How To Make Mozzarella at Home
If you think that making mozzarella cheese is super difficult, you're sorely mistaken!
June 4th is the single most important food holiday of the year: National Cheese Day! There are endless ways to celebrate cheese on this holiday, but why not enjoy a truly unforgettable experience by making your own mozzarella? This is a fun and rewarding experience for cheese lovers of all ages, and it's not as difficult as you might think!
To start, you need 1 gallon of whole milk that is not ultra pasteurized. Buffalo milk is king, but it is hard to come by, so cow's milk is perfectly fine. The best place to buy milk for cheesemaking would be a local farm. Check the label—it should not say 'ultra-pasteurized'. The milk can be either homogenized or non-homogenized. You will also need citric acid, liquid rennet, and salt.
It is very important that the cheese preparation area and any equipment is very clean prior to cheesemaking.
1. Dissolve 1.5 teaspoons of granulated citric acid into 1 cup of water. Stir until it is completely dissolved.
2. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon of liquid rennet into a quarter cup of water.
3. Pour the gallon of milk into a large pot. Prior to heating on the stove, add the citric acid and water mixture into the milk and stir extremely well.
4. Heat the milk over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches 90°F.
5. Immediately remove the milk from the heat and while stirring, pour in the liquid rennet and water mixture. Stir well for 30 seconds.
6. Add a lid to the pot and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Once you open the lid, you will notice that the curds have begun to separate from the whey.
7. Gently cut the curds into a cross-hatch pattern, making sure the knife goes all the way to the bottom of the pot.
8. Place the pot on the stove again over medium low heat and stir occasionally. Make sure you are stirring gently as to not break the curds too much. Heat until it reaches 105°F and then remove from stove. Allow to sit for 5 minutes uncovered.
9. Remove the curds using a slotted spoon or ladle and place them into a strainer. Let drain for a few seconds, then pick up the curds and begin squeezing out the extra liquid. It is okay if not all of the liquid is expelled. If you remove too much liquid, the mozzarella will have a dryer texture.
10. Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to the pot of leftover whey and heat on the stove until it reaches 105°F. Pour the heated and salted whey on top of the cheese, just enough to cover it. The cheese should now be soft and malleable.
11. Start stretching and folding the cheese until it's smooth and shiny, about one minute. If the cheese starts to firm up too much, return the cheese to the warm water to soften.
12. Shape the cheese into a ball. Allow to fully cool and enjoy! Homemade mozzarella will last in the fridge for several days, but is best when eaten fresh!