Friday, January 28, 2011

Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella is one of the easiest cheeses to make, it only takes 30 minutes and the taste can't be beat!

The ingredients are simple although a couple of them you may have to search a bit for, but the end result is worth it--especially when you can say "I made it myself!"


Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

1 gallon whole milk (just be sure that it is not Ultra-pasteurized, any other kind will work, store bought, fresh from the cow (or goat))
1 tsp. citric acid*
1/4 rennet tablet*
2 tsp. cheese salt*
A big pot
Thermometer
Slotted spoon


(please ignore the mess in the background, we still haven't finished putting things back together after our wall project)

Place milk in large pot with thermometer.


Sprinkle 1 tsp. citric acid over milk and stir.

Turn heat on med-low and heat milk to 90 degrees, stirring occasionally.

While you are heating the milk, dissolve 1/4 rennet tablet in 1/4 C. cool water.

When milk has reached 90 degrees, turn off heat.  Pour rennet over slotted spoon into milk and stir for 20-30 seconds.


Remove thermometer and let milk sit undisturbed for 8-10 minutes. 

Milk should be like a thick gelatin.  Cut the curd into a grid pattern.


Stir gently for a minute and then remove the curd using your slotted spoon into a microwave safe bowl, trying to leave as much of the whey (the yellowish liquid) behind.



Pour off as much liquid as you can without losing any curds.  Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Stir, pour off liquid and heat for 35-40 seconds more.  Stir and pour off any liquid.  Cheese should start to stick together and look stringy.  If the curds are not sticking together you can heat for 35-40 seconds more.

Once your curds are sticking together and you have removed most of the liquid, add your cheese salt.  I usually sprinkle a little on, knead, and sprinkle more on until all the salt is incorporated.

After your salt is incorporated, heat the cheese for 35-45 seconds more until it is stretchy like taffy.  The cheese will be really hot, so it helps to wear gloves to work with the cheese.

Pull and stretch cheese until it is shiny and smooth.

Shape cheese into a log by kneading on counter top.

Place cheese into a bowl of ice water for about 5 minutes to firm it up.
One gallon of milk will yield about 1 pound of cheese. (I paid $2.39 for the milk, so 1 pound of fresh mozzarella was less than $2.50)

Now the fun part, deciding how to use your homemade cheese!

* Citric acid, rennet and cheese salt can often be found at local beer and wine supply stores or in some specialty grocery stores.  If you cannot find it locally, you can order it online from New England Cheese Supply.


The first couple of times I made my own cheese I was sure I was doing it wrong, but I am always amazed that at some point it all seems to come together and I have cheese, so don't get discouraged.  I discovered the brand of milk I used can really make a difference in the finished product, so if the first batch doesn't work out, try a different brand.

I will be sharing some recipes next week that highlight your homemade cheese.

770 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   601 – 770 of 770
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Sharon Straight said...

I use to make my own cottage cheese from fresh milk all the time,,,,,,,,,,,,just let the milk set out over night to sour then heat on low till you have curds strain and add salt and some fruit.............low heat should work as well for you to make this cheese

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scottsgrace said...

We just made this tonight and it is excellent! We've only had a taste of it so far but we're making Bruschetta later this evening for snack. I've had the grocery store "fresh" version and it's ok but it's bland compared to this. I don't care what the method is, microwave or not, if it comes out the right taste and texture then it's a success. We had fresh mozzarella in Italy and it was also delicious! Thank you so much for all the work you put into your blog...and don't let the complainers bother you. Some people just need SOMETHING to complain about. It's like breathing to them. Enjoy your success and so will we!!

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Adella Gonzalez said...

OMG---I'm so making this! I can't believe how easy is it is. And thanks so much for the link to get the other ingredients!

Anonymous said...

I am an American currently living in Italy, and I have to say that I see mozzarella di bufala stored in the refrigerated section at the grocery stores here, in Italy, and have been served mozzarella di bufala countless times while chilled - never warm, unless it is a pizza topping...

lovetogab1 said...

I love trying new things. I have tasted real mozzarella and it is delicious. But very expensive! This sounds so easy. I am going to try. Nice to have alternative options. Thanks so much for post.

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Ceara C-E said...

Could you make this with skim or 1% as a "low fat" cheese?

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Just call me Skinny B... said...

Plain and simple...people do things differently. It does not mean its wrong. If in the end 20people all end up with cheese who cares how its done? Telling people they are wrong for how they did it is not polite, doesnt matter how nice you think you sound. If you dont like her process, dont do it. Its that easy. Some people really do need to discretion when posting in public places. Because of dietary needs i adapt 80% of the recipes i make...end result is great food my family can eat. Right or wrong...ive fed my family! Be respectful of the person who took time out of their day to share something they thought others may find helpful/useful.

Thanks for sharing btw...im going to try this. =)

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Thanks I'm eager to try this.

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Eddie said...

We made this for the first time today. Ended up with ~13oz of moz and 1/2 cup ricotta. The cheese tasted great.

Beth Clarke said...

You make me want to go to Italy and taste the cheese. I appreciate your comment.

Barbara said...

I bought Junket Rennet tablets and they say to use one tablet for a gallon of milk. Should I use a whole or the 1/4? Thanks!

Veronica Picciotti said...

As an american I am embarrassed FOR you you ignorant sow. Learn a little. Instead of attacking others maybe you should try to better yourself. I am an american citizen. I am of Italian descent. That's not real mozzarella cheese. They were informing not criticizing. You offered no intelligent thoughts here only idiocy and bigotry. Maybe YOU should leave.

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As an american I am embarrassed FOR you you ignorant sow. Learn a little. Instead of attacking others maybe you should try to better yourself. I am an american citizen. I am of Italian descent. That's not real mozzarella cheese. They were informing not criticizing. You offered no intelligent thoughts here only idiocy and bigotry. Maybe YOU should leave.

cooltoque said...

It should be mentioned that rennet is made from calf stomach. I found this out when I went to get the supplies from our health food store. We are vegetarians so that wouldn't work for our family. There is a vegetarian option you just have to ask. Can't wait to get started! Thanks for the recipe and pointers :)

KsuhaK said...

My son is a very picky eater, but he loves mozzarella cheese, will definitely have to try this :) thank you for the post!

Laura said...

Can you make this with lactose free milk?

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Ashley Davidson said...

I've now tried this twice and it hasn't worked. :( The first time, I followed these directions exactly, but my milk never ever solidified after adding the rennet solution and letting it sit for ten minutes... then an hour... then several hours. I dumped it.

This time, I followed the directions that came with my rennet tablets, which said to use half a tablet instead of a quarter, and heat the milk to 88 degrees F. It mostly solidified after several hours, but it never looked uniformly white like yours -- the curds were small but visible almost immediately. I still cut it up and followed your directions, but microwaving and stirring has changed nothing, no matter how many times I nuke it. Stirring just mixes the curds and whey again, and I've lost so many curds down the drain as I've tried to strain the whey out, if this ever solidifies I might have a quarter cup of cheese.

It SMELLS like hot cheese, but looks nothing like it. Why won't it work?

What brand rennet do you use? I bought Junket at Kroger. I might try this one more time and follow the Junket directions exactly, including eschewing the microwaving and using cheesecloth -- the whole shebang. Then I'll just have to accept defeat.

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Help! :( I don't know what I'm doing wrong! I've followed your instructions perfectly... But after I add the rennet and let it sit 8-10mins... It never gets to the gelatin-like stage! It just looks like cottage cheese floating in a pot of milk! If tried it three times now, tried different kinds of milk... But same result everytime. I'm so disappointed! Any help would be appreciated! - Christina

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Someone suggested in another comment that you could probably use a double boiler to heat it.

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Deonna Peach said...

Hi ii need help I tryed it two times with two brands of milk mine will not curd at all what am I doing wrong ????

janet said...

you have killed your cheese microwaving, what a waste. please tell me what cheese salt is?

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ResultsNotTypical said...

is there an alternative method for heating this besides using a microwave? I don't own one but would love to make this myself

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Make sure you are NOT using ultra pasteurized milk. UP milk won't make cheese.

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Clark Industries said...

Hi there! Great recepie! Okay, for those that are having trouble here are some tips that I used to make this work out great! I use great value fortified whole milk. 1 whole tablet of junket rennet (it won't work other wise) and after the 8-10 minute rest, you have to reintroduce low heat. Rennet is an enzyme and it requires heat to do its job, take it from an old high school teacher :)

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jodi said...

Hi, I tried this today, using fresh farm milk and rennet I ordered from a cheese co., the cuds never got thick enough to cut and when drained and microwaved became dry and crumbly. Any advise on what went wrong? also a should I save the liquid left for anything and I am assuming it must be refridgerated to keep.

Aprilla said...

FYI:

Rennet is made from an enzyme present in calf stomach, that the cow uses to digest food. It's not made form the calf itself. ALL cheese is made with some type of rennet.

Sweetiecheeks said...

Basically to make "low fat" cheese they add a bunch of indigence to artificially hold everything together and form the right consistency. so unless you want to hunt down a plastic manufacturer, it's not going to work nearly as well.

carol said...

I have made cottage cheese before and longing to try this one. Thanks for the reminder that we are the heart of the home.

PJ said...

What power do you microwave the cheese?

Stephanie Morella Jeffrey said...

there is a vegetarian rennet available on amazon.

Maggie said...

Don't use Junket! That, and Ultra Pasteurized milk is most likely the problem! Get the good rennet tabs at cheesmaking.com!

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TR said...

When I attempted the recipe as written, it did not work for me. I was determined to make it work instead of losing the milk. When it did not thicken as the recipe described, I brought the whole thing back up to 90 degrees. I added the rest of the Junket rennet tablet. I let it rest then scooped out the curdy milk solids.
I then prepared the recipe as written, heating it in the microwave for the required time, and adding the salt. It did not knead into a shiny smooth hunk of cheese. Still I was not going to discard that milk! I just kept reheating for 30 seconds at time and kneading in between until I got the shiny smooth texture of cheese. Looked and tasted great.
Thank you, for posting this recipe.

Kelsadey said...

This may be a stupid question but 90 degrees F? That doesn't seem very hot.

Julie said...

This recipe worked really well. We used a whole rennet tablet and whole milk from Trader Joe's. wonderful tasting mozzarella! I've always wanted to make my own fresh cheese. Thanks so much for the excellent directions!

Kris said...

Hi,
I hate using the microwave for anything...I believe it depletes food of vital nutrients. Do you think there would be a way not to use it?
Thx
Kris

Mollie Herrera Bean said...

she said great value (think its bought at walmart)

Jana said...

For those having trouble with this recipe, it is also on thekitchn.com and she has some info at the bottom of the recipe that should help. I can't wait to try it-thanks for the recipe!

Raven said...

great value is the same as TG Lee if you dont have a walmart near by.

Jenny C. said...

Most organic milks are ultra-high-pasturized (UHP). UHP milk will not work to make cheese. Read your labels carefully!

Mosie said...

If you are using pasteurized milk, using a microwave is not killing anything....it's a method of heating, just like you would be doing on the stove top. It is not irradiating the food, it is not xray radiation.

Molly Xiong said...

I don't like using microwaves either. What I usually do is use the oven as a substitute to heat/melt/bake anything. Or, either that, I use a pot fill it up with water, to a little over half, or about three inches below my glass or tin bowl (where my cheese is)--this process, is putting the glass or tin bowl on top of a pot filled with water on an oven top, without having the bowl touch the hot water, underneath. This process helps separate the liquid fats (yellow stuff seen from the picture above) from the solid fats--which is a way to help melt/heat food/ingredients.

cat said...

Those not wanting to use the microwave can use a hot water bath water about 180 degrees), dipping your cheese in the water till it's pliable and can be stretched. At this point, I do it in two batches because it's easier to work with.

Diana said...

My sister and I just made this and found it to be easy, fast and taste wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

My Grandchildren and I just made this. Thank you so much for sharing! We had a little trouble getting it taffy like but I'm sure we will improve with practice. The taste is wonderful and the kids really learned something. We made pizza with it afterwards.

Rachel Blash said...

I made this twice, using liquid rennet, from New England cheese. I wasnt sure off I adjusted the rennet right. it turned out. when I added salt, I also added chopped up peppers. it is soo good.

Kwilliams said...

My husband hasn't been able to find the rennet tablets in the grocery. Any other suggestions to where we can find it?!

Kwilliams said...

I just noticed you did post where to find it! Sorry!

Haley Griffin Egesdahl said...

I accidentally used 2 tablespoons of cheese salt compared to 2 teaspoons, and my became dry and crumbly. I'm not sure if you made the same mistake I did, but it was a thought.

Micah said...

If you didn't want to use the microwave (we don't have one) what can you do?

Can anyone recommend any brands that "are not" ultra pasteurized? Even if they are organic, all the brands I see are ultra pasteurized.

Ruth Hofmann said...

This tutorial was extremely easy to understand and envision actually making the cheese. What a savings also for a family that enjoys this kind of cheese. So many uses for fresh mozzarella.

Amanda said...

I'm did not get like gelatin ???

Lauren said...

I am so excited to try this recipe! I was just wondering if I should use animal or vegetable rennet? thanks!

Alicia said...

I can't get over the fact your milk was $2.39! So cheap!

Dina Dreifuerst said...

how much liquid rennet did you use?

helen said...

My cheese was not sticky like taffy and i kneaded it for about 20 min . still is not taffy like. what can i do?

Rebecca said...

Have you ever added garlic or basil or any other spice to give the cheese a twist?

frustrated said...

This recipe is wrong... you need a whole rennet tablet, not 1/4. Nothing happens when you only use 1/4 - I tried it twice. Also, after you put the rennet tablet in, it takes much longer than 10 minutes to turn gelatinous.

Rae said...

This is just not true... it's pseudoscience. Read this article - microwaving food is actually one of the best ways to retain your food's vitamins and minerals (surprising, I know... but true.)
http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/21/health/upwave-microwaving-food/index.html?iref=allsearch

Kate said...

Weird for you to criticize her on her own personal blog and then have the audacity to expect an answer to a question concerning the recipe that you just said was a waste.

Wan2quilt said...

I have had problems with a different recipe...but DON'T toss the 'failure'! I used cheesecloth to drain the whey and got a wonderful tasting ricotta like soft cheese. Then boil the remaining whey and strain again...more cheese! My husband liked the whey in a protien drink, and we mixed some with chicken mash and scratch nd the girls loved their treat!

kelsey said...

Does anyone know how long the cheese ia good for after it's made? And I can't wait to try this!

kelsey said...

*is

Holly said...

Brew suppliers will have all you need to make cheese, at least ours does.

Les j said...

90 degrees C or F?

SB said...

Is someone blogs why don't they at lest follow up by addressing the numerous questions here? Highly irritating.

Susie said...

Woah, your milk is only $2.39, in Tennessee it's $5.00!!!

JW said...

Considering this is from 2011 is make sense that the blogger isn't "following up" on questions any longer... how dare that move onto a new blog?! Or, people could read the 500+ comments and find their own answers.

bee said...

If you click on the top and read the very first few comments she tells how to do it without a microwave. Just click to see the comments from oldest to newest

bee said...

The reason it may not have worked is because Junket rennet and cheese rennet are very different, and the junket rennet work with this recipe

Laura Bradham Frisch said...

Stupid question, but is there any way that I can make this with lower fat or skim milk?

Morgan said...

I've made it four times with 1/4 rennet tablet and it's always worked for me. Your don't need to be accusatory. I understand it can be frustrating when things don't work out, but perhaps look for suggestions rather than just blaming.

CD said...

I also have followed this to the tee and it works with a 1/4 tablet~just wondering if your milk is warm enough? And let it sit undisturbed "on the same burner you warmed your milk on, it keeps it warm while the rennet is working." Sorry to disagree 'Frustrated' but mine works and I make this exact recipe at least once a month for the last year~

PoFoke said...

the article is over 3 years old, but 2.39 was still a decent price for milk even then.

jkallen said...

it makes a difference on what king of rennet you use to. I've found out that the junket brand rennet just doesn't get the same effect as other rennet.

andrea said...

"Ultra Pasteurized" milk is milk that has been pasteurized at an ultra high temperature rendering it shelf stable. You usually find it in single serve boxes like juice boxes, and not in the refrigerated section

RightUnite said...

I've made mozzarella four times. It's never failed. It's really a fun thing to make, and it's seriously delicious too!

RightUnite said...

You won't get the same yield or quality of cheese, or so I've been told.

RightUnite said...

You can google mozzarella cheese making. There are some different techniques for making cheese by adding hot water. I don't remember what the temp of the water needs to be. Instead of microwaving, you would add the hot water, then fold over the cheese over and over, and keep adding hot water and working the cheese until it gets to the stretchy stage. I googled cheese making and got all the information I needed to make it either way.

RightUnite said...

Google Cheese making... You'll find your answers a lot faster there. How to make Mozzarella cheese at home.

RightUnite said...

Fahrenheit.

RightUnite said...

I think it's around a week... Or that's what I found anyway.

RightUnite said...

I've heard either works well.

RightUnite said...

Yes Fahrenheit.

RightUnite said...

High. 30 second increments.

RightUnite said...

Whole milk. You'll get the best results.

POWMIA_Bones said...

where do you buy these ingredients ? citric acid? rennant? Cheese salt?

Kimberly said...

Did you not read the article?

Phoenix said...

Dairy products are much higher down south. I'm in norther Indiana and pay $2-$2.50 for a gallon of milk!

Joy said...

You can get the citric acid, rennant and cheese salt on Amazon.

Larissa said...

This recipe is wrong. Find a better one, don't waste your time and money.

Michellie said...

I've made this recipe before and I too had a little bit of trouble getting it to the taffy like stage. That being said, I cannot stress how AMAZING the cheese was in a buttery type stage! I added some sun dried tomato flakes and spread it on French bread. It's worth trying because it still can't be beat even if it doesn't work out perfectly :))

Sharyn Jenkins said...

Absolutely love mozzarella, especially in a grilled cheese sandwich or a little shredded on top of cream of tomato soup. Will surely try this.

Susan Buss Walla said...

Can this be frozen?

AC said...

What part of TN are you from? I only pay about $2-3 in the Nashville area.

Verena said...

Can this be done without a microwave? I don't have a microwave....no room in my tiny, tiny kitchen

lissa said...

yeah, milk is $4 a gallon where I'm at... wish we could get it for 2.39!

Citlali said...

$1.89 here. $1.50 if you make the 10 minute drive out to the local farm and bring your own bottles. If you're a pleasant, respectful sort and the farmer has extras, you can end up with some pretty fantastic freebies, like a bit of fresh butter or some farm cheese. Nothing beats fresh milk from cows that spend their days roaming around grazing. <3 Wisconsin!

Lori said...

This is completely untrue. From the article: According to the method of analysis chosen, griddling, microwave cooking, and baking alternately produce the lowest losses, while pressure-cooking and boiling lead to the greatest losses; frying occupies an intermediate position. In short, water is not the cook’s best friend when it comes to preparing vegetables.

That’s right – microwaving is among the best methods of cooking in terms of preserving nutrients.

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/microwaves-and-nutrition/

Mike-Sandi Bodway said...

I order all my cheese supplies from www.cheeseconnection.com And when making cheese make sure its not ultra pasteurized. Whole milk and pasteurized is ok just not ultra. The rennet I use I only use a 1/4 tablet per gallon and believe me the stuff works.

sumack said...

I just finished my first ever batch. Used 2% milk and 1/4 rennet tablet. Worked great. The package on the rennet tablet said to use NON chlorinated water. Might be why some folks aren't having luck with their rennet.
.

victoria said...

here in Vancouver Canada we pay $4.99 for a gallon of milk!!!

bloodstripewife said...

Still cheaper than Japan, lucky duck! For quality whole milk it easily runs the equivalent of $8-$10 a gallon!

Dora said...

It is always a source of wonderment to me when I read the nasty comments some leave behind how, instead of being grateful to the individual who shared the recipe, there are snarls, nastiness, even name calling. Hey everyone, grow up and mature, perhaps in wisdom and kindness? After all, this is about cheese-making not about how to build a computer prototype!
Dora

Kathy Gott said...

Back in the day, my mother told me that if I couldnt say anything nice, then keep my lips shut. Well its hard when there are so many nasty people out there. In my opinion, If this recipe works for at least 90% of the people that try it, then the other 10% are either not reading the directions or should take up wood working or gardening and leave the cooking to the rest of us

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