Homemade Burrata (makes 8 balls of cheese, about 10-12 servings per ball):
1/2 cup of cold water
1/2 tablet of vegetable rennet, crushed + extra in case of error
1 Tablespoon of citric acid + extra in case of error
2 gallons organic whole milk + 1 extra gallon in case of error (Don’t use ultra pasteurized milk)
1 Tablespoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream
Candy or frying thermometer
Grilled Bread (about 50 slices):
1 1/2 - 2 baguettes, cut into slices 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for garnish
1/2-1 bunch basil leaves, chiffonade for garnish
Coarse sea salt for garnish
Dissolve Rennet: Fill a liquid measuring cup with the water. Place the rennet onto the cutting board and crush it with a bench scraper. Scoop the crushed rennet up with the bench scraper and add it to the water. Stir well to dissolve. Use this rennet within 1/2 hour.
Warm the Milk: Add the citric acid to a large stainless steel pot that has a lid. Pour 2 gallons of milk into the pot while stirring quickly to evenly distribute the citric acid. Turn the burner to low, and slowly heat the milk to 90°F, stirring often, about 5 minutes. The milk may start to look curdled, that is ok. At 90°F the milk does not feel warm but turn the heat off and pour in the dissolved rennet. Slosh a little bit of the milk into the measuring cup to ensure all of the rennet pours out. With a large spoon, stir continuously for 30 seconds. Cover and let the milk sit completely still for 10 minutes. At this point, the curds will separate from the whey.
Cut Curd: Run a sharp knife through the curd horizontally and vertically into one inch cubes. Be sure to cut all the way to the bottom of the pot. Return to heat and warm up to 105°F while stirring slowly. As you stir gently the curds will start to look like partially melted marshmallows (if it looks like cottage cheese it will still be ok). At 105°F, take the pot off the burner and continue stirring slowly for about 3 minutes. Transfer the curd to a colander using a slotted spoon or skimmer and let drain. Drain and push as much of the whey as you can from the curds. Set aside 1/3 of the curd, about 2 cups to a sieve placed over a bowl to use for the filling.
Make Filling: While a team member pushes the whey from the large colander of curds, make the filling. Crumble the 1/3 portion of curds into a small bowl. Pay attention to keep draining whey. Add heavy cream and 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste. Gently mix in. Do not over stir. It should look like really creamy cottage cheese.
Heat and Knead Curds: Fill a medium size sauce pan 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Discard the whey from the 2/3 (larger portion) of the curd and move the curds into the bowl. Warm over the pot of water (double boiler) for 1-2 minutes, draining off whey and working curd with a large spoon. It will start to turn from a cottage cheese appearance into a taffy or gummy appearance. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and knead the curds in the bowl like bread dough until smooth. Transfer the curd to a cutting board and cut into 4 equal pieces. Place the pieces directly into the pot of hot water.
Stretch Into Mozzarella and Fill: At this point the curds will start to stretch and stretch and stretch. Use the skimmer to pull out 1 of the pieces of curd and start to pull and stretch until the curd becomes very elastic and smooth. You will have to keep dunking the cheese into the pot of hot water to keep it elastic like. Stretch the curd into a flat disc about 1/4 of an inch thick. Immediately fill that piece of mozzarella with a quarter of the heavy cream-cheese filling. Immediately close all cheese around the filling and pinch well to seal. Have a bowl of lightly salted cool water to drop your pouches of burrata into. Repeat with the other pieces of curd.
Slice and Grill Bread: Slice the baguette into 1/4 inch slices. Brush the bread on one side with the oil. Grill the bread on a ridged grill pan set over medium high heat until crisp, 1 minute per side.
Serve: Slice and place the burrata on each piece of bread. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with chiffonade of basil and finish with a sprinkle more sea salt.
Recipe and photos adapted by Parties That Cook® from cheesemaking.com and sunday-suppers.com.
Makes 40-48 pieces