Making mozzarella at home is easier than you think. Once it's ready, you can eat your mozzarella immediately (that's what we do). Or, you can use it to top a cast-iron pizza, a roasted peach caprese salad, or in a squash blossom grilled cheese! The opportunities are endless with mozzarella.
Homemade Mozzarella Recipe
If you're not sure where to find some of these cheesemaking ingredients, you can try our Italian Cheesemaking Kit. This kit contains all the ingredients you'll need to make this delicious, creamy cheese and more!
1/2 gallon (2 L) whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
1 cup (237 ml) non-chlorinated water (bottled or tap water left out overnight)
3/4 teaspoon citric acid
1/4 rennet tablet
1 teaspoon cheese salt
- Add 3/4 teaspoon citric acid to 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water in a cup. Mix and set aside.
Add 1/4 tablet rennet to 1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water in a separate cup. Mix to dissolve, and set aside.
Add milk to stock pot. Add citric acid solution to milk, and stir thoroughly.
Heat slowly on medium-low until milk reaches 90° F (32° C). Occasionally stir while heating, scraping the sides and bottoms of the pot to prevent scorching.
Upon reaching temperature, add rennet solution to milk and stir gently stir for 20 seconds. Remove from heat, and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes while milk begins to firm.
Check on your milk. It should be thick and no longer runny. Test the curd formation by running a knife through the milk. If you observe a clean break (meaning the you noticed a defined line while curling through the curds), you're ready to move on. Otherwise, just let your milk sit an extra couple minutes.
Cut your curds into 1" (2.5 cm) cubes, first vertically (starting from your body going away from you) and then horizontally (from left to right). Then cut again horizontally, holding your knife at a 45° angle.
Return your curds to the stove, and heat on medium-low to 105°. Upon reaching temperature, remove from heat and gently stir for 5 minutes.
Line cheese basket with cheese cloth and place over a large bowl. Pour curds and whey into lined cheese basket. and let set for 10 minutes. Gently press down on the curds to remove excess whey. Reserve whey.
In order to stretch the curds into mozzarella, you must heat them up. You can do this 2 ways.
Stretching The Mozzarella On The Stove
- While your curds are draining, assemble a double boiler or place a smaller pot into a larger one. Create a water bath (or use the whey from the previous steps).
- Form curds into a ball and lower into heated water until internal temperature reaches 135° F (57° C).
- Once temperature is reached in around 2 - 3 minutes, use slotted spoon to remove from water bath.
Stretching The Mozzarella In The Microwave
- In a bowl, heat curds on high for 1 minute. Gently stir with a spoon and drain off any whey.
- Check temperature, and repeat previous step until internal temperature of the curds reaches 135° F (57° C).
- Squeeze balls of curds to remove excess whey.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cheese salt atop curds. Fold, knead and stretch to incorporate.
The more you work the ball of curds, the firmer your mozzarella will become. Form it into a ball (or whatever shape you like).
Quickly dunk finished mozzarella in ice water to help it maintain its shape.
Enjoy right away, or store in cool whey with 1/2 teaspoon sat in the fridge for up to a week.