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Making homemade mozzarella is so simple yet it seems so scary.
It is as easy as heating milk, adding citric acid and rennet, cutting curds, and shaping the cheese. The best thing about making fresh mozzarella is that if you “mess-up” your cheese is still edible and will taste great. It just might not look perfect, but who likes perfection anyway?! Remember that cheese making is artesian. Every great cheese maker has their own special ways and steps that make their cheese unique to them. Below is just a guideline of steps to help you get started. Use them as you wish. Who knows – you might discover a better, faster, more milky form of cheese by skipping or adding a step, but if you do you must share!
What You Need
- Measure out 1 cup of water. Stir in the citric acid until dissolved. Measure out 1/4 cup of water in a separate bowl. Stir in the rennet until dissolved.
- Pour the milk into the pot and stir in the citric acid solution. Let sit for a minute and stir again. Heat milk over medium-high heat and warm to 90°F, gently stirring to avoid the milk from burning to the bottom of the pot.
- Shut off heat and gently stir in the rennet solution for about 1 minute. Cover pot and let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- After five minutes, the milk should have set (if it is not firm let sit another 5 minutes) Once the milk has set, cut it into uniform curds (cut your curds vertically and horizontally. It is important to make sure your knife reaches all the way to the bottom of the pot when cutting y our curds.)
- Turn stove back up to medium heat and warm the curds to 105°F, stirring as the curds warm. The curds will eventually clump together and separate more completely from the yellow whey.
- Shut off heat and continue stirring gently for another 3 minutes. *Another easy and quick method that works well is to add your rennet and stir in rennet in an up and down motion until the curds and whey separate. Let sit for 3 minutes before reheating your curds to 105 degrees.*
- Ladle the curds into colander with the slotted spoon. Cut into 2 equal chucks.
- Microwave the one chunk of curds for 45 seconds. Fold the curds over on themselves a few times. Microwave the curds for another 30 seconds and check their internal temperature. When the temperature has reached 135°F, continue with stretching the curds. Microwave in 30-second increments until the curds reach temperature. The curds will stretch better if heat to 135
- Sprinkle the salt over the cheese and squish it with your fingers to incorporate. Using both hands, stretch and fold the curds repeatedly. It will start to tighten, become firm, and take on a glossy sheen. When this happens, you are ready to shape the mozzarella. Try not to over-work the mozzarella. Repeat with the other half of curds.
- The cheese is so amazing warm and milky so eat up. I there is any leftover place the mozzarella ball into a deep baking pan filled with ice water to help set the cheese ball.
- Wrap your chilled mozzarella ball in plastic wrap or an air tight container and pour some warm whey over it to keep it moist and milky.
Making Mozzarella Without the Microwave:
Heat a large pot of water to about 190 degrees. Pour the curds into a colander and place the colander and curds into the pot of hot water making sure all the curds are under water. Wearing rubber gloves, dunk curds in an up and down motion to distribute the heat then let sit in the water 5 minutes or so. Fold the curds under the water and check their internal temperature. If it has not reached 135°F, let the curds sit for another few minutes until it does. Once the curds have reached 135°, lift them from the water, add salt and stretch.