There are few things greater in life than Homemade Mozzarella Cheese. It may seem daunting, but once you realize just how easy it is to make, you won’t be able to stop yourself from making it all the time.
HOMEMADE MOZZARELLA CHEESE! I will admit, when I first set out to make homemade cheese, I lacked confidence in myself and bought a backup ball of fresh mozzarella cheese just in case.
Honest truth? I didn’t need it and neither will you.
And the best part? It only takes 30 minutes! You heard me, less than an hour. And it will taste fabulous- velvety, moist and perfect for any recipe that requires cheese.
You will need a few specific ingredients for this recipe that you probably don’t have in your pantry, so you’ll need to plan ahead of time.
I found all of the ingredients I needed at my large grocery store near the canning items. You can also find them at beer brewing stores or even online.
- Whole Milk- not ultra pasteurized
- Citric Acid
- Cheese Salt
Rennet for Cheese Making
The first one is rennet which is an enzyme that helps milk coagulate or come together into cheese curds.
Most recipes also call for a special cheese salt. Cheese salt is used at different points during the cheese making process.
It helps to expel moisture or why, enhance flavor, preserve, and discourage any unwanted organisms.
Many individuals will substitute kosher salt for this ingredient, which I am sure will work just fine, but for the price (relatively inexpensive), I decided to spring for the cheese salt.
You will also need citric acid. The good news is this is easier to find. Most grocery stores will have this and can often be found in the canning aisle and, of course, online.
Citric acid can also be used for other household tasks like cleaning and laundry and is inexpensive.
Other items on your shopping list for making mozzarella:
- candy thermometer
- slotted spoon
- powder free gloves or rubber gloves
- non-reactive pot (stainless steel or enamel)
How To Make Homemade Mozzarella
When all of that is assembled, you are ready to start your cheese making!
I should also make a note here. This recipe cheats just a touch. I used a microwave. Old school cheesemakers would be horrified, but I only have so many hours in the day.
Please remember, that detailed and printable instructions are below!
- You’ll dissolve your rennet in water and heat the milk.
- Sprinkle citric acid powder over top and stir dissolved rennet mixture into milk. Heat milk to 90 degrees- a medium heat, but not over!
- Milk will start to separate, cheese curds from whey. Cheese curds will be a silky, gelatin-like substance. Whey is a liquidy, yellow substance, look around the edge in the picture. Using a large knife, cut curd into a checkerboard pattern. Continue to heat.
- Line a colander with cheese cloth. Pour mixture into colander to drain and press the curd to release as much water as possible. Dump cheese curds into a microwave-safe dish. Discard whey.
- Now you microwave, drain, knead, stretch and microwave again. Curds will be really hot- wear thick latex or rubber gloves.
- Add cheese salt and knead, stretch, knead, stretch- keep doing it until it starts to resemble the cheese you know and love.
- Mold into a ball and chill. You can even place it in a bowl of ice water to speed up the process.
Storage & Freezing
Since this is a homemade cheese not packed with additives and preservatives, it is best consumed within 3 days of making, but can be stored in the fridge in a saltwater brine for up to 1 week.
Mozzarella cheese can be frozen for up to 6 months if it is packaged correctly.
Pair your homemade cheese with:
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Homemade Mozzarella Cheese
- Start by dissolving rennet in 1/4 cup water. Then pour milk into a large non-reactive pot. Place the thermometer in the pan and secure to the side.
- Sprinkle citric acid powder over top, store the remainder for later use. Stir dissolved rennet into milk. Stir for one minute. Heat milk to 90 degrees and hold steady at that temp. This was a little more challenging with an electric cooktop than gas, but I got it to work! Do not heat over 90 degrees.
- After 5-10 minutes, milk will start to separate, cheese curds from whey. Cheese curds will be a silky, gelatin-like substance. Whey is a liquidy, yellow substance, look around the edge in the picture. Using a large knife, cut curd into a checkerboard pattern with squares equaling 1×1 inches.
- Continue to heat milk mixture to 110 degrees for 10 minutes. Be mindful that it does not go over 110 degrees. Cheese will continue to separate.
- Line a colander with cheese cloth. Pour mixture into colander to drain. Dump cheese curds into a microwave-safe dish. Discard whey.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute. Drain off the whey. Wearing plastic gloves to combat the heat, knead and stretch for 30 seconds. Heat on high for an additional 30 seconds or until it reaches 135 degrees. Curds will be really hot.
- Add cheese salt. Wearing plastic gloves will prevent some of the heat from scalding your hands. As much as you can, knead the dough like you would bread. Start to pull and stretch. It might not be stretchy like silly putty, but it will still be okay. Continue to knead and stretch until it is one mass and not falling apart.
- Mold into a large ball or smaller bowls and wrap in plastic wrap or submerge in ice water. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Slice and serve! Enjoy your Homemade Mozzarella Cheese. Cheese will stay fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator, keep covered with salty brine water.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the ratings or comments!