Jul 31, 2012

How to Make Mozzarella

I have always wanted to try my hand at making mozzarella cheese. Perhaps the reason I haven't made it sooner is because I had never had access to real milk. And by "real," I mean: local, fresh-out-of- the-cow, full-fat, never seen the inside of a pasteurizer, hormone-free, I've met the cow that made it, MILK. I have my chickens to thank for connecting me with Lauren Hastings Kaplan, a member of a family-owned dairy farm in town, Hastings Farm. Small talk about my flock at a school function for our children resulted in a business partnership and friendship with Lauren and her family. When she and her sister, Megan, were preparing to open their new farm store last year, Lauren called to ask about selling my eggs. Megan and Lauren have been selling my eggs as well as their milk, yogurts and cheeses ever since then.
The entrance to Hastings Farm (above) & some of the ladies.
With garden fresh tomatoes and basil in abundant supply right now, I decided to try my hand at making mozzarella cheese.  I relied upon several recipes, most heavily upon recipes from the New England Cheesemaking Company and Leener's. While it took me somewhat longer than 30 minutes, it was fun and easy to make. Obtaining real milk from Hastings Farm was  the first step. I've never tasted raw milk before and it was indeed a treat. The remaining ingredients can be obtained at any cheese-making supply company and online.
Megan had just finished milking and poured some for me to take home.
1 gallon of milk (preferably local, raw, hormone-free)
1 ½ teaspoon citric acid dissolved in 1cup water
¼ rennet tablet dissolved in ¼ cup water
1 teaspoon cheese salt 

A stainless steel pot, stainless steel slotted spoon, colander and a thermometer will be needed. (Brinsea Incubator, optional except in my house where every counter currently has one incubator on it!)
On medium heat, pour milk into a cold, stainless steel pot and slowly heat the milk.  
Dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid powder in 1 cup water.
Add citric acid water to milk, stirring constantly.
Bring the temperature of the milk slowly up to 90°F.
Curdled milk. Mmm.
Dissolve 1/4 tablet rennet in 1/4 cup water.
When milk reaches 90°F, remove from heat & slowly stir in rennet. Stir to combine.
Cover pot and let rest for 5 minutes.
Curd should look like custard and the whey, clear.
Cut the curd into 1" squares with a large knife.
Return pot to burner and heat to 105°F, stirring slowly. Add salt.
The curd should have stayed cubed at this point, which means my curd could have
set a little longer after I added the rennet, but it turned out perfectly in the end.
Remove curd from whey with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander over a bowl.
Drain the curd, gently pressing to remove whey.
Place curd in microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 60 seconds.
Pour off excess whey.
Knead and microwave for 30 seconds.
Pour off excess whey again.
Add salt and knead into curd. Return to microwave for 30 seconds.
Pour off excess whey.
Turn out onto clean workspace and knead, stretch, repeat.
The stretching is the fun part!
Form into a ball until smooth and shiny.
Place cheese into an ice bath to set shape and cool.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Nothing says summer quite like caprese salad. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella then top with basil leaves and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 
Buon Appetito!


  1. I have to try this NO DOUBT! There is a farm co-op right around the corner from me that is selling fresh outta the cow milk. This sounds AWESOME!

  2. oh yummy, saving these instructions.... they are excellent

  3. Country Craft House7/31/12, 9:36 PM

    Awesome Kathy! I've always wanted to do this! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thanks Susan! It is SO much fun! Let me know how it goes. :)

  4. I always enjoy reading your posts. This makes me want to get my own moo-cow and make lots of cheese!

    1. Thank you, Alex! I'm thankful to get the benefit of the raw milk without all the work that is required of cow-ownership! LOL

  5. I just went to a local farm that had workshops. I went for the chicken care (goats & bees too) I stayed for the cheese making, now I want a goat! I'm going to try to make this cheese

    1. Kim, don't wait until you get a goat to try it. LOL It's so easy, so much fun and SO delicious!

  6. Your milk was pasturized right? Just not at extremes.

    1. If you're with the Health Department, the answer is 'of course!' LOL

  7. I can get raw milk tomorrow and make this on my day off! I can't wait! Glad I know a farm to get it!

  8. Cheese-making, next on my list this week...and mozzarella, my favorite with tomatoes! yum

  9. Just today, I learned that there are several sources for raw milk in my area! I've wanted to try cheese making for quite some time. Since mozzarella is a good cheese for beginners, I'm trying it!

  10. Alexis Henry8/2/12, 10:48 PM

    Definitely going to try soon

  11. Kim~madeinaday8/7/13, 4:08 PM

    Stopping by to let you know I will be featuring your Mozllarella tomorrow on Made in a Day! Thanks so much for linking up!

  12. TheChickenChick8/7/13, 9:25 PM

    Yippie! Thanks for the feature, Kim!

  13. Your amazing and make things look so easy!! Thank you for sharing how to make my favorite cheese!!
    Take care!
    Stopping by from the Great Blog Train

  14. Yumm...going to pin this for when we get our milk cow! Stopping by from The Great Blog Train.

  15. TheChickenChick8/9/13, 10:49 PM

    Thanks for visiting, Frances! This really IS an easy recipe to make. Give it a try!

  16. DianaRambles8/14/13, 5:56 PM

    Very cool!

  17. Vanessa Russo8/15/13, 9:08 AM

    I've always wanted to try homemade mozzarella. I just found a farm near me that sells raw milk. I may just have to try my hand at this. I bet it tastes so delicious.

  18. TheChickenChick8/15/13, 9:05 PM

    I forgot the salt the first time. :/ It's much better when salted!

  19. Can I use lactose free milk?

  20. TheChickenChick4/10/14, 8:35 PM

    I do not know. Give it a shot and see how it goes.

  21. I love fresh mozzarella. I don't have raw milk but maybe I will try this when I am in Vermont with the grand kids. Lots of dairy farms there. I bet the taste is fabulous.

  22. Crochet Hooks6/29/14, 6:10 PM

    oh looks yummy! I will have to try this, I would LOVE to make my own cheese!

  23. That's pretty amazing! I never considered trying to make my own mozzarella! Thanks for sharing the process with us! I love fresh mozzarella...I bet this tastes amazing!

  24. Give it a try, Michelle, it's pretty fun!

  25. Mila Furman8/8/14, 12:11 PM

    I have been wanting to make homemade mozz for quite some time...Looking forward to trying your way out! Thanks for joining the Foodie Fridays linky party! I have chosen you as one of my faves on the Girl and the Kitchen dot com!

  26. Cool, thanks for the feature, Mila!