Of course I had to try my hand at making Mozzarella. You should, too because it’s one of the easiest cheeses you could possibly make. And it’s delicious!
I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time. The great thing about being a food blogger is that you’re always invested in food exploration. The question I’ve always got in the back of my mind is, “How is it made?” and “Can I do that in my kitchen?”
For the most part, the answer is almost always a yes. Aside from certain special ingredients, most foods are easily made from scratch. Most ingredients are attainable locally, if not via the internet.
I found the rennet and citric acid, required for making mozzarella, via our near by international store, Jungle Jims. (Man I LOVE that place!)
The terrific thing about making mozzarella is that it’s not something you have to age, like many other cheeses. After you finish making it, it’s ready to eat. So, let’s get to it.
To make one pound of mozzarella, you will need citric acid, rennet (vegetable or animal derived), non-chlorinated water and one gallon of non-ultra pasteurized milk. Generally, this type of milk can be found in your local grocery store. Be sure to check the label. Any good quality non-ultra pasteurized milk will boast, “minimum heat pasteurized” on the package.If your milk is high heat treated – ultra pasteurized, it will not form a curd because all the bacteria and enzymes have been destroyed.
Place the milk in a large, stainless steel pot and heat to 55 degrees F. on med/low heat.
Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid with 1 cup of non-chlorinated water and stir it into the milk.
Continue heating the milk on med/low. Once the temperature reaches 90 degrees F., take it off the heat.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon rennet with 1/4 C of non-chlorinated water and stir into the milk.
Cover the pot with a lid and allow it to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Check to see if the curds have set by pressing the milk with a spoon. There should be a clear separation of the curd and whey. If it has not set, cover and leave it undisturbed for a few more minutes and check again.
Once the curd has set, use a long knife or spatula to cut a checker board pattern in the curd. Be sure your knife or spatula reaches to the bottom of the pot.
Return the pot to med/low heat. Heat to 110 degrees F, stirring slowly and constantly.
Once you have reached 110 degrees F., remove from heat and continue stirring slowly for 3 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the curds. Place them in a colander to strain off the whey. You’ll want to place a bowl or another pot under the colander to catch the whey.
After straining, place the curds in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the curds on high for one minute.
This will melt the curds and make them come together.
Knead the cheese for a couple of minutes.
You can add salt to taste at this point if you like. I added about a teaspoon and a half to mine.
Place the bowl back in the microwave for 30 seconds on high.
At this point, your cheese will stretch. Stretch it two or three times.
Form a ball and your cheese is done. Yay! Mozzarella!
You can enjoy the cheese now or wrap it in plastic to chill for later.
Now, you’re left with all this whey. I for one will not throw something away if I can use it for something else. My wish was to make ricotta out of the whey but for some reason I couldn’t get anymore curd out of it.
The ideal situation would have allowed me to add a bit of the citric acid to some non-chlorinated water and stir it into the whey after heating it to 185 degrees F. After waiting and adding more of the citric acid mixture to the whey several times, it just wouldn’t curd.
I did a frantic search on the internet and the only thing I could find was that some milk will not work for making ricotta with the left over whey.
Though it was a bit of a heartbreak, I did find that you can do so many other things with the whey like baking bread, fermenting vegetables and adding it to soups, stews and stocks. So instead of tossing it, I set some aside to make bread with and placed the rest of it in canning jars for a later use. You can refrigerate or freeze it.
I did make a wheat bread with it and it turned out wonderfully. In fact, it was gobbled up by me and my crew! I’ll be making some more for a later post and share the recipe soon.
In the meantime, I am quite satisfied with my homemade mozzarella. It’s creamy and stretchy just like mozzarella should be. I’ll be using this to make a fresh tomato and basil pizza. YUM!
If you’ve always wanted to make your own cheese, mozzarella is probably the first one you’ll want to try. It’s easy and fun!
I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know how it turns out. I’d love to hear from you!
Have a fantastic day and as always, keep it delicious!
Till next time ~ much love, Connie
P.S. If you’ll be shredding your fresh mozzarella, place it in the freezer for about 5 minutes or so to let it firm up and it’ll be much easier to shred. 😉
- 1 gallon non-ultra pasteurized milk
- 1 1/2 tsp citric acid
- 1 C non-chlorinated water
- 1/4 tsp rennet
- 1/4 C non-chlorinated water
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Place the milk in a large, stainless steel pot.
- Heat on med/low to 55 degrees F.
- Combine the citric acid and 1 cup water and stir into the milk.
- Continue heating on med/low heat until the milk reaches 90 degrees F.
- Remove from heat.
- Combine the rennet and 1/4 cup water.
- Stir into the milk.
- Cover the pot with a lid and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, undisturbed.
- Check with a spoon to see if the curd has set.
- It should clearly be separated from the whey. If not, cover and allow the mixture to sit another 5 minutes.
- Once the curd has set, use a long knife or spatula to cut the curd into a checker board pattern. (about 1 inch apart)
- Place the pot back on med/low and heat to 110 degrees F. while slowly stirring.
- Remove from heat and continue to slowly stir for 3 minutes.
- Place a colander over a large bowl or pot.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the curd and place it into the colander to strain.
- Once the whey has strained off, place the curds into a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute.
- Remove and knead the curds.
- Season with salt and place back in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Knead the cheese and stretch it 2 to 3 times.
- Form a ball with the cheese.
- Slice and serve or wrap in plastic to chill for later.
Recipe by: Connie Murray@Happybellyfoodie.com