More homemade cheese! Mozzarella is a little more complicated than ricotta. Actually, a lot more complicated. I’ve tried making it twice now, once with my mom and once by myself. Both times the cheese was delicious, but both times we had problems. Neither time did the cheese turn out like a smooth round ball. Maybe third time is the charm??
Since I tried making this twice, I have twice the number of pictures! So it is a long post today.
You will need a few unusual supplies, including citric acid and a rennet tablet. You can buy both of those at a beer or cheese supply store. You will also need whole milk, a large pot, gloves and a thermometer.
You begin by heating the milk and citric acid to 90 degrees (I did this on two different days, so I used different bowls). Make sure you dissolve the citric acid in a little water first, I think it helps the citric acid to distribute better.
Be careful to not drop the thermometer into the milk. I might be speaking from experience….
Once the milk reaches 90 degrees, turn off the heat. Pour in rennet, stir, cover the pot and let sit for 10 minutes.
Once the curds have formed you can cut the cheese into a grid pattern and then heat the mixture to 105 degrees.
You can then spoon the curds into a microwave safe bowl. Leaving as much of the whey (yellow clear liquid) behind as possible.
You will then microwave the cheese in batches, draining off the excess whey as you go along.
The cheese will begin to get soft and pliable (like above). At this point you want to begin to knead and stretch the cheese.
As you can see above, we accidentally microwaved our cheese for 30 seconds more (aka too long). You want the internal temperature to be 135 degrees.
The second time I made the cheese I didn’t heat the curds high enough, so it was a little crumbly in the end and not smooth and elastic.
So making mozzarella is a little tricky, but fun. We still haven’t perfected it yet, but I have compiled all the tips we have learned in the recipe below. I will say that both times the cheese melted beautifully on pizza and tasted amazing.
- 1 gallon whole milk (just make sure that it is not ultra-pasteurized)
- 1 tsp. citric acid (you can get at a cheese or beer supply store)
- ¼ rennet tablet (also found at a cheese or beer supply store)
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- (You will also need gloves, thermometer, and a large pot)
- Pour milk into a large pot. Dissolve 1 tsp of citric acid in ¼ cup of water and add to milk. Stir to combine.
- Heat milk over medium low heat until it reaches 90 degrees. Stirring occasionally.
- While the milk is heating dissolve ¼ rennet tablet in ¼ cup cool water. Set aside.
- Once the milk reaches 90 degrees, turn off the heat. Pour in rennet, stir, cover the pot and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Milk should be thick and able to cut into a grid pattern. (if it isn't let it sit for a few more minutes)
- Heat pot back to 105 degrees. Stirring slowly, so as not to break the curds.
- Take off the heat after reaching 105 degrees. And stir slowly for a couple of minutes.
- Careful not to break the curds, scoop the cubes into a large glass measuring cup or bowl. You want to leave the whey (the clear yellow liquid behind).
- Microwave for 30 seconds, draining off excess liquid. Microwave again for 30 seconds. The internal temp should be 135 degrees. Keep kneading the curd in between heating to drain off the excess whey. If needed, heat for 30 seconds more until you reach 135 degrees.
- Knead the cheese until it begins to stretch (here is where you want gloves). You can fold in the salt at this point too. Keep stretching and folding until the cheese becomes glossy.
- Shape into a ball and store in the fridge. Some sites suggest pouring a little whey in with the cheese for storage.
There are tons of recipes out there…just google homemade mozzarella.
See where I am linking up to here!