Homemade Mozzarella- A Full Cheesmaker's Guide

This easy mozzarella recipe will make you fall in love with homemade cheesemaking! The recipe only takes half an hour and 5 ingredients to prepare, and the result is a creamy mozzarella that can be both grated and used in pasta or pizza or enjoyed fresh with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs on top.

Some important notes:
*Do not use homogenized or ultra-pasteurized milk.
*You can find rennet in health food stores. Rennet is available in powder, tablet or liquid. The best option for you is liquid, although tablets work just as well. If you happen to have some lying around, test it for freshness before use. You will find a guide for that by clicking here
*Food-grade citric acid is likely to be found in any average grocery store. 

If this is your first time making cheese, these tips from Samira of Alpha Foodie will help:

  • If you use goats milk instead of cows then be even slower and gentler when stirring the milk, so as not to disturb the curds too much.
  • If your cheese is tough or crumbly then this is likely down to using too much acidity or heating it incorrectly. However, it can also happen if the curds are broken up too much by rough mixing. Try to reduce the amount of citric acid in the next batch.
  • If the cheese is rubbery then it’s likely that you overworked it during the stretching phase.
  • For a softer mozzarella, stop the curds from becoming as firm and work the cheese even less when stretching (literally just a couple of stretches).
  • You could add some dried herbs to the cheese, if wanted, during the final shaping stage.
  • TOP TIP: A ‘failed’ batch definitely doesn’t necessarily mean waste. Even if the cheese is crumbly and won’t stretch, this can be used within pasta dishes, into cooked dishes, etc.


Prep Time 30 minutes
Serves: 30
Difficulty Level: Low
Homemade Mozzarella- A Full Cheesmaker's Guide
Ingredients for Homemade Mozzarella:
Water - 4 tbsp.
Citric acid - 1 1/2 tsp. (dissolved in 1 cup water)
Rennet - 0.01 ounce
Kosher salt - to taste (non-iodized)
Method of preparing the Homemade Mozzarella:
  1. Mix the citric acid with 1 cup of water, stirring until it is completely dissolved.
  2. In a different bowl, dissolve the rennet in the remaining 4 tablespoons of water.
  3. In a large stockpot, combine the milk and the citric acid mix. Heat the milk on medium heat, whisking continuously until the milk has reached a temperature of 90ºF (32ºC). Immediately after reaching the desired temperature, remove the stockpot from the heat.
  4. Incorporate the dissolved rennet into the warm milk mixture, stirring slowly. Then cover the pot with a lid and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Your milk mixture will have the consistency of thick yogurt after 5 minutes. You should be able to cut through it with a knife. If the mixture is still too runny, let it set for 3-5 more minutes, or until it thickens up.
  6. Cut the set milk with a knife into squares. Cut all the way to the bottom of the stockpot.
  7. Now heat the curdled milk again on medium. Stir the mixture carefully but continuously without breaking the cheese clumps too much. When the milk reaches 106ºF (41ºC), remove the stockpot from the heat but continue slowly stirring the mixture. You will observe how the cheese curds start separating from the whey liquid after 3-5 minutes.
  8. Place a large colander into a large bowl and line it with cheesecloth. With a slotted spoon, pick up the cheese curds and transfer them into the lined colander.
  9. Let the curds drain into the bowl for 5-7 minutes. Set aside the whey drippings.
  10. In a saucepan, heat half of the whey to about 170ºF (76ºC). Pour the liquid into a large bowl and transfer half of the cheese curds into it as well.
  11. Let the curds sit in the hot whey for 2-3 minutes. The curds will soften up and become stretchy, almost like melted cheese. You want this soft consistency to stretch and shape the mozzarella curds into a ball.
  12. Put on a pair of gloves for the next part. Transfer the cheese curds onto a work surface, season with a pinch of salt, and stretch and knead the curds until they become firmer and uniform - about 5 minutes. The more you stretch, the firmer your mozzarella will be.
  13. Then roll the mozzarella into a ball and chill it. If the mozzarella becomes too hard and cannot be shaped into a ball, you can put it back into the bowl with warm whey for a minute or until the cheese softens.
  14. Place the remaining half of the whey into a large bowl. Cool the mozzarella ball in the whey for 10-15 minutes at room temperature. This will set the cheese.
  15. Repeat the same stretching and rolling process with the remaining half of the cheese curds. You should have 2 balls of super-fresh mozzarella now.
  16. You can enjoy this super-fresh mozzarella right away. Alternatively, you can transfer it into a sealable container, cover it with some of the whey, and store it in the fridge for up 7 days.
Source: Alphafoodie.com
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