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Farmers' Almanac

30-Minute Mozzarella

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30-Minute Mozzarella

Yield: 3/4 – 1 pound

Ingredients:
1 1/2 level teaspoons citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
1 gallon whole milk (you may use skim but the yield will be less and drier)
1/8 -1/4 teaspoon lipase powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/4 rennet tablet) diluted in 1/4 cup cool water
1 teaspoon cheese salt, sea salt, or kosher salt (optional)

Directions:
While stirring add the citric acid solution to the milk at 55° F and mix thoroughly. Heat the milk to 90° F over medium/low heat. The milk will start to curdle. Gently stir in the diluted rennet with an up-and-down motion, while heating the milk to between 100-105° F. Turn off the heat. When the curds begin to pull away from the sides of the pot they are ready to scoop out (allow approximately 3 to 5 minutes for this).
The curds should look like thick yogurt and have a shine to them, and the whey should be clear. If the whey is still milky white, wait a few more minutes. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and place them in a two-quart microwavable bowl. Press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible. Reserve the whey. Microwave the curds on high for 1 minute. Drain off all excess whey. Gently fold the cheese, as if kneading bread, with your hand or a spoon. This distributes the heat evenly throughout the cheese, whcih will not stretch until it is too hot to touch (145° F inside the curd). Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each. After each heating, knead again to distribute the heat and continue to drain off whey. Knead quickly until it is smooth and elastic. Add salt to taste. When the cheese stretches like taffy, it is done. If the curds break instead of stretching, they are too cool and need to be reheated. When the cheese is smooth and shiny, roll it into small balls. Eat while warm, or place them in a bowl of ice water for half an hour. This will bring the inside temperature down rapidly, and help to produce a consistent smooth texture throughout the cheese.

You can also roll the cheese out, while still hot, like pizza dough and sprinkle it with fresh herbs and/pesto. Roll it into a log (like a cinnamon roll), wrap it in plastic wrap, and put it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. Unwrap it and cut it into pinwheels.

Don’t miss our article on basic cheese making.

6 comments

1 Jaime McLeod { 02.20.13 at 9:25 am }

Brittany,
I don’t recommend trying to make mozzarella without rennet. You can try, but it will take a lot more work skimming out the excess liquid, and may still not turn out right. You can order cheese making supplies and ingredients online. New England Cheesemaking Supply ships internationally: http://www.cheesemaking.com/

2 Brittany Hyde { 02.19.13 at 3:44 am }

How much vinegar or lemon juice should I use to make this? I am living overseas and I do not have access to citric acid or rennet. I have heard that using vinegar or lemon juice can make it the cheese too watery. Is there any way to avoid this? Thanks!

3 James Cook { 02.06.12 at 10:05 pm }

I just made this Cheese. It was so very easy to make. It took about an hour total but it was fool proof. I did have to microwave it just a bit longer to help with the kneading process. I also was recomended by another recipe to ad a 1/4 teaspoon of Calcium Cloride just after adding the citric acid. I don’t know if it help or not but my cheese turned out wonderful.

4 Dianne Gates { 02.01.11 at 8:38 am }

Thanks Jim,
I will let you know how my cheese making goes! I still need a few of the tools but I should be ready to try in a week or two.

5 Jaime McLeod { 01.31.11 at 8:53 am }

Dianne,
You should be able to find citric acid in any large supermarket or good natural food store. It is basically concentrated acid from citrus fruit, in a powdered form. It takes about six times as much lemon juice to replace citric acid in recipes (many people use it for canning, also), so substituting has a tendency to make cheese too watery. If you can’t find citric acid, though, you could give it a try.

6 Dianne Gates { 01.29.11 at 9:12 am }

I have wanted to make mozzarella cheese ever since I tasted it last summer, when I paid $13.00 for about 1/2 a lb. I found rennet tablets at the local grocery store but I am not familiar with citric acid, where do you normally find it? Or can you use lemon juice instead? Can’t wait to try. We’ve been drinking raw milk for about 2 years now. We love it and I want to make some of my own cheese with it, so finding your article on cheese making was great. Thank You!

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