Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid into 1/4 cup of water.
Then add the citric acid & water mix to a large pot.
Pour your gallon of milk in and start mixing right away.
Put the pot over medium-low heat and heat it to 90 degrees (use an instant read thermometer.)
While that is heating up, mix 1/4 of a rennet tablet with 1 cup of water.
When the mixture reaches 90 degrees, take it off the heat and stir in the rennet mixture with a gentle up and down motion for 30 seconds.
Then put the lid on the pot and don’t move it for 5 minutes. Walk away and don’t touch the pan for those 5 minutes. Sometimes it can take up to 10 minutes as well.
With a spatula long enough to reach the bottom of the pot (we used an offset spatula), cut the curd into a 1-inch checkerboard pattern, making lines across, then lines in the other direction.
Return the pot to the the burner over medium heat and stir it gently until the temperature of the whey (the liquid that separates from the curd) reaches 105 degrees if you are going to use a microwave to heat it after this stage. I will be using the stove top method so I heated mine to 110 degrees. I also started another pot with water to boil.
When it reaches 110 degrees
If you have a microwave you can take the curds at 105 degrees, place them in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 1 minute, then drain off the whey, microwave it for 30 seconds, drain off whey and micro it for 30 seconds one more time. Add in your salt and stretch it.
If you are using the stovetop method take your curds over to a pot of boiling water, and dip it in the boiling water a few times tossing it around with your spatula.
Then when it looks like it’s coming together it’s time to take it out, add salt, and stretch it like taffy till its shiny and smooth. use a slotted spoon to remove the curds from the whey.
Knead it into a ball or loaf and add to a bowl of ice water to cool it down for 10 minutes.
Then wrap in saran wrap and use within a week.