Making Goat Milk Mozzarella Cheese

Don’t think my goat milk mozzarella cheese tastes like it came from a store. It doesn’t. Nor does every batch come out exactly the same. But I like it and I’m told it’s delicious.

Like all cheese, my goat milk mozzarella cheese begins with milk. I put up a gallon a day for two days before my normal cheese making day as this cheese begins with cold, older milk.

chilling goat milk
Glass jars are best for chilling goat milk in the refrigerator. Plastic absorbs bacteria and leaches chemicals. Glass is easy to clean.

Making mozzarella requires a few new pieces of equipment and ingredients. In addition to the stainless steel pot, whisk, thermometer and colander, I add a spatula, large slotted spoon, large glass loaf pan and bowl to set the colander in. Citric acid and canning salt from the canning section at the market and rennet ordered by mail are the ingredients.

goat milk mozzarella cheese equipment set up
These are set up when I start heating the curd. The colander is slid over as close to the pot as possible. It can be set over the loaf pan so the whey can be poured out of the bowl. It is put back to continue working with the curd.

A gallon of cold milk is poured into the pot. I add three quarters of a teaspoon citric acid, then pour in the other gallon. A few quick rounds with the whisk mixes the citric acid in. Extra milk from the morning’s milking adds a half gallon.

cheese making utensils
The spatula is for cutting the curd. It is long enough for two gallongs of milk. Four gallons require a long knife. The slotted spoon is from canning supplies, I think. I’ve had it a long time. It is stainless steel and works well for stirring the curd. It does take clumps of mozzarella curds out, but a strainer is needed to get the last curds out. The one I use has a long wood handle. I stir the whey then catch the curd in the strainer.

The stove is set on low to warm the milk to eighty-six degrees. This can take up to half an hour, but keep checking as cooling the milk down is hard. I whisk in the rennet mixed into a quarter cup water), turn off the heat, put on the lid and do other things for half an hour while the curd sets up.

Using the spatula, I cut the curd. The process is to slice the curd every quarter to half inch one way, repeat across to make columns. Holding the spatula at an angle I slice the columns into pieces both ways. Give it five minutes rest.

goat milk mozzarella cheese cut curd
As soon as the curd is cut, whey starts coming out of the curd. When first cut, the cheese curd has a soft, white look. A piece smashes easily in the fingers.

Goat milk mozzarella cheese is not really salted. Instead a tablespoon per half gallon of milk is sprinkled on top of the curds. Turn the heat on low. Use the big spoon to stir the curd and mix the salt into the whey.

The curds will need stirring every five minutes or so as the mixture heats to around one hundred twenty degrees to set the curd. I sit and read a magazine or book. The curd will change from soft lumps into firm, rubbery smaller lumps.

goat milk mozzarella cheese cooked curds
As the cheese curd is heated in the salted whey, it shrinks. Once the temperature is over a hundred degrees, the curd starts looking rubbery, a little melted. It will cling together. Most of it sinks.

Goat milk mozzarella cheese is stretched. That means the hot curds when lifted up, will droop down like those pictures of people eating pizza. The curds must be hot enough so the whey is left in the pan in case the curds need more heating.

I ladle out the curds into the colander with first the slotted spoon and then a strainer. The curds are turned and pushed into one large lump. Be sure to dump the whey out of the bowl a few times. I lift the lump up and let it stretch down toward the colander, fold it over and repeat. The stretching gets slower as the curds cool. (If the lump does not stretch, slide it back into the hot whey and heat it on one side, then the other for a few minutes before trying again.)

goat milk mozzarella cheese
I’ve found Pyrex loaf pans make great forms for my goat milk mozzarella cheese. I press the cheese into the pan, pour off any whey, put in a plastic bag and chill. It’s easy to take the whole thing out or cut it into pieces first.

I shape the lump into a cylinder and press it into the loaf pan pouring off extra whey. The goat milk mozzarella cheese is ready to chill in the refrigerator. It’s great on pizza, but hard to grate. This cheese melts in cooking as the curds were heated.

Find this recipe and others in “Goat Games“.