How To Make Home Made Mozzarella Cheese
Whipping up a pound of hand made artisan cheese takes no more than 30 minutes and you can tell your friends that you squeezed in a semester in Tuscany back in college while you make them jealous of your summer snack skills.
Mozzarella, the easiest cheese to make.
The first steps in making mozzarella starts by gently separating milk into two parts. In one part we get a soft curd, which will become our cheese, and the filtered fluid is is the golden by product called whey, which often gets thrown out, but in our case we are processing this milk down specifically to get the whey and turn it into a rich body moisturizer.
The whey based body butter is featured over on the Thermal Mermaid you tube channel if youre interested in learning about that, but some of you may have come over here from that video specifically to make the cheese from what is left over from when you extracted the whey.
And that what we’re going to do here.
Now even though making mozzarella is pretty easy. It only takes about 30 minutes from start to clean up and you can get a reasonably predictable result every time, one thing I've learned is that getting your mozzarella to turn out like most of the other your tube tutorials takes a few tries and a little bit of practice.
Mozzarella, the recipe.
Lets start by showing you our short ingredient list for mozerella making.
- 1 gallon of raw milk
- 1 tsp. of citric acid
- 1 rennet tablet
- 1 and ¼ cup of water
I will also need a stock pot, a few large bowls, a strainer, and a cheese cloth or fine towel.
Before we begin were going to prepare the citric acid and the rennet. 1.5 tsp of citric acid is going to be dissolved into 1 cup of wsater, and Im going to dissolve 1 rennet tablet into ¼ cup of water and set these aside.
Im going to pour one gallon of cold milk into a stock pot and set the temp on warm. I want to slowly warm the milk to about 90 degrees, and while the milk is still cold im going to add the 1 cup of water with citric acid and stir this completely into the milk. Once its completely incorporated Im going to leave this alone for a few minute to warm to 90 degrees.
Now were going to pour one gallon of cold milk into a stock pot and slowly begin to warm this up with a goal of 90 degrees.
Now one of the first things all mozzarella tutorials cover is the milk being both homogenized and pasteurized. In order to get the curd out of the milk you want it to be as close to original as possible. When your milk is homogenized it goes through a high pressure extreuder that breaks apart the large fat globuals and breaks then down into smaller parts. That makes your drinking milk taste more smooth and even, but its harder to turn the fat in the milk into cheese curd. So you want to try to get milk that is not homogenized. Now as time goes on it seems there are fewer and few choices on the grocery store shelves and everything is either homogenized or ultra homogenized unless you are buying it fresh or from a smaller family farm. In my case the only way I can get it is to go to a market one town over and buy it raw.
So my first tip that varies from most of the tutorials that youll find online where you will be told that your milk must not be homogenized is that if you only have access to homogenized milk go ahead and try this recipe. Your going to have to practice a few times before you get your mozerella down and its not going to hurt you to start off by using homogenized milk. What is going to happen is that your cheese is going to be fresh and soft and its going to turn out half way between a mozerella and a soft cream cheese, and its going to taste exactly the same, and for most of your fresh mozerella recipes this is going to work just fine. Just understand that its not going to be perfect as you are working through the recipe, and that’s ok.
Now it will not work if you buy ultra homogenizedmilk. In this case the fat has been forced by pressure into globuals that are too small for it to turn bask into cheese, and you will just end up with a sort of soft slop. So choose non homogenized milk when you can, homogenized if you have to and don’t bother with ultra homogenized milk.
Now the next thing you will be told is that to get the best cheese your milk should not be pasteurized. So lets talk about that for a mminute, pasturizing your milk is where the farmer warms to 145 degrees F for a minimum of 16 seconds to kill any potential organism before it is bottled for consumption. If your milk is not pasturized its called raw, for many of you buying raw milk is not even an option because its not legal to purchase unpasteurized milk in lots of states
Now over the last few years its been very trendy to see tiktoks or videos of people buying raw milk, and you hmay have heard about the health benefits of drinking raw milk over pasturized milk.
To be clear, the only thing pasturized milk does is warm the product up to a temperature that kills organisms like e. coli and prevents you from get life threatening illnesses. According to the FDA website there is ZERO health benefit to drinking raw milk over pasturized milk. There is no additional nutritional value in raw milk. Pasturizing your milk does not take any nutrition out of the milk, and there are no health benefits to drinking raw milk that you cant get from pasturized milk.
The only difference is that pasturized milk is safer to drink. With that said, getting sick from raw milk isnt common. I think I read about 12 reports in the united states over the last 10-20 years that are published on the FDA website, you can read those. Every one of those were E. Coli contamination.
With that said Im not worried about raw milk, I feel like there are a lot more riskier things I can do in my kitchen during this activity that drinking raw milk isnt at the top of my list. However, theres no univers that any of the children in my house would be given raw milk to drink. Why? Because on the chance of a serious illness, this is 100% preventable and Im not willing to risk giving it to them.
Will I give them cheese made from raw milk? Yes, we’re cooking this just close enough to make me happy that it will be fine, and if yours worried then modify your recipe to make sure you hit 145 degrees for just 16 seconds and boom you’ve pasturized your mmilk
Now the state of your milks pasteurization does not affect your recipe. You do not have to have unpasteurized milk to make mozerella, its just that if you are buying raw milk to get it so that its no homogenized, then it will also be unpasteurized and you need to know what that means to make the best choices for yourself, however if you can find pasturized non homogenized milk….. yes that’s works!
Swoooo ok we got through all that.
Now lets get into our recipe. -*
I am going to dissolve 1.5 tsp. of citric acid into one cup of cold water and ive dissolved on rennet tablet into a ¼ cup of water
Its taken about 10 minutes for the warm setting to bring our cold milk with citric acid up to 90 degrees
You can see here in this view that there is some curdling going on but this wont turninto chees all on its own, we need a little extra help. Adding the rennet is going to really pull the curd together and give us something to work with. We are going to stir this into until it is completely dissolved and then allow this to sit for about 5 minutes with the heat getting just a little more warm.
Im going to let mine get to 110 degrees on medium low heat and then im going to let it rest for about 5 – 10 minutes and let that rennet turn this slightly curdled milk into a more solid form of curds and whey.
When we return and lift the lid we can see that the curd has formed a solid and is floating at the top. Im going to turn the heat off at this stage and gently cut slices into the surface in a cross hatch pattern. This is going to give me nice solid chuncks that are small enough to remove from the pot and transfer into a bowl without damaging the curd. I want this to try to keep this together and much as I can. You can see that the curd is still delicate so im trying my best not to damage what has already set up.
As for now the cooking is done and its time to start processing this cheese. This is where the practice comes in and I am going to carefully transfer this curd into a strainer. Now you might find it easiest to lay a cheese cloth liner in the strainer and give the curd an extra layer of protection while you are processing it and pushing out the extra whey, but in this case I am going to only use the strainer so that you can see the texture im working with while im moving along. Its better to use a cheese cloth, but I feel like for the video you get more out of it by being able to see it better.
Right here is a really good visual of just how delicate the curd still is. Im going to gently bind the curd together and push the remaining whey out of the cheese. Working it by folding it together and applying pressure gently is going to start to strengthen the curd. Im going to do this just a few times and then its time to give our cheese a little salt to flavor.
Ive just removed about a cup of whey and warmed it up and im going to dissolve about a tsp of salt into the liquid. Then im going to set the mozzarella ball into the warm salted whey and let that site for a minute
This is where the cheese starts to change from a tightly packed curd to a more solid cheese and the texture will start to take shape. To start just lift the cheese from the seasoned liquid and allow it to gently fall under its own weight. Do this 5 or six times and as you do you will notice that it starts to become more maliable and take a familiar shape. From here you can start to shape it into mozzarella balls or how ever you want to make it.
Now im just going to spend one more minute stretching and handling my cheese, here you can see that ive removed the salted liquid and im shaping my mozzarella into serving sizes and im taking my time so that you can get a good visual on the texture and you can see hhow the curd is changing and becoming stronger, but in reality this process really only takes somewhere from 2 – 5 minutes.