I actually made this a week after the first trial, hence my memory isn't too clear.
So after the first trial, from when I bought cheese curd at Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, I was determined to make the very best mozzarella. Unfortunately it's very difficult to find curd in the city. Even a store like Western Beef makes their own mozzarella, but when I inquired if I can get some curd, she was like, "No it is all mine to make cheese with, ain't gonna give it to ya,"... So i decided to take the long way and started from scratch.
The very best milk you can get in the city is probably Ronnybrook, and fortunately there is the shop at the Chelsea Market where bought a gallon of it. $14 for a gallon?! WTF! This better be good.
As you see, all you need to make mozzarella is a gallon of milk, 2 tea spoons of citric acid (you may apparently substitute with lemon juice), and rennet. I bought rennet online, and 10 tablets for about $10. To make cheese out of a gallon of milk, you need 1/4 of a tablet, so I can make shit load of cheese...
Pour milk into stainless steel pot (can't use aluminum), and add citric acid. Meanwhile, break rennet and mix it with 1/4 cup of water (they say to use bottled water, but I didn't have it and used regular tap water). Heat milk to 88 degrees (my candy thermometer starts at 100, so I had to guess), then add rennet mixture, turn the heat off, and wait for 3-5 minutes.
This was pretty amazing how it started curdling up. Looks like tofu, doesn't it?
Scoop curd up, try to lose as much whey (water) as possible, and pour it into a glass bowl.
Out of a gallon of milk, this is all you get. No wonder cheese is so fatty.
You can use whey for something (don't know what), but it tasted like sour weird water.
Microwave cheese for about 1 minute, then squeeze more whey out, and repeat this until cheese is too hot to touch. Meanwhile, keep squeezing out the water every time you take it out of microwave.
Once most of the water gets squeezed out, add salt (I think I put about 1tsp) and start stretching. Caution, it's damn hot, and too bad I didn't video record this part. This cheese was cursed out.
Stretch and squeeze. You kinda see little speckles, which I don't know why. Maybe I didn't warm it up enough (though it was hot as hell). More stretch, more stringy cheese, and less stretch, more moist cheese. Also during this part, my apartment smelled like a house with a baby. You know that smell of baby and milk? I barfed a little in my mouth. I don't like milk, nor that baby house smell.
Seriously $14 gets you this ball? I am going to try with regular milk next time. Flavor wise, it was fine, but I didn't find Ronnybrook to be that different from any other mozzarella.
Fall has come, and cooking season has started. I will try a couple more times. Meanwhile, if you are in NYC and interested in making your own mozzarella, I can give you a rennet since there's no way I will use it all up. You can buy citric acid at Zabar's, or Chelsea Market's Buona Italia.