First, let me preface with the fact that I cannot WAIT to do this again. Call me a nerd, a dork-a-thon, or what have you, but this was just so freakin' COOL to experience.
Second, I apologize for the lack of pictures. Brian was working and several of the cheese-making steps were time and/or temperature sensitive, so I wasn't able to get as many pictures of the process as I wanted.
It all started with homemade pizza dough (courtesy of Mario Batali's recipe here) and a gallon of whole, pasteurized milk....
...and my cheese-making kit. Y'all should definitely check out their website. If you're interested in the kit I bought, click here.
The kit comes with almost everything you need to make mozzarella or ricotta 30 times. All you have to buy is the milk. I got my supplies together, however, I didn't realize until later that the colander and butter muslin weren't needed for mozzarella (if I was making ricotta, it would have been a different story).
The kit comes with a cheese thermometer, but I found it a tad cumbersome to use, especially while trying to warm my milk up to the right temperature over the stove, so I ended up clipping my fancy thermometer onto the edge of my stock pot with the temperature alarm set accordingly -- MUCH easier.
And now for the big reveal.....voila!! Delicious mozzarella from scratch!
I definitely plan to make this again, and soon. This beautiful ball of cheesy goodness went straight onto our pizza dough (brush dough with EVOO, add tomato sauce of choice -- my favorite jar tomato sauce currently is Prego -- add tons of fresh basil, prosciutto, and then top with cheese), and into the oven at 500 F for 12 minutes.
I forgot to take pictures of the pizza when it came out. Brian and I were circling the oven like vultures (when that happens, we usually look like muppets eating).
But, I can tell you it was delicious and definitely worth the effort!