Homemade Mozzarella
Recipe type: Pantry
Cuisine: Italian
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pound
  • 1¼ cup water, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons citric acid
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid rennet or ¼ rennet tablet (not Junket rennet)
  • 1 gallon whole milk, do not use ultra pasteurized*
  • kosher salt for sprinkling
  • Special Equipment:
  • Thermometer
  • Gloves suitable for culinary use
  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the citric acid into 1 cup of cool water until dissolved. In another small bowl or measuring cup, mix the rennet into a ¼ cup of cool water. (Be sure to keep them separate and remember which one is which).
  2. Pour the milk into a 5 quart pot. Stir in the citric acid solution and set the pot over medium-high heat. Warm to 90 degrees F, stirring gently and frequently.
  3. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the rennet solution. Count to 30 and then stop stirring. Cover the pot and allow it to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, check the curd which should look and feel like silken tofu, with a clear seperation between the curd and the whey around the edges of the pot. If your milk did not form a curd, allow it to sit for another 5 minutes undisturbed. If you are still having issues with your milk not forming a curd, you may need to re-evaluated your milk source - (ultra-pasteurized milk will not work very well).
  5. With a knife that is long enough to reach the bottom of the pot, cut the curd into a checkerboard pattern.
  6. Place the pot back over medium heat and warm the curds to 105 degrees F. Stir slowly and constanly. Try not to break the curds up too much, though they will eventually clump together.
  7. Turn off the heat and continue stirring constantly for 5 more minutes.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, ladle the curds into a bowl. Reheat the whey (the liquid) to 150 degrees F - the cheese will not stretch until it reaches 135 degrees F. At this point you need to decide if you want to make 1 large ball, 2 smaller balls, or divide it into thirds (I did the latter).
  9. Put on your gloves - you'll be handling curds that are very hot. Using a slotted spoon, lower the curds into the hot whey for a few minutes. To test if it's ready, pull a little piece - it should be very stretchy. Once ready, remove the curd sprinkle with salt and working quickly, pull, fold, and pull, repeating only one or two times. Then form into a ball by making a circle with your thumb and forefinger and pressing the mozzarella through. Place on a plate and continue to form the remaining curds in the same manner.
  10. You may serve immediately or tightly wrap and refrigerate. Serve with your desired accompaniments. It's great with just a little sea salt sprinkled on top as well. Enjoy!
* Ultra pasteurized milk does not make good cheese. During pasteurization, the milk is heated to a level that damages the calcium and proteins that are needed to bind the milk proteins and form a curd. That being said, you can and should use pasteurized milk - just not ultra pasteurized.
Recipe by at http://hapanom.com/homemade-mozzarella/