Cheese Making / Uncategorized

Mozzarella: Make your own at home

Ever want to make your own cheese? Mozzarella is one of the easiest cheeses to make and often one of the first cheeses that novices will venture to make at home. Below you'll find a really easy mozzarella recipe to start you off on your path to cheesemaker.

mozzarella Buffalo milk mozzarella with pesto of dry tomatoes and cashew nut by Luca Nebloni

What you will need

Mozzarella ingredients

If you're going to make mozzarella, you will need whole milk (or 2%), dechlorinated water, citric acid, rennet tablets, and kosher salt, in the following amounts:

  • Milk (1 gallon)
  • Distilled water (1/4 cup)
  • Rennet tablet (1/2 tablet)
  • Citric acid (2 teaspoons)
  • Kosher salt (1 teaspoon)

You will also, need a cheesecloth, a large glass bowl, a non-reactive pot and a kitchen thermometer. Don't have any of these ingredients? You can order cheese making supplies online.

Directions

The first part is fairly simple: You want to prepare the rennet. Take the rennet tablet and dissolve it into the 1/4 cup of distilled water.

Grab a large non-reactive pot and pour in the gallon of milk. A non-reactive pot is basically copper or stainless steel, do not use aluminum or cast iron.

Stir in the citric acid and raise the milk's temperature to 88°F. You'll notice the milk will begin to curdle.

When your thermometer reads 88°F take the rennet solution you prepared earlier and pour it into the curdling milk. Stir gently until the temperature reaches 105°F and then take the pot off the heat.

At this point, you have your cheese curds. But what makes mozzarella is stretching the curds. So, what you want to do, is take the curds and heat them up slowly. The best way to do this is to first separate the curds from the whey using a cheesecloth, and then bring the whey up to a boil. Slowly add the whey to a large glass bowl containing the cheese curds until they begin to melt.

When the cheese curds become moldable, you can take them in your hands and start to mold them into balls. The technique is more subtle than pulling and stretching. Nothing like stretching taffy &emdash; more like squeezing. If you've ever worked with pizza dough, it's very similar.

Once you form the balls, you drop them in some cool water to set the shape. Note: you don't want to rapidly cool them and then put them in the fridge &emdash; just enough to cool them so they retain the right shape. If you were to put the balls in the fridge you would alter the milk fats and it would become hard or rubbery.

Mozzarella stretching demonstration

Because it's not that easy to explain in words the techqnique used to form balls of mozzarella, I've included the following video: