Making Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

A couple months ago I read this interesting book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is about a family’s journey in eating locally and growing their own food for an entire year. One part of the book talked about the family’s experience making cheese in one of Ricki Carroll’s classes and I learned that it was possible to make mozzarella (and other soft cheeses) in under an hour. So, without hesitation I bought this 30-minute cheese making kit. I’m a huge, huge fan of fresh mozzarella…so what better way to enjoy it than by making my own? It’s easier than you think.

To make the cheese is fairly simple, you only need four ingredients: a gallon of local milk (not ultra pasteurized), rennet liquid or tablets, citric acid and salt. Below is my simplified version of how to make mozzarella cheese, but if you’d like to see the full detailed step-by-step recipe, check it out here.

Cheese Ingredients

Cheese Ingredients: Gallon of Milk, Citric Acid, Rennet Tablets and Salt

Curds Forming

You first boil the milk with the citric acid and then you add the dissolved rennet tablets and let sit until curds form (about 10 minutes). Then, cut up the curds and heat some more.

Heating the Curds

Next drain the curds, add some salt and then microwave (draining off whey between microwaving) until the curds start to form into stretchable cheese. Then, stretch and form into balls and place into a cold water bath (followed by an ice water bath). Be careful, the cheese is extremely hot! The more you handle the cheese, the tougher it will be.

Fresh Mozzarella

The fresh mozzarella balls once they were formed.

Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Fresh mozzarella pizza that I made with the cheese.

Pizza close up

Close up of the pizza.

I had a fun time making this cheese and will definitely make it again. My curds didn’t form as nicely as I would have liked and the cheese was more like string cheese instead of soft, fresh mozzarella, but it was only my first time making it, so I think I just need some more practice to perfect the recipe. But, boy was the cheese tasty and added so much flavor to the pizza! The pizza was made with a whole-wheat pre-made crust and topped with pizza sauce, tomatoes, fresh basil, spices and the cheese.

Have you ever made cheese before? Do you have any tips you could share with us?

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