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Friday, March 26, 2010

Moar Mozzarella!

I wasn't ecstatic about the mozzarella I made yesterday, so I set out to really measure and test what it takes to make a delicious batch. Recipes for mozzarella are really all over the place for people that don't use a pH meter to absolutely nail the amount of acid to use, so I used a scale instead. The following recipe looks to have made made a solid looking and tasting mozzarella, but more refinements will definitely come.
  • 1 gallon *local and conventional* 2% milk. This makes a difference. Please for the love of all that is holy don't use Whole PaycheckFoods organic whole milk
  • 9 grams citric acid
  • 1/4 teaspoon rennet
  • 1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride

Add all ingredients except rennet to the cold milk. Bring to 88F slowly, and add rennet. Wait till it has gelatinized (I don't get to use that word nearly enough in everyday conversation. Gelatinized.), and cut the curd like this tutorial.

When they curds are drained, the basic schedule for making moz is to microwave the curds for 30 seconds, drain off the whey, and flip the curds. Repeat this about four or five times till the curds become stretchy. If the curds disintegrate into grains then you are waaay to acidic. If you never get any stretch you are too base. I don't know of any way to correct this problem at this stage other than feeding the curd to your dog and starting over.

Stretch the mozzarella like taffy, form into a ball, and store in a salty brine made from the leftover whey. It'll take a couple hours to a day stored in a light brine to get salty enough. Or you can directly salt it while you are stretching and eat it right away.

I'm going to play with citric acid amounts a bit more, since I think it may still work with say 8 grams. Plus, I really want to see what happens with things like 2% + dry milk, raw milk, skim + dry, and perhaps even find a local whole milk that doesn't suck.

Pics will come later (I'm brining it with fresh basil from my greenhouse! Yay me!)


  1. I was so happy to see this come through my reader just now, because I've been wanting to make mozzarella at home for a while now!

    One question - for those of us who don't have access to unpasteurized milk (ahem, me) what do you mean by "local and conventional"? Does it need to be unpasteurized and unhomogenized milk?

    (Please forgive if this is a stupid question... I haven't made cheese yet beyond ricotta, but I'm quite excited to!)

  2. thekitchenette, no it doesn't have to be unpasteurize/unhomogenized (though that stuff is epically good), i'm just talking about regular, cheap milk. Not organic, not special, just regular milk from a local supplier. Doesn't have to be really local, you just do not want anything from across the US.

    I have actually had good success with Costco milk, since they move through so much so fast they don't have to Ultrapasteurize it. Usually I use either Umpqua or Lochmead milk, and the 2% of each of those works quite well.


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