The Best 30-Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe
- One-gallon whole milk (for type, please see below)
- 1½ teaspoon of citric acid
- ¼ tablet of rennet
- 1 cup of Kosher or plain sea salt
- Large stainless steel stockpot ( > 6 quarts will do)
- Waterproof thermometer
- Measuring spoon
- Butter knife
- Measuring cups
- Bowl to put under the colander
- Slotted spoon
- Mixing bowl (4 quarts will do)
- 2 wooden spoons
Milk is your star ingredient and it’s critical that your milk is pasteurized at the lowest legal temperature possible: 145ºF/63ºC. If you are in WA state, the best milk to purchase is Twin Brook Whole milk available at QFC, Metropolitan Market, or PCC. If you are in another state, your best bet is to contact your local high-end supermarket or Co-op and see if they sell non-homogenized (or cream-top) milk.
INSTRUCTIONSThere are three processes
for mozzarella cheese:
- Making the curds
- Preparing the curds
- Forming the curds
MAKING THE CURDS
- Mix 1½ teaspoons of citric acid with one cup of lukewarm water, stir until dissolved.
- Dissolve ¼ tablet of rennet in 1-2 oz of water.
- Combine milk and citric acid in a stockpot and gently heat milk over the stove, bringing it to 90ºF/32ºC.
- Add in the rennet mixture and stir gently with up and down motions for 30 seconds (quicker, more aggressive stirring will cause the curd to break up, and it will likely not set.)
- Cover the milk and let the rennet do its magic for 15minutes.
- After 15 minutes, curd should form. You can test by slipping the wooden spoon in at the edge of the pot. The curd should pull away from the side, kind of like milk gelatin. If it’s still a liquid, cover the pot again and let it sit for another five minutes.
PREPARING THE CURDS
- Once your curd is set, take your butter knife and slice through the curds, making 1-inch slices. Then, cut 1-inchslices in the other direction, and you will end up with little squares of cheese curd.
- Place the pot back over the heat, set to low, and bring the curds up to 105 ºF/41 ºC. You want to gently stir them occasionally, trying not to break up the curds.
- Now remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for about 5-10 minutes.
- Put a fine-meshed colander over a bowl and using your slotted spoon, scoop out the curds and into the colander.
- Once you’ve scooped all of the curds to the colander, let them drain for 10 minutes. When done draining, the curds will mostly be in one large mass.
- While you’re waiting for the curds to drain, put the pot with the whey in it back on the stove and add the table spoon of salt. Heat over medium heat to 180ºF/82ºC.
- Once the curds are done draining, break up the mass by breaking apart the curds into ½” sized pieces.
FORMING THE CURDS
- Take a large handful of curds (about 1 cup) and place them in your mixing bowl.
- Using a ladle or a large measuring cup, cover the curds in the mixing bowl with the hot whey.
- Let the Mozzarella curds sit in the hot whey for 2 minutes.
- With the back of your wooden spoons, squish the curds together, so they begin to stick together and form one big mass.
- At first, you will notice how soft and effortless the spooning is.
- When the curds start to feel tougher (like chewing gum),remove the newly formed Mozzarella hunk from the water.CAUTION: it is hot, so use your spoons to lift it out.
- When your cheese has cooled down to where it’s still steamy, but you can touch it, place your cheese in between your hands and stretch the Mozzarella about 3 to 5 times. Too much stretching can make the cheese tough.
- Form a ball by tucking the edges up under the bottom.
- To set your cheese, you can place it in a bowl of ice water for 2-3 minutes or put it in a bowl of room-temperature salted whey for 10-15 minutes.