Homemade Mozzarella


mozzarella and tomato salad

I’m not really sure what possessed me to take on cheese making, but I’m glad I did.

It must be the tomatoes. There’s something about tomatoes in late July that have the ability to make a person temporarily forget how obscenely hot summers in the Northeast are. And although a sprinkling of salt of pepper is all a late July tomato really needs,  to call it a meal, would just be a matter of tossing in a few slices of fresh mozzarella.

Making mozzarella from scratch is super easy, and takes about 30 minutes. The only catch is, the two ingredients needed to make it, rennet and citric acid, have to be ordered  from a specialty cheese making shop. Both items cost about $6 each, totaling not much more than the cost of a 1 lb. ball of premium fresh mozzarella.  If you are in my neck of the woods, stop over and I’ll give you some of mine!

Homemade Mozzarella

basic recipe from Ricki Carroll’s “Home Cheese Making”

What you will need:

Rubber gloves


Large Pot

1 Gallon of pasteurized milk (not ultra-pasteurized) Here is good place to try local raw milk.

¼ tsp Rennet dissolved in ¼ cup cool water

1 ½ tsp Citric Acid dissolved in ¼ cup cool water

Pour the milk in a large pot and heat on medium-low. When the milk reaches 55 degrees, add the citric acid and stir well. When the milk reaches 88 degrees, it will start to curdle. This took about 8-10 minutes on medium low heat.

When it starts to curdle, stir in the rennet. Check the temp of the milk. Bring it to 100 degrees, and then turn the heat off.

Curds will start to pull away from the side of the pot.

They whey should be clear, if it is milky, continue heating for a few more minutes.

Drain the curds using a large sieve or colander. Try to get as much of the liquid out as possible. Scoop the curds into a microwave safe casserole dish. Again, try to pour out the whey.

looks yummy, right?!

Microwave the curds for 1 minute. Put on your rubber gloves and knead the cheese, and pour out the whey.

Microwave for 35 seconds and knead again, Pour again.

This is the last time, promise! Microwave for 35 seconds, knead the cheese and pour out the whey.

Yay! Here you can add a pinch of salt and knead into the cheese.

Now, it should be smooth and elastic and resembling something you might pick up at a specialty cheese shop. Roll into balls and store in the fridge.



2 thoughts on “Homemade Mozzarella

  1. I basically used this same method except I found it on the Pioneer Woman blog first. A few small things–Citric acid and water went in first with mild. Heated to 90 degrees instead of 88. Reheated to 105 instead of 100. But the cheese got very hard and fibrous by the time I was done. Not at all like the soft, fresh mozzarella I had hoped for. Any ideas on what I did wrong and how I can change it? (I used unpasturized cows milk) THX

    • Hi Kimberly, I had the same results the first few times I made mozzarella. It was more like a shredded hard cheese than the fresh soft mozzarella. Here’s what I found- When you reheat to 105, slowly stir for only 2-3 minutes. The more you stir, the more the whey will separate, creating a firmer cheese.
      Also, when you are kneading the cheese, gently press out only the excess. I was squeezing the whey out to the point where it completely dried up. Here’s a link to New England Cheese Shop mozzarella recipe. They are a great cheese making resource!

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