I've been trying my hand at making some simple cheeses lately and thought I'd share the experience. I watched a live demo over Thanksgiving weekend and decided it looked easy enough for me to do at home. There are a couple of special items needed to do this but as long as you have the right tools, it really is quite simple. I've now made two batches of mozzarella and a batch of ricotta (lasagna, anyone?). These are some pictures from the second batch of mozzarella.
First, I warmed some milk with citric acid added (this helps provide elasticity).
When it reached the proper temperature, I added rennet. This caused curds to form.
Once the curds have separated from the whey, the whey gets poured of and the curds are formed into a solid mass.
At this point, the whey goes back into the pot and the ball of curds goes back into the whey. It needs to be heated and stretched to form the cheese.
It starts out looking like this:
And ends up looking like this:
Now some salt is worked in.
When it's finished, it can be shaped into a ball, or pressed into a loaf shape, like I've done here.
And there you have it - fresh mozzarella!