Saturday, January 31, 2009

Making Mozzarella At Home

For Christmas we received a Mozzarella kit from Leener's. We had heard it was quite easy to make but I have to admit I was a little skeptical. Well, I was so wrong, making mozzarella was super easy to make & the results were wonderful! You just have to have a little patience to let the milk heat slowly & in an hour you are eating your own fresh cheese!
Checking Temperature
First you ripen 1 gallon of milk with a bit of citric acid, lipase, and calcium chloride. Slowly heating over medium heat to 88 F, stirring from time to time.
Stirring
Once the milk reaches 88°F, you add rennet and continue heating to 105 F. Only stir gently every couple of minutes so you don't break up the curd too much.
Starting to coagulate
By the time it reaches 105°F, it will start to look at little chunky. At this point, turn off the heat and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Fully coagulated
After resting for 20 minutes you'll be rewarded with a big chunk of cheese curds.
Draining the curds
Remove the curds with a slotted spoon, leaving the whey in the pan.
Squeezing the curds
Lightly smash the curds with a spoon to squeeze as much whey out of them as possible, then drain. Microwave for 60 seconds and repeat, adding a bit of salt. Microwave again so it reaches 140-150°F, and start kneading the hot cheese with the spoon to help even the heat out.
Kneading with spoon
Continue kneading with a spoon until the cheese pulls together into a ball and sticks to the spoon.
Making mozzarella
At this point you will have a soft mozzarella ball. You can stop at this point.
#23 - Making mozzarella
Or you can stretch & pull it like taffy until you have a cooled firmer cheese better for grating & such.
French Bread Pizza
Now you can enjoy your own homemade cheese. We made a baguette earlier in the day. Split it in half & topped it with some homemade pizza sauce, a few sliced of pepperoni & then our cheese. Perfection!

70 comments:

kristin said...

that looks amazing! i've been eating fresh mozzarella, cherry tomato, cucumber, and basil salads with balz vin and olive oil sprinkled with salt for lunch! i'll have to try this!

HungryinSW said...

Amazing! That looks so good!

Beth said...

I can't believe its so quick.

Foodycat said...

Oh wow! That looks so professional! Did you just use cow's milk?

kat said...

Foodcat - We just bought a gallon of 2% cow's milk at the grocery store. You just have to make sure its not ultra-pasterized.

jillian said...

I have been meaning to learn to make mozzarella forever and this is really inspiring! It looks wonderful!

Did you have to use a gently pasteurized milk?

Stacey Snacks said...

You are my hero!
That mutz looks perfect!

Lisa said...

Wow! I have been wanting to do this for a long time. One of these days I will order a kit.

Bill Roehl said...

kat, all of the milk I have bought at the grocery store never ended up working. What store/brand did you buy? I have resorted to making my milk from powder when I make cheese :(

kat said...

Jillian - We just used regular 2% that wasn't ultra pasterized.

Bill - All milk is local so I'm betting we used Minnesota Creamery

Ben said...

That's easy, and I bet it is a lot cheaper than buying your cheese at the market. I must try this! Thanks for the info :)

Rachel said...

Great step-by-step photos. I've bookmarked and stumbled this one!

Carrian said...

I am so glad to have found your blog!! This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to try it.

Netts Nook said...

Looks like a week project at my house I am impressed. Yum Yum

recipes2share said...

This is fantastic. I made cremé fraiche during the summer and it was so tasty. I would seriously love to have a go at this too!

Lori said...

Wow! I am so impressed. I would love to try this. I'm assuming all the additives you need are in the kit, right? Any tips on where to get one? I suppose a google search will lead me somewhere. :)

Lori said...

Okay, so it helps to re-read before commenting. :) I see where you got it.

Grace said...

this post is full of awesomeness. fresh mozzarella is just about the neatest thing to play with, and i would be so proud to make my own. :)

Happy cook said...

I didn't even know we could make this home.
Bookmarking this

Psychgrad said...

Great present to receive! The final product looks really great. I'm sure it's delicious too. I think I'm going to have to put making cheese on my things of things to try doing.

Jen said...

that's so cool!!!! and it looks delicious too-

Elra said...

Oh my, this is amazing. I am so impress!
Cheers,
Elra

Lori said...

I am impressed too. I love this idea! If my husband saw this post, I think he would run right out and buy one!

Sophie said...

Wow, the cheese looks like it belongs in a deli, incredible! I bet the flavor is much better than anything sold at a deli, though :D.

Peter M said...

Anyone who makes their own mozza is awesome in my books...really.

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing. I have a question though- I don't have a microwave- can you recommend another way to reheat the cheese?
Thanks!

kat said...

Anonymous - I'm not exactly sure how you'd reheat it without a microwave, perhaps a double boiler....

Anonymous said...

To finish your mozzarella without a microwave,follow the instructions up to the point at which you remove the separated curds from the whey. Bring the pot of whey up to 170 F. Place small pieces of the curd into a bowl. Ladle some of the hot whey over the curds and work them together with a spoon or your hands if you’re wearing rubber gloves. Keep working them until they stick together and begin to stretch. Add more of the curds to your bowl and ladle more hot whey over them. Continue to work the curds until you have one mass of sticky curds that you can begin to stretch.

Lisa said...

I have been dying to make mozzarella from scratch for years, and after making homemade ricotta the non-traditional way, and seeing how beautiful your mozzarella turned out, I need to kill two birds with one stone here! Thank you for posting this!

Anonymous said...

how glad I am to find your blog! I live in a country where cheese is not in the daily diet and it's rather expensive to buy it from the supermarket..I've been wanting to make my own basic cheeses and now I've found mozzarella, ricotta and farmhouse cheddar here!

-Ika-

bil said...

how much cheese did you get from a 25$ kit seems expensive unless you ended up with 5 lbs of cheese

kat said...

Bil - There was more than enough of the rennet, calcium cloride, citric acid & lipase to make 4 or 5 batches of cheese (I can't remember exactly.) We also got a thermometer, direction book & ricotta basket in the kit. Yes, it is probably easier to buy them all separately if you can find it.

Shannon said...

if you have curds, can you just start at the microwaving part? or does it need to be special curds made from your method?

kat said...

Shannon - I don't know enough about cheese making to really know, but I can't imagine you can just go buy curds at the store & turn them into mozzarella.

Anonymous said...

how much cheese does 1 gallon of milk make?

kat said...

1 gallon should get you about 1 pound of cheese if you use whole milk

Katy said...

I have tried 5 times to make mozzarella and have failed miserably. I'm careful not to use ultra-pasteurized milk, and even tried non-homogenized. What am I doing wrong? I'm using a recipe that includes citric acid and rennet.

It never stretches and I end up with a rubber ball of cheese that is not soft, stretchy and shiny. I'm utterly confused, and now obsessed with figuring it out!

An insight would be greatly appreciated!

Katy

kat said...

Katy - We found we got better results with powdered milk. If you use Calcium Chloride stop using it as it can give you a harder cheese. Other than that I'm not sure what else to say as I'm not an expert by any means

Katy said...

Thanks, Kat. I'll try powdered.

jmintuck said...

I would LUV to do this so bad. Id make a bunch and give some of them to my family at Christmas. What an idea!

I am one of those more broke people, so , if I can come across a kit or other instructions, then I can make this, so I don't HAVE to BUY cheese from the store. The store ganks ya when u buy cheese from there. I am THROUGH with getting ganked! I don't have a ton of money, so I just want to do whatever I can do to not get ganked at the grocery store. And this is one of them!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Minneapolis girl trying to make mozzarella too. 4 tries - only one that worked was the REALLY expensive local non-homogonized low-heat pasturized milk. Tried powdered - no go. I heard that carnation powdered milk works well, but I've been to Kowalskis, Rainbow, Cub, and SuperTarget and none of them carry it...grrrr.

If you can remember the brand of milk you used, I would be forever grateful. Each failed batch is killing me! Why can't I make this work?

kat said...

Anonymous - We ended up having success with just Flavorite from Cub though Matt say Carnation is the best too. We had a lot of fails with regular milk, it was totally hit or miss.

mygamebest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

hi guys

Anonymous said...

I just want to take a huge bite of that ball of cheese. It looks wonderful. I keep coming back to the photo of the cheese lol.

Anonymous said...

This is great as long as you bear in mind that original mozzarella is made using buffalo milk. I am a little doubtful about using just any milk. it would taste ok but nothing like fresh original mozarella.

kat said...

Anonymous - Yes, the best mozzarella is made from buffalo milk & if you have access to it, go for it. There is an awful lot of mozzarella out there that is not made from buffalo milk & I'm betting that is what most of us usually eat.

Shannon said...

You don't really need buffalo milk to make the BEST mozzarella cheese you just need raw unpasteurized milk (cow or goat will work fine) then it will curd like it is supposed to. If you want to find raw milk ask a farmer.

shanna said...

anyone used Raw milk before?

nicole said...

Question: Is there a way to work around the microwave part? I haven't owned a microwave in years & was curious if there is another oven / stove top way to imitate the microwave portion of your directions?

Thank you!!

Today My Name is Emily said...

NO PASTEURIZATION AT ALL OR ELSE IT WILL NOT WORK. FRESH, UNPASTURIZED MILK IS HARD TO FIND, CHECK THE INTERNET FIRST, UNPASTURIZED MILK IS HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL (i could care less, i drank it as a kid)

kat said...

Shanna - Raw milk would be great to make mozzarella, I just don't have easy access to it.

kat said...

Nicole - It seems to me there has to be a way to work around the microwave since people have been making cheese without one forever. I'm not sure what it is though.

kat said...

Emily - That is not true. You do probably get the most consistent results from un-pasterized. You do need to make sure the milk isn't ultra-pasterized. The problem is we found some brands worked & others didn't. We actually got the best results using powdered milk.

Rebekah said...

I tried making my own mozzarella for the first time the yesterday. I used nonfat milk and when I finished the cheese it just tasted like paper. Is it because I used nonfat?

kat said...

Rebekah - We've used non-fat powdered milk & I don't remember it tasting like paper. Did you salt it? I'm really not a cheese making expert, so I don't really have all the answers.

connie said...

This looks great! How much citric acid, lipase, and calcium chloride do you add? Also, how much rennet (I have the tablets).

Thanks!

kat said...

Connie - According the to kit we used we needed 1 t of calcium chloride dissolve in 2 T distilled water, 2 t citric acid, 1/4 t lipase powder dissolved in 2 T distilled water and 1/2 rennet tablet dissolved in 1/4 c distilled water.

You add 1 t salt to the rennet once dissolved and use immediately.

Ashley G. said...

Where can we buy calcium chloride, citric acid, and lipase powder? Since you posted the ingredients and how to mix it with the water to add to the milk there is no need for the kit....but where do we get the stuff? Any idea? Please and thank you.

kat said...

Ashley - On line is probably the best source. I link to where we got the kit & I think they sell supplies as well. Otherwise I really am not sure, as the kit is all the supplies we've used to date.

Amber said...

Oh my! What a process but TOTALLY worth it! It was so fresh and delish! My boyfriend is a chef so that helped, but otherwise such a great recipe and instructions. Perfect in our caprese salads!! Thanks for posting :)

cclash said...

This looks wonderful, it there a way to print it without all the extra stuff?

kat said...

cclash - no sorry there isn't at this point

Alicia said...

I think i heated my a tad to high. Do you know if that will ruin the batch? It's not seperating well. I do have some curds but not many. Not sure if I should let set longer so the temp can come down?

kat said...

Alicia - I'm no expert but maybe the heat is effecting it. I would be more likely to guess though that the milk you started with might be the problem, if it is ultra pasturized it doesn't work very well.

Chrsitine said...

what do you do if you don't have a microwave?

kat said...

Christine - I'm no expert & just followed the directions on the kit but when an ealier commentor asked the same question someone else had this answer
"To finish your mozzarella without a microwave,follow the instructions up to the point at which you remove the separated curds from the whey. Bring the pot of whey up to 170 F. Place small pieces of the curd into a bowl. Ladle some of the hot whey over the curds and work them together with a spoon or your hands if you’re wearing rubber gloves. Keep working them until they stick together and begin to stretch. Add more of the curds to your bowl and ladle more hot whey over them. Continue to work the curds until you have one mass of sticky curds that you can begin to stretch."

Anonymous said...

Really good commercial moz is made using starter culture instead of adding acid to lower the pH. Problem is you then need to closely monitor the pH and set it with the rennet at precisely the right pH. Adding acid instead of starter culture simplifies the process, but it changes the flavour, texture and the browning qualities of the cheese detrimentally. Moz made with live starter continues to mature after its made because of the live cultures.
Also, rather than mashing the curd, try cutting it with a very sharp knife to retain the moisture and fats in the curd which will effect the texture of the moz and how it stretches.
Don't use whole or skim/no fat milk. Use a blend. You want somewhere around reduced fat milk.
Commercially made moz is actually a highly regulated process to achieve consistently high quality results. By all means, make your own mozzarella, but to say that homemade moz is going to be better quality than good quality commercial moz is a fairly bold statement.
Regards, a professional mozzarella cheese maker.

ToroGos said...

wow looks delicious in your pictures. Thank you ! I've come to your posting as result of a mistake I've made boiling my milk and want to do something with it. I wonder if you could share the QUANTITIES you used for Lipase, Calcium chloride, Citric acid and rennet. Thnak you

kat said...

As I mentioned in an earlier comment the amounts we used are 1 t of calcium chloride dissolve in 2 T distilled water, 2 t citric acid, 1/4 t lipase powder dissolved in 2 T distilled water and 1/2 rennet tablet dissolved in 1/4 c distilled water.

You add 1 t salt to the rennet once dissolved and use immediately.

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t = teaspoon
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