Monday, September 24, 2012

Mozzarella Cheese Class
 (1st Attempt)
I work in a 25 floor office building and every year we do a large United Way fundraising campaign.  This year I was selected to be in charge of our floors activities.  Our goal is to raise $12,000 (which is a 50% increase over last year) if we raise that amount by this Friday (9/28, which is also my birthday) I will be shaving my head.
Well for one of the activities I volunteered to teach a Mozzarella Class. I had never done one before but have shown some family members how to make it. So I thought it would be easy.  I limited the class to 20 people and was charging $25.  Well the class filled up really fast, so much so, I had to offer an extra class because I had close to 40 people wanting to go.   Below are the pictures from my first class.  My next class is on 10/3 and I have learned a few things I will do differently.
For this class I got a lot of stuff donated by a company that works for us.  I made the below bags to give to each student.  It included 1 rennet tablet, some citric acid, a thermometer, and a pair of playtex gloves for handling the hot curds.

The next picture you can see the set up.  I was a little over adventurous and tried to make 4 batches of cheese.  I figured 4-5 people per batch would allow each person to have some hands on experience.  The only problem was that I could not watch and help each team all the time.  But we had fun.  While the milk was warming I gave a short presentation on cheese making with some history and basics.  I also showed them some of the tools I use (cheese press, muslin cloth, etc...) I use for my hard cheeses. At the bottom of this post you can see a video of my little presentation.  As it turned out only one of the 4 batches turned out to be mozzarella like.  Another one after some work was able to be sliced, but the other two were more like spreads.  Not sure what happened, but it was bound to happen with an unfamiliar kitchen, and so much happening at one time.  The stove really through me off since I was not sure how hot the elements were getting.

A few of the people in my class trying to make some cheese.  You can see that most of them have their purple gloves on.

This is one groups that did not turn out.  One problem was that I was not very patient.  The were not getting a very good clean break so I had them put the pot back on the stove to warm it up since I was afraid it never got to the 90 degree temp.  But then I forgot about it for a little bit and it got to warm.  They were never able to get very good curds to form.

One of the groups

This group is the one that actually had their mozzarella turn out, except we were not able to get it very stretchy.  The strange thing was that at first it did not look like it was going to turn out.

I had a lot of fun doing the class and hope all the participants did too.   I think for my class on 10/3 I will only do two batches.  One that I am doing while the rest of the class works on the other one.  I think it was a little to much happening at once in a space not big enough for us.

All in All it was a great time.  I will be giving one of the people in the class a Mozzarella Kit from   I will post pictures of my 2nd class after is is over.  Thanks yo all that attended and I hope they have some success when they make some at home.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


So it has been several months since I posted.  Though I have made a few cheeses I have not made as many as I wanted too.  But you know how it goes with summer time things tend to get busy.  Anyways I am going to try and report a little bit on what I have done this summer with cheese.  But since I am having a hard time finding my pictures this could be a short post. 
As I said earlier this year my parents were flying in from Utah for a visit and I was trying to get several cheese's ready for them to sample.  
Brie-  I did a 3rd attempt at Brie, I think I did better this time then my other two times but not yet perfected.  I need to try and do one for Thanksgiving.  The goal is to flip it with out breaking the rine. Below is a picture of the 3 bries I made.
Manchego-  This one I added some herbs to instead of saffron.  The saffron one is still my favorite but this one was okay.  I did not add enough herbs to make it taste much different.  Manchego is becoming one of my go to cheese's becasue it has a short age time period and it tastes very good.  Especially when you use a buttermilk culture as your mesophilic culture
Cheddar-  This was my 2nd attempt at cheddar and was not as good as my first.  For some reason the cheese came out very sour like.  My wife says it will taste great on a baked potatoe.
Cheese curds-  I also tried making some cheese curds while my father was here since it is his favorite cheese.  They were better then the first time I made them but they did not quite firm up quite like I had wanted them too.
One thing exciting that I am doing is teaching a Mozzarella class.  At work I am part of a fundraiser for United Way and I offered to teach a mozzarella class.  I am planning on a class of 20 people and charging $25 each.  We will make 5 batches (4 people per pot) of cheese and the students will go home with some of the harder to find ingredients (rennett and citric acid). This will be my first time teaching.  I hope to have a friend taking pictures that I will then post on here.