Show time! I’ve just had a fabulous couple of days at the Suffolk Show, within the children’s farm area with Easton Farm Park, making mozzarella. I am very grateful to everyone who spent time chatting about cheese and to all those on day two who tried to estimate how far we would get the mozzarella to stretch.
It looks like I may have mastered the make, largely thanks to an ongoing correspondence with the Buffalo Dairy in Wales. I had been struggling to find a recipe that worked for me, despite numerous books and website references I was not getting the results I wanted. The day before Day 1 of the show I started a 5 litre batch and went to set up leaving things culturing at home. I made a mistake though and decided to refrigerate the drained cured overnight. On day 1 the show was overcast and cool and the curd did not generate enough acidity. I started the Day 2 batch on the morning of Day 1 of the show and left it overnight, hoping the goats wouldn’t escape and investigate. [Please note no-one would be eating the final cheeses, having the potential of goats running around your dairy does not qualify as good hygiene!]. Overnight I panicked further and decided to run a test between the slow mozzarella (using Fen Farm raw milk) method I had started and a back up pan of 30 minute, lemon juice/supermarket milk mozzarella.
The final results were very pleasing on Day 2, the 30 minute method failed completely, although a curd formed and there was good acidity, when it was cooked the result was more like fondue or lemon Welsh rarebit. The slow method though worked beautifully, it was evident as soon as I was heating the curds that they were coming together and forming strings. It was a delight to see the children predicting how far the curd would stretch, at a couple of points when there were friends in the crowd we were able to stretch the curd out into the marquee, further than my arms could reach.
I did taste one of the mozzarella balls that I had not overworked and it was good, with an excellent structure, soft and springy. Now I need to see if I can repeat the results and try again with yellow milk from Calf at Foot Dairy to see if I can create a perfect mozza-yella.
Huge thanks to Easton Farm Park for asking me to join them, to Fen Farm for the fantastic milk and to everyone who took time to chat cheese. I really hope the chap who thinks he has an ancient recipe for Bang cheese at home gets in touch, I would love to hear more.