How To: Make Burrata

April 13 2014

With one heavenly bite of burrata (meaning “buttery” in Italian), your perception of cheese is irreversibly altered. This ultra-creamy cousin of traditional mozzarella cheese is considered a rare delicacy, yet relatively easy to make at home. This week, we’re teaching you how to make this Puglian import in the comfort of your own kitchen and guaranteeing that minds are blown at your next dinner party. We tapped into the expertise of the lovely ladies behind Pizza Tonight (and fellow cheese enthusiasts) to help us bring our wildest food dreams come true. Although making cheese at home can be intimidating, it’s best summed up by our honorary chef, Stephanie: “Milk and science. That’s all it is.”

You will need:

1 gallon whole milk (raw and organic preferably – if not raw, add ½ tsp. calcium chloride)
2 tsp. Citric Acid in ½ cup cool water
¼ tsp. liquid rennet in ½ cup water
3 T. of heavy cream
¼ cup Salt
Extra large pot
Food thermometer

Step 1 : Heat milk in large pot to 88-90 degrees while stirring in Citric Acid mixture.

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Step 2 : Turn off heat and add rennet mixture, stirring gently.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

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Step 3 : Cut the mixture into 1 inch cubes, using a spatula or knife.

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Step 4 : Heat mixture to 105-108 degrees, stirring slowly.

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Step 5 : When mixture reaches 105-108 degrees, remove from heat and stir for an additional 10 minutes.

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Step 6 : Strain the cheese curds from the whey (liquid.)  Save the whey for later.

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Step 7 :  Separate 1/4 of the curds and shred with your hands until it’s rice-like.  Mix in 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and set aside.

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Step 8 : Reheat whey and the remaining 3/4 curds (if it has cooled down) to 175 degrees. Add salt until it’s “salty like the sea” – as Italian chefs say.

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Step 9 :  Shape the curds into three smallish tennis-ball sized rounds. Dip into the hot whey and keep kneading until the curd is smooth, elastic, and shiny.

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Step 10 : Flatten cheese curd balls into a pocket shape, and fill each with the cream mixture. Pinch closed (like a mini money bag) and dunk in an ice water bath to seal.

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Burrata is best enjoyed within 24 hours and lasts no longer than 48 hours, giving you only a brief window of opportunity to enjoy its light and creamy offerings. Remaining cheese (as if you would have any left over) can be stored and refrigerated in cooled whey.  Its light flavor and texture make it a perfect complement to salad, prosciutto, and pasta. We enjoyed ours with crusty bread, bruschetta, and fresh basil, but it’s just as heavenly simply drizzled with olive oil and served with fresh cracked pepper.

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A big cheesy thanks to Victoria Deroche of Pizza Tonight for the use of her envy-inducing kitchen and to Stephanie Ganz for her cheese-making skills and kitchen-related wit.