My very first foray into cheese making was using a Ricki Carroll kit “30 minute mozzarella”. It turned out so good the first time, Genny immediately told me to get the hard cheese kit (I’ve gone a little overboard, and she may regret that a little since the fridge is full of “experiments” that haven’t aged enough to try yet).
If you want to try cheesemaking at home, I highly recommend Ricki’s book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Delicious Cheeses. I own it and think the recipes are well thought out to be as simple as possible.
Homemade Mozzarella is an extremely simple cheese to make, yet it tastes wonderful and is a great introduction to home cheese-making. Before I tried making my own mozzarella I thought cheese-making was only for highly skilled artisans and was beyond the reach of “normal” folks.
This is a simple recipe, and pretty easy to make as long as you follow the recipe step by step. (my only disaster was when I was trying to tape the procedure and spent to much time talking and not enough doing….)
30 Minute Mozzarella
- 1 gallon pot – stainless steel or enameled
- Slotted Spoon
- Long Knife
- Microwavable bowl
- 1 gallon milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon citric acid dissolved in 1 cup chlorine free water
- ¼ tablet (or 1/4 tsp of liquid) rennet dissolved in ¼ cup chlorine free water
- 1 tablespoon of cheese salt and/or herbs (optional – but I found it bland without salt)
- Pour milk into pot and vigorously stir ion citric acid
- Heat to 900F while stirring
- Remove from heat and stir in the rennet solution with a dashing motion (up and down like making butter in an old fashioned dasher) for about 30 seconds
- Cover pot and let sit for 5 minutes
- If the curd looks like a white jello with a clear separation of the curd and the whey cut the curd into 1/2 “blocks (see Farmhouse cheddar video II)
- Heat the curds to 1050F while gently stirring curds
- Take off burner and stir for another 2-5 minutes (longer time = firmer finished cheese)
- Pour off floating whey (save it for bread making)
- Ladle curds into large microwavable bowl and drain as much whey ass possible without pressing curds too hard. (You can press down a little, but don’t mash it flat)
- Microwave bowl for one minute
- Ricki’s kit also has a recipe for using hot water – but this is easier for me
- Remove and drain as you gently fold curds into a single piece. (add salt now if desired)
- Microwave for another 30 seconds. Drain and stretch.
- cheese must be 1350F to stretch – if its not hot enough microwave for another 30 seconds.
- I used latex gloves to help with heat, as well as having a ice bath nearby to dip my hands in occasionally.
- Dad told me I could grow up smart or strong – guess which one I picked…..LOL
- Keep stretching cheese like taffy – the more you heat and stretch the firmer it will be.
- When finished stretching submerge it in ice water to set the cheese.
- Critical for texture and to prevent it from being grainy.)
Homemade mozzarella is the best when eaten warm right after it’s made. Chilling the mozzarella will change its texture a bit, but I love it wight out of the original ice bath!
You can cube it up for skewers, slice it up for topping pizza or grilled cheese sandwiches, or partially freeze it, then shred it.
If you have extra, can can even freeze the cheese successfully. In fact, some say that it melts better after it has been frozen and thawed!