResourcesRejoice in Life: Raw Cheese Recipe
Raw Milk Facts: Frequently Asked Questions
Cheese Making Recipe: How to Make Homemade Mozzarella Cheese
University of Cincinnati Clermont: Beginning Cheese Making