Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

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I made mozzarella cheese to go with the tomatoes and basil leaves I harvested at Lisa’s vegetable garden.  I have seen several different versions of this recipe on the internet including the one from Ricki’s at cheesemaking.com.  The first time I made it, it was perfect and took only 30 minutes.  The second time I tried the same recipe, my milk didn’t curd at all.  So make sure you have pasteurized and NOT ULTRA PASTEURIZED milk when you try this at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 vegetable rennet tablet
  • 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water
  • 1 gallon milk
  • 1 1/2  tsp citric acid
  • salt, optional

Directions:

  1. Crush rennet tablet and dissolve in water. Set aside.
  2. Pour cold milk in non-reactive pot (stainless steel).  Sprinkle citric acid and stir a few times.
  3. Heat milk on medium until it reaches 90F.  Add rennet mixture and continue stirring for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Large curds will appear and begin to separate from the whey (the clear, greenish liquid).

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4. Using a long knife that reaches to the bottom of the pot, cut into the curd in 1 inch squares. Put back on the stove and heat until it reaches 105F, carefully stirring the curds around.  Turn heat off.

5.  With a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, scoop the curd into a large glass bowl. (If it’s still too liquid, let it set for a few more minutes). Press the curds gently with your hand and pour off as much whey as possible. Microwave curds on high for 1 minute, then drain off all the excess whey.

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6. With a spoon, press curds into a ball until cool. Microwave two more times for 30 seconds each, and continue to drain the whey and work cheese into a ball.  When cheese is cool enough to touch, knead it like bread dough until smooth.

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7. When you can stretch it like taffy, it is done. You can sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons salt into the cheese while kneading and stretching it. The cheese will become stretchy, smooth and shiny.  It is now ready to eat.

8. Shape it into a ball, log or golf-size balls, then store in a solution of 2 teaspoons salt to 1 cup water.

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Notes: Most ingredients can be purchased at Cheesemaking.com as part of a kit or individually.  I rennet tablet can be used  to make 4 gallons of milk into cheese.  You can also check the following for supplies:

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» jenn said: { Jul 20, 2009 - 05:07 }

looks pretty simple to make. I’d love to give that a go one day. Mozzarella is one of my favs.

» Ninette said: { Jul 20, 2009 - 06:07 }

This is great. What did it taste like?

» virtual chef said: { Jul 20, 2009 - 09:07 }

Ninette: it tastes just like the mozzarella you buy in the store. :)

jenn: i couldn’t believe how easy it was to make! now i make it all the time, just like the ricotta cheese.

» rose said: { Jul 21, 2009 - 08:07 }

Nicely done! Homemade cheese is absolutely wonderful :)

» stephchows said: { Jul 21, 2009 - 12:07 }

Who knew you could make mozzarella in 30 minutes! So cool!

» Akila said: { Jul 22, 2009 - 01:07 }

Wow, this is amazing. I was thinking about doing a series of posts on easy cheese-making, including a post on making paneer and one on ricotta cheese. I will have to add this one to the list.

» Lisa said: { Jul 22, 2009 - 10:07 }

Is this consistency more like the mozzarella you put on pizza, or the ‘wet’ mozzarella?

I’d love to be able to make the latter!

» virtual chef said: { Jul 23, 2009 - 07:07 }

Lisa: the consistency can be regulated via the number of times you microwave the cheese. the less times it gets microwaved (then stretched), the softer the cheese. the more times you nuke it, the harder it gets, enough to grate or chopped to use on pizza. to get the “wet” consistency, microwave once for 1 minute, stretch then microwave again for 30 seconds. the cheese will be soft and “wet” and is now ready to be stored in liquid to keep it soft.

» virtual chef said: { Jul 23, 2009 - 09:07 }

Akila: look forward to your post on cheesemaking. i have not made paneer but have made ricotta and mascarpone cheese. my next cheese project is brie and cambozola. they are now sitting and waiting to ripen (takes at least 2 months!)

» Lisa said: { Jul 23, 2009 - 12:07 }

Thank you for getting back to me!! I do love the ‘wet’ mozzarella :)

» Patty said: { Jul 23, 2009 - 04:07 }

Ok folks, I live in a somewhat rural area and have a problem locating the milk. I have a Giant, Foodlion, Wal-Mart etc. Exactly what what brand of milk do you buy???? I would love to make this and have been on the look out for the right milk for years, what am I doing wrong?

» virtual chef said: { Jul 23, 2009 - 04:07 }

Hi Patty: Any brand of milk will do as long as it is not ultrapasteurized. Some gallons of milk don’t say if it is ultra pasteurized or just plain pasteurized so make sure you ask somebody at the grocery store. I have used different brands from Safeway, Walmart, Costco, etc. Or whatever milk is on sale as long as it is not ultra pasteurized. My previous failures were because the milk was ultra pasteurized and it was not indicated on the gallon container.

» Jude said: { Jul 23, 2009 - 10:07 }

If I didn’t know any better I would’ve thought that was bread dough. Nicely done and how adventurous of you.

» Ira Mann said: { Oct 15, 2009 - 12:10 }

I love mozzarella cheese. I am going to have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

» Bobby said: { Jan 7, 2010 - 08:01 }

What do you do if you dont have a microwave?

» virtual chef said: { Jan 7, 2010 - 11:01 }

Bobby: You carefully do it with hot water and gloves. Here is a link to the step-by-step process of making mozarella without a microwave– http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/123.html

» carmine said: { Jun 9, 2010 - 11:06 }

Hi just tried to make this and it was a big dud….

it would not form in to a ball it was so loose and wet …..

» virtual chef said: { Jun 9, 2010 - 01:06 }

hi carmine: sorry to hear that. the only thing i can think of is that the milk you used could be an ultra-pasteurized one. when i used that one time, it wouldn’t even curdle. you also might want to check the cheesemaking queen’s website (http://www.cheesemaking.com/) for tips.


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