This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
Hi Bold Bakers!
WHAT YOU GET: Many people wonder how to make Homemade Mozzarella, and I love showing off just how easy it is to make! My Homemade Mozzarella recipe is the perfect opportunity to add cheese making to your baking repertoire — all the while enjoying some fresh cheese on your appetizers and entrees!
When it comes to cheese, you can’t forget mozzarella. It’s one of those cheeses that is very simple and mild, with a subtle tang. However, when combined with different ingredients, you’re in for a flavor explosion.
Mozzarella is also well-known for its versatility. Whether you want to eat it as a cold appetizer or deep-fried, or elevate The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!) , you’ll be able to enjoy both fresh and ooey-gooey goodness with my Homemade Mozzarella recipe.
Though making Homemade Mozzarella seems like a daunting challenge, this recipe only takes 5 ingredients! So pull out your cheese cloths and dive deep into some Bigger Bolder Baking!
Which Milk Should I Use To Make Homemade Mozzarella?
I recommend using raw or pasteurized whole milk to make Homemade Mozzarella. Make sure that the milk you use is not ultra-pasteurized. This is because ultra-pasteurized milk has been heated at high temperatures, denaturing the proteins in the milk. With less protein, your milk won’t be able to form proper curds.
What Is Animal Rennet And Whey in Cheese Making?
Animal rennet is an enzyme that comes from the stomach of an unweaned calf. Rennet is available in liquid form, which we use in this recipe. It’s a key ingredient when making cheese because it stimulates the isolation of cheese curds from liquid whey. You can sometimes find rennet at health food stores, but you can just as easily order it online!
Whey is a clear, yellowish liquid byproduct of squeezing cheese curds. Don’t throw away your whey! Since liquid whey is packed with proteins, it’s important you use your whey to help thicken your homemade cheese during the heating and cooling process.
Why Won’t My Mozzarella Curdle?
There are several reasons why your mozzarella won’t curdle. You may not have incorporated enough salt into your cheese curd, or you didn’t squeeze enough of the whey out.
To troubleshoot this issue, try adding a bit more salt to your curd and squeeze your mozzarella thoroughly with cheesecloth.
Why Isn’t My Mozzarella Stretching?
Mozzarella can be fussy to work with in the beginning. To make sure that your mozzarella stretches properly, pay attention to the temperatures and acidity levels.
Don’t apply too much heat to your mozzarella. Keep the temperature at medium heat or a bit lower, depending on your stove. Additionally, make sure to let your whey and citric acid incorporate well into your curd. Mozzarella gains a lot of its elasticity and acidity from the whey and citric acid, so make sure you keep this in mind to get the perfect stretchy mozzarella!
If you feel like your mozzarella is not stretching as much as you would like, heat your mozzarella some more.
Tools You Need To Make Homemade Mozzarella:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Large pot
- Cooking thermometer
- Fine-mesh sieve
- Slotted spoon
- Kitchen gloves
Can You Eat Mozzarella Raw?
You can definitely eat mozzarella raw. Mozzarella has a tremendously soft and bouncy texture when eaten raw. Because of its fresh flavor profile, it goes well with various fruits and vegetables.
In fact, mozzarella is relatively low in fat and calories compared to other types of cheeses. Fresh mozzarella is packed with biotin (Vitamin B7), potassium, zinc, and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2). It’s a healthier alternative to many other kinds of cheese — but everything in moderation!
What Does Mozzarella Go Well With?
The questions should be what foods don’t go well with mozzarella? I can tell you now that mozzarella is such a staple cheese to have around and can be paired with or topped on a multitude of foods:
- The Best Lasagna Recipe (100% From Scratch!)
- Caprese Salad
- Caprese Savory Tart
- Margherita Pizza
- Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
- Pesto Salad
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
- Baked Chicken Parmesan
One of my favorite ways to use Homemade Mozzarella is on top of my Best-Ever Pizza Dough Recipe (No Knead).
How To Store Homemade Mozzarella
To enjoy the freshness of your Homemade Mozzarella, I highly recommend serving or using it immediately. If you want to enjoy your mozzarella at a later time, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container immersed in cold water for a few days, but you will lose a bit of the quality. Keeping your mozzarella floating in liquid retains shape and moisture.
Though you can refrigerate your fresh Homemade Mozzarella, I would avoid freezing it. This is because the high water content has a high chance of forming ice crystals. The cheese will no longer have the soft and smooth texture and will turn very dry and crumbly.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making The Best Homemade Mozzarella
- In my experience, liquid animal rennet works the best. If you use Junket brand tablets, you will need 2 whole tablets to form a proper curd (regardless of what the instructions say).
- Don’t attempt to make mozzarella without rennet. You need it to make a proper curd.
- A thermometer, cheesecloth, and clean kitchen gloves are essential for making this recipe.
- Pay careful attention to all of the different temperatures. It may feel fussy at first, but once you try this recipe, you will find that it isn’t as complicated as it seems.
- Is your mozzarella dry and crumbly? You may have stretched it too much. Don’t overstretch your mozzarella curd. Otherwise, it will break the smooth structure of your curd and make your mozzarella very hard and rubbery.
Check Out More Cheese Recipes:
- 1½ teaspoons citric acid
- ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) plus ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water
- ¼ teaspoon liquid animal rennet
- 1 gallon raw or pasteurized (but not ultra-pasteurized) whole milk
- 4 teaspoons salt
- In a small bowl, combine the citric acid with ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water and stir until combined. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine the rennet with the remaining ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water. Stir until combined, then set aside.
- In a large pot over medium heat, combine the milk and citric acid mixture and stir for 30 seconds until completely mixed.
- Using a thermometer, and stirring the milk frequently, heat to 90°F (32°C). This should take about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the rennet mixture for a full 30 seconds. Be sure to stir the milk from the bottom to the top so that it is completely and evenly mixed in.
- Put a lid on the pot and don’t disturb it for 5 minutes.
- Check to see if the curd has formed by slipping a knife between the milk and the side of the pot. If it comes away slightly, move on to the next step. If not, leave for another 5 minutes.
- Using a large knife, cut the curd all the way to the bottom in roughly 1-inch (2½-cm) strips. Then cut in the opposite direction to make a grid pattern.
- Return the pot to the stove and warm over low heat to 105°F (40°C) for about 5 minutes. Gently agitate the liquid without breaking up the curd to ensure even heating.
- Once again, remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes.
- While the curd is resting, place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and line the sieve with cheesecloth.
- Using a slotted spoon, lift the curd out of the pot and place it on the cheesecloth to drain.
- Firmly press on the curds to squeeze out as much whey as possible, using the cheesecloth to help squeeze.
- Stir 3 teaspoons of salt into the liquid (whey) in the pot, then remove 4 cups (32 fl oz/260 ml) whey to a medium bowl. Heat the remaining whey to 175° F (80°C).
- Place the curd into the hot whey for about 10 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, and then stretch and fold the curd a few times using gloves to protect your hands from the heat.
- Return the curd to the whey for another 10 seconds, then remove, and this time, stretch the curd and sprinkle on the remaining teaspoon of salt. Fold and stretch a few times, then return to the whey when it cools down.
- Continue this process 2 or 3 more times until the curds start to look like smooth, silky, shiny mozzarella.
- When you are done, create a smooth ball, tucking the edges underneath. Place this mozzarella ball into the hot water to seal the shape, then place it in the reserved cool whey to let it set for 15 minutes. Serve or use immediately.