I think I've about got it! I have nearly perfected mozzarella from raw goat milk. If you've followed this blog any length of time, you've likely heard me complain that I could not make a decent mozzarella. I can make 30 minute mozzarella with a gallon of grocery store milk all day long, but no dice with fresh goat milk.
So I decided to try traditional mozzarella using thermophilic cultures. This took a lot longer and while the results were delicious, I still could not get a stretch. I concluded that it wasn't developing the proper acid and decided to leave it to sit overnight. And guess what? It stretched!
Here's the recipe I've come up with:
Raw Goat Milk Mozzarella
2 gallons goat milk
1/4t thermophilic culture
1 1/2t animal rennet
Start this recipe in the evening so the final curds can sit overnight for approx. 8 hrs.
Slowly heat milk to 95*. This should take about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle starter over milk and let rehydrate for 5 minutes. Mix well using an up-and-down motion. I usually give it 30 strokes. Cover and maintain 90*-95* for 45 minutes.
Dilute rennet in 1/4c nonchlorinated water. Mix into the milk using the same method I mentioned above. Cover and let sit at 90*-95* for an hour. Give it longer if you haven't gotten a clean break.
Cut curds into 1" pieces and let sit for 30 min. Using low heat, raise the temperature to 104* over 30 min. Stir from time to time to make sure curds don't clump together. Remove from heat and let curds settle for 15 minutes.
Scoop curds into a colander lined with damp cheese cloth and let drain for about 15 minutes. Cover and save the whey for stretching tomorrow morning.
Place the curds in a pot and put them in a warm place overnight. I used my oven with the light on, but this got a bit too warm (it was 110* when I got up) and allowed the curd to release more moisture and develop a bit more acid than I'd intended. Next time I'll place it in a water bath in the oven with the light on and door cracked.
In the morning, heat the reserved whey to 175*. Place a chunk of the curd, I used 1/6 for each ball, in another pot and cover with the hot whey. Let it sit for several minutes until the curd has softened then gently stretch the curd until it is about a foot long and fold it over on itself. Do this once or twice more then form into a ball. Place into a bowl of cold water and repeat with the rest of the curd.
Put your cheese into a brine solution (I used 1/2c kosher salt to 1qt water) for a few hours. Don't store it in the brine or it will get soggy on the outside.
The curd will lose its squeak in a day or two. Enjoy immediately or over the next 7-10 days!