This is a long process but not difficult to make. It just takes several hours. Persevere and you will be justly rewarded.
- 1 gallon Milk at room temperature of 50 degrees
- 1 Rennet tablet crushed
- 2 teaspoons Citric Acid divided. 1 teaspoon is dissolved in water and the other one is sprinkled directly into the milk.
- 1/2 cup water divided in 2. (Do not use chlorinated water. Bottled water is fine.)
- 1 - 2 teaspoons salt.
1. Pour 1 teaspoon Citric Acid into 1/4 cup unchlorinated water and stir. Crush the Rennet tablet and pour it into the other cup of unchlorinated water.
2. Pour milk into pot. Make sure the milk is around 50 degrees when you pour in the Citric Acid
3. Pour the dissolved Citric Acid in the milk and stir for 1 minute.
4. Heat milk on low heat to 88-90 degrees. Stirring occasionally.
5. At 88-90 degrees turn off the heat and stir in the rennet solution for 15-20 seconds.
6. Cover the pot with the lid and LEAVE IT SET UNDISTURBED FOR AT LEAST 15-20 MINUTES until you can get a clean break. A clean break is when you poke your finger into it and move for an inch or so and lift it out, the Curd and Whey should separate shortly. If it is still liquidy and sticks to your finger let it set a while longer.
7. Cut the Curds into 1/2 inch cubes from top to bottom. Then do the same thing at a 45 degree angle.
8. Let the curds set undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.
9. Apply low heat and stir the curds occasionally to keep them separated until they reach 108 degrees. This will take about 15 minutes. The Curds will shrink and start to sink as the Whey is expelled from them.
10. Turn off the heat and continue stirring every few minutes for an additional 20 minutes. The Curds will keep shrinking.
11. Drain the Curds into a strainer or colander and let set for about 15 minutes. Either use a small strainer to dip them out or just pour into a big bowl through a large strainer. Let the Curds drain until no more whey comes out of them. This might take 10 - 15 minutes. You can either dump the Whey or save it to make Ricotta
12. Pour the Curds into a smaller bowl and break them up with your hand a little bit.
13. Place the Curds in the microwave on high for 30 - 45 seconds. If you have it on too long you will cook the Curd and it will turn to mush. Better a couple shorter cycles than one that's too long. The Curds will start to separate from the Whey.
14. Using a slotted spoon or your hand GENTLY squeeze the Whey from the Curd. Pour off the Whey.
15. Microwave again for 15 - 20 seconds and pour more Whey off. As you are gently squeezing the Whey out work it into a ball also.
16. Put back in the microwave for another 20 seconds. Add 1-2 teaspoons salt. At this point if it's warm enough it should start to become pliable and stretchy. Grab 1/3 to 1/2 and lift. It should start to stretch under it's own weight. If not put it in the microwave for a few more seconds. As you work through the stretching process also knead it like bread a couple times. If necessary microwave occasionally for a few seconds more.
17. At this point knead it like bread dough into a ball. If it breaks apart on you just put it in the Microwave again for a bit. As soon as it is nice and smooth and shiny it's done.