Homemade Mozzarella

by Merissa on September 22, 2010

in Make Your Own

I love fresh mozzarella cheese. It's my favorite food I think. I like it heated up just plain or heated with homemade sun dried tomatoes. The problem is that it's so expensive! An 8 oz ball can cost anywhere from $4 up to $10 in the store and since my price point for normal cheese is less than $2 a pound, that doesn't really fit into my budget. I buy raw milk for $3 a gallon and I've been wanting to experiment with it for the last couple months. Something I discovered is that it's very hard to find liquid rennet! I waited for months for mine to come in. Here is a fairly simple recipe for homemade mozzarella, using only 1/2 gallon of milk. This recipe *might* work with regular store milk but I did not try it.

What you need:
  • 1/2 gallon milk(preferably raw)
  • 3/4 t. citric acid (--Get it from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1/8 t. liquid rennet
  • 1/8 c. salt(non iodized, sea salt)
  • candy thermometer
Heat the milk to 55F.
Dissolve the citric acid in 1/4 c. water. Dilute the liquid rennet with 1/8 c. water. Add the citric acid/water mixture to the milk.
Heat the milk/citric acid mixture to 90F. The milk will start to curdle slightly.
Stir in the rennet/water mixture. Keep slowing stirring until curds form. When the curds look like the ones in the picture above, remove them with a slotted spoon in a separate bowl.
Form the curds into slightly formed balls.
In the meantime, heat the whey to 175F in medium heat. When the temperature reaches 175F turn the heat down to low to maintain the temp. Add the 1/8 c. salt and stir until dissolved. Dip the balls, one at a time into the hot whey for about 5 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Immediately after removing the ball from the hot mixture, knead in a folding motion. You will have to do this 4-5 times until the cheese is no longer crumbly and is stretchy.
Tada! Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Make sure you save the whey as well. It's good in soups and breads.
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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristiana September 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm

How cool is that! I never knew that you could make mozzarella in your own home. I thought that it had to be proccessed a certain way and had to set in special temputures. Maybe I'm thinking of anothe kind of cheese.

Blessings,
Kristiana

P.S. I clicked on your link from RHM

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2 Merissa September 24, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Welcome Kristiana! Yes it was actually pretty simple and pretty fun! My hubby tried it last night for the first time and he really liked it!

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3 stephanie October 26, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Do you have any recipies with whey in it. do I use it like chicken broth?

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4 Merissa October 27, 2011 at 8:01 am

You can use whey in many recipes in place of milk. It also brings alot of flavor(and protein!) to soups. I do have one recipe posted with whey and that’s here: http://www.littlehouseliving.com/2010/09/whey-cornbread.html

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5 Donna January 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I make my own yogurt. And I like my yogurt thick (Greek Style), so I drain off some of the whey. I save the whey and like to use it in pancakes and biscuits. It’s a great substitute for anything you might use buttermilk for.

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6 Dakota Ways August 1, 2012 at 10:49 am

I know in South Dakota it is legal to retail raw milk, but not in North Dakota. Here it is only legal to sell raw milk as pet food. Okay I want to buy some “pet food”! So dumb! I live in a rural small town but no one milks on a small scale anymore. In the meantime, I am looking for someone that may have a milking goat for my cheese making. I could drive to South Dakota but the cost of fuel kind of erases what I’d save on making my own cheese. Rennet has been my next biggest challenge. The one health food store 58 miles away in Bismarck said they carried it. I made my monthly trip up there and they no longer had it in stock! So guess I will search the internet. I did find powered citric acid. As I understand it distilled water should be used over tap water for the cheese to set. (No chemically treated water). The only way I am going to get fresh mozzarella around here is to make it myself. I can’t wait to try it with my garden fresh red tomatoes and basil!

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7 Melissa Miller November 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Goats produce too is a great step by step book for cheese. I have used the recipes with goat or cow milk and it works fine. The brick cheese is a good transition cheese that is really yummy. Its by mary jane toth.

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8 Melissa Miller November 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Yes you can use store bought milk but you need calcium chloride. When liquid rennet isn’t in my budget i use junket tablets. Use the insert recipes in the box. It works great. Since you saved the whey you should make ricotta with it. I love ricotta!

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9 Amy November 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Hi Merissa,
We started making cheese this past summer with our goats milk. I couldn’t find liquid rennet locally so I found it at this site http://www.thecheesemaker.com/ and it includes free shipping. I save my whey from my mozarella and use it to make ricotta cheese and then the whey from that I give to my chickens or use it to water plants. My goats drink a little sometimes, too.
You should try making your own yogurt, if you haven’t already tried it. It is super easy and delicious.

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10 Barb November 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I don’t know what rennet usually costs, but I was checking out cheesemaking.com the other day and see that they carry a number of kinds of rennet.

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11 Tacie Schwartz November 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I went to a cheese making class and it looked so easy! Tried it at home and screwed it up, wouldn’t turn to mozz. Didn’t even look like barely edible ricotta. I still have plenty of tablets I will try again. I just don’t wantto waste another gallon of milk.

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12 Melissa Miller November 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Dakota ways- you can order rennet from hoegger supply it is pricey but not too terrible. You can use junket rennet tablets if you use the insert to get your recipes. Also, there are cheeses you can make that yeild more per gal. I would skim the cream off your raw milk because its not going to set up and make curds with the rennet anyway. Happy cheese making :) junket tablets are available at most grocery stores.

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13 Little House on the Prairie Living November 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Tacie, I couldn’t get the tablets to work, only the liquid rennet. I’m not sure if it was just me or if those things are just difficult!

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14 Melissa Miller November 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Don’t use chlorinated water (or let it sit until you don’t smell it). Citric acid you can get at drug stores and bigger quantity at some bulk food stores or frontier. Hoegger has citric acid too and so does lehman’s.

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15 Melissa Miller November 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Keep trying and make sure your water isn’t chlorinated. The temp is very touchy with the tablets use hot water bath in a sink if your kitchen is a little cool. I use a little extra tablet than it calls for.

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16 Melissa Miller November 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

The recipes on the insert work with the junket tablets but other recipes are not interchangeable.

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17 Julie Angelo November 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Newbie here, what does the calcium chloride do with store bought milk? Thanks!

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18 Carolyn Fixen November 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Yes with my goats milk – :)

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19 Melissa Miller November 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Calcium chloride some how changes the milk proteins in pasteurized homogenized milk so that you can make cheese without it it won’t turn out.

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20 Victoria Gibson November 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

According to a YouTube video I watched if you take the whey, heat it up and add vinegar, you can get ricotta cheese out of it. Two cheeses for the price of one!!! The lady also reduced the whey until thick and then dehydrated it for whey powder, but you can also just reduce it to a syrup and keep in the fridge for a week or two, would make a good base for bread.

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21 Wendy November 8, 2012 at 6:14 am

Hmmmm! Love monzarella cheese! We make our own too. I found that culturesforhealth.com has lots of cheese making supplies.

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22 Julie Angelo November 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Thanks Melissa! We don’t really have raw milk options around here. How do you make ricotta from the whey? We are cheese junkies here so if I can make my own ricotta and mozzarella, that would save us a ton! Constant staples in our house!

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23 Melissa Miller November 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Heat the whey to 190 then add about a quart of milk heat it again until you see flecks in it. Strain very carefully into cheese cloth. Thats it!

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24 Charley February 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I happen to be one of the lucky ones with milk cows of their own, so I end up with a lot of milk to experiment with. May I suggest that you take a look at http://www.cheesemaking.com? It’s the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and where I like to get all of my supplies. They have a fantastic recipe for mozzarella that you stretch (it’s the recipe that I use and love) and I think it turns out really well with our raw Jersey milk. They have a lot of tips and hints for cheesemaking as well. On a side note, I have never had a problem ordering my liquid rennet from them, I always get it really fast. Just a couple thoughts from a seasoned cheesemaker :)

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25 khlood August 29, 2014 at 7:06 pm

I neen to know what is the right way exactly to keep the
this cheese ?in refrigerator ?and how?
thank you

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26 Merissa August 29, 2014 at 8:21 pm

I just keep it in the fridge in a storage container.

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