Introduction

On-demand mozzarella is a real thing and just happens to be one of those amazing recipes you can make in less than an hour. Once you have the important additives –citric acid and rennet – it’s no more expensive than the cost of milk. Serve it up in your summer salads alongside the basil and tomatoes from your garden.

Step 1

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella
How to Make Fresh Mozzarella
Emily Fazio

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

DIY Network shows you how to make your own homemade mozzarella – in less than a hour.

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

DIY Network shows you how to make your own homemade mozzarella – in less than a hour.

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Heat Milk and Citric Acid

Combine a 1/2 gallon of non-homogenized milk with 3/4 teaspoon of citric acid in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to be sure that the citric acid blends throughout the milk. Blink, and you’ll begin to see chunks forming in the milk as it separates into curds and whey. Heat the milk until the probe thermometer reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pro Tip

I used non-homogenized fresh milk for my ball of mozzarella. I sourced it from our local farm because it wasn’t available at our large grocery store. That said, you can also use 1%, 2% or whole homogenized milk for cheesemaking if you supplement with 1/8 teaspoon of calcium chloride in 1/8 cup of water at the same time as the citric acid, and add slightly more rennet as described in Step 2. Note that you will want to avoid a base milk that is “ultra-pasteurized,” as proteins in the milk are irreversibly altered during the high-temperature pasteurization process.

Step 2

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella
How to Make Fresh Mozzarella
Emily Fazio

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

DIY Network shows you how to make your own homemade mozzarella – in less than a hour.

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

DIY Network shows you how to make your own homemade mozzarella – in less than a hour.

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Add Rennet and Let Curds and Whey Sit, Covered

Mix 1/8 cup of water with 1/8 teaspoon of liquid rennet. With the thermometer in the curds and whey reading 90 degrees, remove the pan from the heat, add in the water/rennet solution, and stir until well-blended. The curds will continue to thicken as you stir in the rennet. Cover the pan and allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes.

Pro Tip

If you’re using homogenized milk, allow it to sit for an additional 5-10 minutes, and remember that you may want to add a slightly higher concentration of rennet, such as 1/4 teaspoon mixed into 1/8 cup of water.

Step 3

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

DIY Network shows you how to make your own homemade mozzarella – in less than a hour.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Cut and Reheat the Curds

Remove the lid and observe how the curds have thickened and begun to congeal. Use a knife or spatula to cut one-inch slices to the bottom of the pan through the cheese in both directions, so as to enhance the surface area of the thick curds. Over medium heat, raise the temperature of the curds and whey to 105 degrees.

Step 4

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella
How to Make Fresh Mozzarella
Emily Fazio

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

DIY Network shows you how to make your own homemade mozzarella – in less than a hour.

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

DIY Network shows you how to make your own homemade mozzarella – in less than a hour.

Photo By: Emily Fazio

Strain the Curds From the Whey

Once the whey reaches 105 degrees, use a ladle or pour the curds and whey through a fine mesh strainer to separate the two. Separate 1/3 of the whey and put it to the side (you can use that for storage at a later time – that is, if you don’t eat the mozzarella in one sitting). Put the remaining 2/3 of whey back into the sauce pot, and heat it over medium until it reaches 180 degrees. Transfer the curds, once drained, into a clean bowl. Top with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Step 5

Top Curds With Hot Whey and Pull Mozzarella

Use a ladle to scoop the 180-degree whey into the bowl where your salted curds are resting. Add enough to cover the top of the curds. Wear a pair of rubber gloves (or layer up 2-3 pairs if you have sensitive skin) and reach into the very hot whey to grab the curds. The final step of the cheesemaking process is known as “pulling,” or “spinning” the curds, (not to be confused with “kneading” or “squeezing” or “massaging"). Let the cheese do all the work! When you pull the thickened curds out of the hot whey, it’ll be noticeably more like hot string cheese instead of crumbled curds. Gently allow the cheese to stretch between your hands, fold it, dip and top with another scoop of hot whey, and repeat this process 3-4 times. The cheese will begin to take the form of a shiny, elastic ball.

Step 6

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

DIY Network shows you how to make your own homemade mozzarella – in less than a hour.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Let That Perfect Cheeseball Rest

Allow the final cheeseball to sit for 20 minutes at room temperature. Dig in! If you have leftovers, cover it with the some of the room temperature whey you reserved in Step 4 and store it in the fridge covered.