Equipment Needed: Slotted Spoon, Thermometer, pot* Usually Organic milk is Ultra Pastuerized
Crush the rennet (or add the liquid) into the water and stir to dissolve.
Pour milk into a non-reactive pot (no aluminum or cast iron). Place over medium heat.
Once the milk gets to 55 degrees pour the citric acid dissolved in water over the milk and stir a few times.
Continue to heat the milk to 90 degrees F, stirring constantly. Milk will begin to curdle.
Next I lay a large towel onthe counter after I got the milk to 90 degrees. This keeps the pot warm while the curds are forming.
I move the pot onto the toweland add in the dissolved rennet. Key to the rennet is to mix withbottled or distilled water. The chlorine in the water will kill the rennet abilityto culture.
Stir in the rennet using a "up and down" motion for about 30 seconds.
Cover the pot and let the milk set undisturbed for about 5 minutes. (I then cover everything with the towel)
Large curd will appear and begin to separate from the whey (the clear, greenish liquid).If the milk does not look like custard texture let set a few more minutes.
Cut the curds with a knife that reaches all the way to the bottom of your pot.
Cutting the curds is taking the knife and slowly makingpasses from the top to the bottom of the pot in one direction like you aremaking a "tic tac toe" board and then making passes the otherdirection to make a cube pattern.
Now taking the long knife cut the curd at anangle so you make the cubes smaller. After you are done, let it rest for aminute.
Place the pot back on the stove and heat the curds to 105 degrees F, gently moving the curds around with your spoon.
Remove from the heat and continue to stir slowly for 2 to 5 minutes.
When you do this you are releasing some additional whey out of the curds and you are keeping your curds firm which also helps the cheese.
With a slotted spoon, scoop the curd into a microwaveable or large glass bowl. Press the curds gently with your hand or spoon and pour off as much whey as possible. You should pour the excess whey back into the pot to use for ricotta or save to use for bread making.
Microwave curds on high for 1 minute, then drain off all the excess whey.
With a spoon or your hands with rubber gloves, press curds and fold them over themselves releasing more whey.
Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each, (two more times was too much and the curds turned to ricotta, do this once!) and continue to drain the whey and work cheese into a ball.