How to Make Fresh Mozzarella Recipe: We love mozzarella, so when we saw that our friend Melissa Clymer was making fresh mozzarella we immediately asked her if she would share the recipe and photos of the process with us.
Let me just say that just looking at the recipe and process I felt overwhelmed and fairly certain that I would continue buying my cheese from the market. We asked Melissa how long it took, “About 3 hours but I have kids that are hungry, etc. It was easy, just a lot of waiting.”
Melissa found her recipe on Instructables.com and called it, “Fun, easy and fabulous!”
What you will need to get started:
* 8 quart pot (use enamel or stainless steel only)
* Digital thermometer
* Small containers to dissolve the citric acid and rennet or buy liquid rennet
* Large strainer for the curds from the whey
* Sharp knife to cut up the curds
* Slotted spoon to stir the curds and dip them out with
* Large glass bowl for the drained off whey
* Small glass bowl to put the curds in
* Microwave Oven
1 gallon of whole milk. Let the milk set out either in the gallon container or in the pot until it gets to about 50 degrees. At room temperature, it took about 2 hours.
1 Rennet tablet crushed. (The Rennet tablet is used to coagulate the milk. You can also use liquid Rennet if you can get it. I got liquid rennet at our local co-op, organic food market. 1 tsp of liquid rennet equals 1 tablet. You can get The Rennet tablets at a lot of specialty or smaller stores and it is usually in the pudding aisle or in the Ice Cream section with the chocolate, nuts and stuff. About $2.00)
2 teaspoons Citric Acid divided. 1 teaspoon is dissolved in water and the other one is sprinkled directly into the milk. (The citric acid is what gives the cheese it’s stretch. Get it at some health food stores for around $4.00 for 4 ounces or at a pharmacy which can cost $12.00 to $14.00)
1/2 cup water divided in 2
¾ – 1 teaspoons salt
Let’s get started: Pour 1 teaspoon Citric Acid into 1/4 cup unchlorinated water and stir. Crush the Rennet tablet and pour it into the other cup of unchlorinated water if you don’t have the liquid version. The Citric Acid should be dissolved by the time you have to use it. Most of the Rennet will be dissolved but there will still be some residue left.
Pour milk into your pot. Make sure the milk is around 50 degrees when you pour in the Citric Acid. Pour the dissolved Citric Acid in the milk and stir for 1 minute. Sprinkle the other teaspoon of Citric Acid in the milk and stir for another minute. My milk took about 10-15 minutes to curdle, if yours is faster, that’s great.
Heat milk to 88-90 degrees stirring occasionally. This is not an error. You are not trying to pasteurize the milk. If you get it too hot or too cold, the Rennet will not make curds. Use a low heat so it doesn’t go past the 88-90 degrees. It should take about 10-15 minutes.
At 88-90 degrees turn off the heat and remove from burner, stir in the Rennet solution for 15-20 seconds. Cover the pot with the lid and LEAVE IT SET UNDISTURBED FOR AT LEAST 15-20 MINUTES until you can get a clean break. I usually let mine set for 15-30 minutes. Time is not critical here as long as you get the clean break.
Wait for a clean break. When you poke your finger into it and move for an inch or so and lift it out, the curd and Whey should separate shortly. If it is still liquidy and sticks to your finger let it set a while longer.
Cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes from top to bottom. Then do the same thing at a 45 degree angle. Let the curds set undisturbed for 5-10 minutes. Just let them sit there.
Apply low heat and heat to 108 degrees, stir the curds occasionally to keep them separated until they reach 108 degrees. This will take about 15 minutes. The curds will shrink and start to sink as the Whey is expelled from them. Turn off the heat and continue stirring every few minutes for an additional 20 minutes. The curds will keep shrinking.
Drain the curds into a strainer or colander and let set for about 15 minutes. Pour into the big bowl through the large strainer. Let the Curds drain until no more Whey comes out of them. This might take 10 – 15 minutes. You can either dump the Whey or save it to make Ricotta.
Pour the Curds into the smaller bowl and break them up with your hand a little bit. Then heat the curd. OK here comes the tricky part. Place the curds in the microwave on high for 30 – 45 seconds. If you have it on too long you will cook the curd and it will turn to mush. Better a couple shorter cycles than one that’s too long. The Curds will start to separate from the Whey. I have an 1100 watt microwave. If yours is a different wattage you might have to adjust the time.
Squeeze the Curds. Using the slotted spoon or your hand GENTLY squeeze the Whey from the Curd. Pour off the Whey.
Microwave again. Microwave again for 15 – 20 seconds and pour more Whey off. As you are gently squeezing the Whey out work it into a ball also.
Stretching. Microwave again. Put back in the microwave for another 20 seconds. Add Salt. At this point if it’s warm enough it should start to become pliable and stretchy. Grab 1/3 to 1/2 and lift. It should start to stretch under its own weight. If not put it in the microwave for a few more seconds. As you work through the stretching process also knead it like bread a couple of times. If necessary microwave occasionally until your cheese looks like the last picture.
Work into a ball. At this point knead it like bread dough into a ball. If it breaks apart on you just put it in the Microwave again for a bit. As soon as it is nice and smooth and shiny it’s done.
Now you have fresh mozzarella cheese! Wrap in plastic or put in a Zip lock bag and refrigerate if you don’t eat the entire batch immediately. It should keep in the refrigerator for at least 6-10 days.
Next up, Melissa is making fresh ricotta cheese – recipe coming soon! Feel free to pin the photo below to your Pinterest board and share it with your friends…