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Homemade Burrata

Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

Homemade Ricotta

  • 1 gallon raw whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Homemade Burrata

  • 1 gallon raw whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid diluted with 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet stirred with 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons ricotta
  • Ice water bath
  • Hot not boiling water bath

Cheese Making Tools

  • 4 6-inch pieces of cooking twine
  • accurate thermometer
  • long sharp knife
  • colander
  • butter muslin

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the ricotta. In a large stainless steel pot, whisk together the milk, citric acid, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Place the post over low heat and gradually heat the milk to about 185 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring every few minutes to keep the milk from burning on the bottom of the pot (it will take about 20 minutes to heat up to this temperature over low heat, so just be patient and listen to a podcast near the stove).
  2. As the milk warms, you’ll start to see the curd and whey separating. The curd is solid white and the whey is the liquid, usually a cloudy pale yellowish color. Once the milk reached the right temperature, remove it from the heat. Run a spatula around the inside edge of the pot to help gently rotate the curds that have begun to form. Cover the pot and set it aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Place a stainless steel strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with butter muslin. Use a mesh skimming spoon to remove the curds from the pot and slowly, scoop by scoop, transfer them over to the lined strainer. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon salt over the cheese and toss gently with your hands to distribute.
  4. Tie the opposite two ends of each of the opposing corners of the cloth together. Use one hand to hold the knots at the top and use the other to hold the ricotta from underneath as you lift the muslin and suspend it. Twist the fabric from the knotted area to help encourage the ricotta to drain. Do not do this forcefully, however, or you risk tearing the muslin. After a few squeezes, hang the butter muslin by the knot from the faucet of your sink, suspending it above your sink to allow it to drain for 10 to 20 minutes. If you want a more moist and wet ricotta, you can remove it once the dripping slows down. If you want a drier ricotta, you can remove it when the dripping nearly stops (I like the wetter one, personally). Remove the muslin from the faucet and empty out the ricotta into a bowl. Set aside.
  5. For the burrata, stir together the milk and diluted citric acid mixture in a large non-reactive pot over low heat. Place a dairy thermometer in the pot and slowly heat the mixture until it is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (takes about 15 minutes).
  6. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the diluted rennet. Continue stirring for 30 seconds, then cover and allow the mixture to rest off the heat for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. Use a wooden spoon to press down on the curds that have formed along the edge of the pot. The whey should be fairly transparent and the curd should feel like a custard. If the curd hasn’t separated yet give it a few more minutes and come back to cheek on it.
  8. Use a very long and sharp knife to cut the curd in the pot into a grid of 1-inch squares. Place the pot back over low heat and allow to cook until the temperature reaches 105 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring once every 2 minutes (takes about 15 minutes). Monitor closely and do not overheat.
  9. Remove from heat and stir for 3 minutes to allow the curds to cool slightly. Place a colander over a bowl and use a slotted spoon to transfer the curds from the pot to the colander. Once all the curds are transferred hold the colander over the pot of whey and use one hand to gently press on the curds to help the excess whey drain off. Transfer the drained curds to a microwave safe bowl.
  10. The following steps happen very quickly, so make sure you have the pre-cut cooking twine, the ice bath, the hot water bath, the ricotta, and a large sharp knife all laid out on a clean and flat working surface.
  11. Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave on high for 1 minute. Knead the curds in the bowl gently and then microwave for 30 seconds more. Take the temperature of the curds, you want it to be 135 Fahrenheit. If it isn’t, knead and microwave for another 30 seconds and then check again.
  12. Once it reached 135 degrees Fahrenheit, place the slab on your working surface and cut it into four pieces. Grab each piece and quickly but gently stretch it out into a roughly 6-inch circle. Place them on the working surface, not touching each other. Place 1-2 tablespoons of ricotta in each one, then gather up the edges and pinch them together over the filling like a pouch. Hold it with one hand and tie a string very tightly around the pinched area with the other.
  13. Take the burrata and dip it in the hot water bath to help seal the mozzarella tied together at the top of the burrata, then let it rest in the ice bath for 2 minutes. Allow the burrata to rest in the ice bath as you continue to prepare the remaining burrata, you must do it quickly while the mozzarella is still hot and pliable. Once all four burrata have been assembled and cooled, you can cut off the extra bundled mozzarella at the top and remove the string. The mozzarella should have sealed together above the ricotta and created burrata.
  14. Burrata is best enjoyed fresh, but can be kept suspended in water in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from New England Cheesemaking Supply and Artisan Cheesemaking at Home