Granny Gadget (AKA Mom) sent Hannah a cheese making kit for her birthday last week. We made a batch of beautiful homemade mozzarella from whole milk the very next day.

cheese making kit from Williams Sonoma

The kit has the ingredients to make mozzarella or ricotta – citric acid, rennet tablets, cheese salt (what makes it “cheese” salt anyway?), cheese cloth, and a thermometer. I was surprised how easy and quick it was to make mozzarella – maybe 45 minutes from start to finish including cleanup.

Yesterday Hannah made a second attempt at mozzarella using 2% milk rather than whole milk (my idea thinking we’d make healthier homemade pizza cheese). It was a bust. The curds never properly formed. Hannah thought maybe she did something wrong, but I suspected it was my choice of milk. Since it was Saturday and Paul was expecting pizza night, we sent him to the grocery for whole milk and tried again.

making mozzarella

Curds began forming quickly and when the rennet was added things came together just the way it should.

skimming mozzarella cheese curds

The curds where thick enough to skim out – unlike Hannah’s earlier attempt.

grated homemade mozzarella cheese

Here’s the final product chilled and grated for pizza night.

one pizza fresh out of the oven and another on deck

Here’s Hannah’s personal pizza fresh out of the oven with mine on deck. Pizza night was a success, but there’s a problem with making homemade cheese for pizza. Homemade mozzarella is so superior to the grocery store version that you simply want to eat it up before it’s time to make the pizza.

What did we do with the 2% batch that didn’t take you ask?

chickens like when from cheesemaking

Fed it to the chickens, of course. And they loved it. We had to divvy it into a couple of dishes to allow everyone an opportunity to step up to the bowl.

rooster with milk covered waddle