30 Minute Mozzarella Recipe
- Mozzarella Kit (all you need is milk)
- 1 Gallon of Milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
- 1.5 tsp Citric Acid
- 1/4 Rennet Tablet or 1/4 tsp Single Strength Liquid Rennet
- 1 tsp Cheese Salt (adjust to taste)
- Good Thermometer
- Knife to Cut Curds
- Spoon or Ladle to Stir Curds
- Large Colander
- Large Bowl
- 30 Minute Mozzarella Info
- Q & A
Choosing the Right Milk
- Make sure the milk you use is not ultra pasteurized.
- You can use homogenized or non-homogenized milk.
- Farm fresh milk is a great option if you can find it locally.
- Low fat milk will work, but the cheese will be drier and less flavorful.
Prepare Work Area
Do not prepare any other food while you are making cheese. Put all food products away.
Move all sponges, cloths and dirty towels away from your work surface, wipe your sink and stove with soap and water. Finally use your antibacterial cleaner to wipe down all surfaces.
Crush 1/4 tablet of rennet and dissolve in 1/4 cup of cool non-chlorinated water, or add 1/4 tsp single strength liquid rennet to the water. Set your rennet mixture aside to use later.
Mix Citric Acid & Milk
Add 1 1/2 tsp. of citric acid to 1 cup cool water, pour this into your pot.
Now, pour cold milk into your pot quickly, to mix well with the citric acid. This will bring the milk to the proper acidity to stretch well later.
Heat the milk slowly to 90°F. As you approach 90°F, you may notice your milk beginning to curdle slightly due to acidity and temp.
Note: If you're having problems with milk forming a proper curd, you may need to increase this temp to 95°F or even 100F.
At 90°F, remove the pot from the burner and slowly add your rennet (which you prepared in step one) to the milk. Stir in a top to bottom motion for approx. 30 seconds, then stop.
Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Check the curd after 5 minutes, it should look like custard, with a clear separation between the curds and whey. If the curd is too soft or the whey is milky, let it set longer, up to 30 more minutes.
Cut & Cook Curd
Cut the curds into a 1" checkerboard pattern.
Place the pot back on the stove and heat to 105°F while slowly stirring the curds with your ladle (if you will be stretching the curds in a hot water bath, rather than using a microwave, heat to 110°F in this step).
Take the pot off the burner and continue stirring slowly for 2-5 minutes. (More time will make a firmer cheese)
Transfer & Drain Curd
With a slotted spoon, scoop curds into a colander or microwave safe bowl (if the curd is too soft at this point, let it sit for another minute or so).
Once transferred, press the curd gently with your hand, pouring off as much whey as possible. If desired, you can reserve the whey to use later in baking or as a soup stock.
Heat Curd & Remove Whey
If in a colander, transfer the curds into a heat safe bowl. Next, microwave the curd for 1 minute.
If desired, add 1 tsp of salt to the curds for added flavor.
You will notice more whey separation from the curd. Drain off all whey as you did before. Quickly work the cheese with a spoon or your hands until it is cool enough to touch (rubber gloves will help since the cheese is almost too hot to touch at this point).
Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each, and repeat the kneading as in the last step to aid in more whey drain off and ensure even heating of the curds. Drain off all of the whey as you go.
Note: If you prefer to not use a microwave here is a recipe using a water bath where the curds are heated in hot water
Knead & Stretch Curd
Now the fun begins, knead quickly now as you would bread dough. Remove curd from bowl and continue kneading until it is smooth and shiny. Return it to the microwave if needed (if it begins to cool before it's ready to stretch). Add salt near the finish. At this point, if hot enough, the cheese should be soft and pliable enough to stretch, and stretch, and stretch some more (like taffy). This is what makes it Mozzarella
We hope you have as much fun with this as we do.
Eat & Enjoy
Now knead your cheese back into a big ball until it is smooth and shiny
Your Mozzarella is ready as soon as it's cool enough to eat. To cool quickly place it in a bowl of ice water and refrigerate. When cold you can wrap in plastic wrap and it will last for several days, but is best when eaten fresh.
The Right Milk for Mozzarella
Our best advice to date is to buy a LOCAL milk one that has not had to have the extensive Long Haul treatment For more details on finding a milk that works for you click here.
A problem is that milk is being shipped cross country after being processed by huge processing plants. In order to do this the milk must be processed at higher temps and then held at cold temps for long periods of time while going these long distances to markets. This is especially true for our so called "organic milks" Many of the milks not labeled as UP are in fact heat and cold damaged and will not make a proper cheese curd for this Mozzarella, if your cheese is not working try our dry milk powder and cream recipe.
Not Ultra Pasteurized Milk
If you have any concerns on your milk quality or you can not form a nice curd like you see in the following recipe click here for more info on Ultra Pasteurized Milk.
This is an example of curds that are not forming properly because of Ultra Pasteurized milk. Don't worry, they will still be really yummy, they just wont turn into Mozzarella. As explained in the link above, drain these curds in butter muslin and enjoy them as they are or add some salt or herbs. This will make a great spread for crackers.
Making Mozzarella Without a Microwave
If you would like to try this recipe without a Microwave please click here.
A Few More Tips
- A substitution of reconstituted dry milk powder and cream is a great option if you can not find the right type of milk.
- Lipase can be added to the milk to provide a more robust Italian cheese flavor
- If you want a softer texture, do not let the curd set as firm and work less when draining and kneading, this will make a moister cheese.
Honestly, I was skeptical at first. I kept going though. I followed the directions as they were written. I thought my curds were a little small, not tight enough; didn’t look quite like the picture. I kept going through, doing what the directions said. It was wonderful! I was very pleasantly surprised with how easy and tasty it was. I will do that again without hesitation.
Easy in theory, not so much in practice. Tried three times, each time I got closer, but yielded no mozzarella. It is not easy to know when the curds have hardened enough to hold up to microwaving (or moving). On my first try I left the curds too big and ended up with white goo after transferring. Tried with smaller curds and longer cooking and managed to strain out the results into something that tastes mozzarella like but looks like drained ricotta (never made it to the microwave step). My third try had smaller curds and longer cook time and held up to transfer to the bowl and went into the microwave to immediately fall apart into white goo. That one solidified into a spread that tastes mozzarella like... I'm fairly certain I could make mozzarella if I tried again, but I think I'll switch to an easier recipe.
This well-written, easy-to-follow set of instructions for a beginner to make a great mozzarella is accompanied by clear and relevant photographs. So how can it not work? Don't know, but it definitely did not for me. Used pasteurized but not ultra-pasteurized whole milk from the grocery, large stainless pot on an induction hob, ThermaPen digital thermometers (2), and other than the milk all ingredients were from NECMSCo. After adding animal rennet and following instructions, there was essentially no curd formed after 5 minutes. None after 10 minutes. Slight curd after 15 minutes so went with that. Cutting and then stirring and heating yielded a soupy mixture with tiny, tiny curds. Curds would go through colander holes, so I used a strainer and got some material but a low percentage of the overall mix. I'm guessing my mistake was in not waiting more than the 15 minutes...but I don't really know what I should be looking for to tell if enough time has passed. Some additional recipe guidance would be helpful at this step. I'll probably try again, but I want to watched some videos first before using up another batch of milk and ingredients. Really sorry this didn't work out as it has for lots of others.
Followed to a t and no aluminum used in process. Instant read thermometer, convenience store whole milk and treated tap water. Came out beautiful! Let sit 30 after rennet. Thank you for this method! Yum!
I'm feeling really ****** now for not having done this sooner. I bought the rennet and it came on a really hot day. When it got to the door I rushed it to the back of the fridge. I was afraid it might be damaged but it wasn't thankfully. I used a gallon of whole milk we picked up from the local circle k. I bought the citric acid off of Amazon. I used a non stick large pot, an instant read thermometer, a nylon slotted spoon, two glass pyrex measuring cups, and a stainless screen strainer. I also used regular treated tap water. I followed the directions to the t. I had to let my mixture sit for 30 minutes to get a nice curd. I bought thick rubber glove but cheap lined dis gloves would have worked well. I did the 1 min nuke, 35 secs, 35 secs, then another 35. My cheese wasn't that shiny but it was kneaded and pulled well. Tasted great while still warm but a touch grainy and no gloss but was hot. It does look like the picture though. I think I need to improve my pulling on the next batch. Maybe pull longer? Any input appreciated and thank you for this super easy recipe!