Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

Cheese making 102- Mozzarella

with 21 comments

     Mozz cheese

     In an earlier post I made Ricotta Cheese. It was so easy I bragged that the next step would be making Mozzarella cheese. While I got Ricotta right on it my first attempt Mozzarella was not as successful. It may have been the pan I used (aluminum) or something I did wrong. I any case I went back to the project with a more successful result. This time I made Mozzarella cheese!

     Now I had read that a variety if factors could keep you from success. Anything from the pan (reactive)  to the milk (homogenized). I tried to eliminate all of the negative factors I could and, in the end, got about a pound of cheese out of a Gallon of milk. Not a bad deal when you consider i only spent $1.29 on the milk!

     The process of making Mozzarella cheese is mostly about temperature. While in making Ricotta cheese you need to bring the milk to 200 degrees in making Mozzarella the temperature is only brought to 110 degrees. Additionally, the recipe call fore citric acid (powdered) which aids in the curd formation. Although I have been told that I could find this at a drugstore when I went there and asked about it I was looked at as if I were speaking in tongues. My next step was to find a store that sold supplies for beer and wine making. I had a better result here.

  To begin the process I poured 1 gallon of milk into a non reactive pan (stainless steel) and added 2 teaspoons of citric acid powder (do not use ascorbic acid as it is NOT the same thing). I then raised the temperature of my milk,slowly, to 88 degrees at which point I added 1/2 tablet of rennet (available in any supermarket pudding section). I then took the pot off the stove for 30 minutes to let the curds set. When I was satisfied I had gotten the most from my mix I cut the curds by running a knife through them ( about 2 inch by 2 inch) then scooped the curds into a colander to drain the whey ( the liquid that is left).

     The next step is where modern technology triumphs over age old tradition. Whereas in the past the next step would be to raise the temperature of the curds by adding boiling salted water all I did was place the curds in the microwave oven for 1 minute. I then kneaded the curds until they became one solid mass I poured off the excess whey and repeated the process two times more, kneading( with a little kosher salt) and stretching the curds each time. This allowed the curds to form strings ( as in string cheese).

     What will I do with my cheese. I know it tastes wonderful by itself but I’m planning on making Lasagna this Sunday. Home made Mozzarella,home made Ricotta (yes I made some of that too!),home made pasta sheets and homemade meat sauce. This is going to be one delicious Lasagna!


Written by Ed Schenk

February 22, 2010 at 12:12 am

21 Responses

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  1. Very nice ! I made my first cheese last week and now I have the itch – I would like to try mozz – I am just afraid – hehehehe


    March 17, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    • Nothing to be afraid of. Just follow the instructions. The only other advice I would give is to not over nuke it ( if you use the microwave method) or your cheese will be a bit dry. Still very tasty though.
      I usually wait until milk is on sale to make cheese. I have gotten it for as little as $ 1.29 a gallon at Aldi.

      cEd Schenk

      March 17, 2010 at 11:04 pm

  2. I always wanted to make some homemade cheese. Cheese is very expensive here in the Philippines, and I do invest on those. Good thing, with the right ingredients, I’ll be able to make my own mozzarella. thanks for sharing this… Im saving this recipe…

    Mhe-Lhanee Benito

    March 1, 2010 at 2:15 am

    • It’s pretty easy and you should be able to find everything you need!

      Ed Schenk

      March 1, 2010 at 2:36 am

  3. Bravo to you! I’ve been making ricotta for years but haven’t yet had the nerve to try moz. I might just now!


    February 26, 2010 at 6:23 am

    • Go for it. Now I have to figure out which cheese to make next (Blue?)

      Ed Schenk

      February 26, 2010 at 6:56 am

  4. I wonder if this is a right of passage – I made ricotta and loved the results and next up for me is the mozzarella – just looking for the citric acid, so your post is very timely. Thanks for sharing the results, and the suggestions on where to find the missing ingredients. As luck would have it, there’s a beer making shop a block away.


    February 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

    • Then you have to go the whole 9 yards,like I did, and make pasta,home made sauce and sausage (for lasagna).(lol)

      Ed Schenk

      February 24, 2010 at 7:00 am

  5. can;t wait to see the lasagna


    February 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

  6. I LOVE mozzerella, and I would love to try my own one day, thank you for the recipe! Maybe one day you can teach us how to make burrata too!! 🙂

    Sonja @ ActiveFoodie

    February 23, 2010 at 10:51 am

  7. That looks delicious! I think I am going to have to try that myself.

    Debi Morris

    February 22, 2010 at 10:35 am

  8. Would love to give this a try. I would start with the ricotta.


    February 22, 2010 at 6:06 am

  9. Very cool! The beer shop we go to also sells cheesemaking supplies – I might just have to give it a go. For this successful attempt- did you use raw milk? Or did you go with homogenized?


    February 22, 2010 at 12:40 am

    • Raw milk is a bit hard to find so i used store bought whole milk. It worked fine!

      Ed Schenk

      February 22, 2010 at 12:44 am

  10. Hmm….the look of this fresh mozzarella brings me back to my days in Italy. Great post!


    February 22, 2010 at 12:16 am

    • It was a very satisfying experience. Today I am making Lasagna with my cheese (Ricotta and Mozzerella), Home made pasta sheets, Home made sauce. and meat(Ground beef and Italian Sausage))!

      Ed Schenk

      February 22, 2010 at 12:24 am

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