In our house, cheese is definitely a staple. It’s no wonder that learning to make homemade mozzarella cheese was high priority!
When I first started making my own dairy at home, I started with simple things like, Homemade Ricotta Cheese and Mason Jar Yogurt. After mastering those, I was ready for some more complicated things. Enter homemade mozzarella cheese!
Over the last 6 months I have tried countless different mozzarella cheese recipes. The recipes seemed to always be the same but the process was different.
The problem was every time I made homemade mozzarella cheese, the outcome was different.
Either the curds were too squeaky (usually a sign of too much rennet), my curds wouldn’t form together and they’d be more like cottage cheese, or sometimes the cheese would just not taste good at all.
The good news is, even with a failed attempt at cheese making, the mozzarella still tasted good on a pizza! So there was no waste.
But I was getting frustrated that we couldn’t eat our homemade mozzarella cheese sliced up, like I have seen so many other people do.
Until I found this simple 30 minute process.
As I was scrolling Instagram one evening I came across one of my dear friends making homemade mozzarella at home. Her cheese looked so creamy and delicious!
I instantly messaged her and asked for her recipe. She sent me the video of what she followed and I couldn’t wait to try it.
In fact, I believe my family looked at me sideways when I grabbed a pot to make mozzarella cheese at nearly 8 o’clock at night.
I just had to try it!
Luckily, my impatience paid off. The cheese was creamy and sliceable, the curds came together nicely and weren’t squeaky, AND it was the simplest method I had ever used.
I have been making homemade mozzarella cheese using this method for weeks now and I have gotten a consistent cheese every time.
How making homemade mozzarella cheese can help your garden.
Now I know what you are thinking….. mozzarella cheese helps my garden? She has officially lost her mind!
But hear me out!
The cheese doesn’t actually help your garden (it does improve your appetite though!) it’s what happens when you make the cheese that does.
Whenever you take milk and turn it into cheese, you will follow a process to get your milk to turn into curds and separate from the whey. The whey is the special ingredient!
You can take that whey and combine it with water in a 1:1 ratio and pour it onto your plants in the garden as a natural fertilizer. Your acid loving plants, like tomatoes, especially love it.
The whey has small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium which is great for your soil. The best part about using the whey from your homemade mozzarella cheese, is no waste! I love when I can find a way to reduce waste and use up every part of what I am making.
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Ingredients you will need:
- 1 gallon milk, I love raw milk but you can use pasteurized
- citric acid
- small amount of water (about 1/2 cup although I never measure)
Equipment you will need:
- heavy bottomed pot and lid
- heavy duty slotted cheese making spoon
- cheese thermometer
- separate smaller pot with lid
- something to catch the whey, if saving it!
- a small bowl or cup to mix water/citric acid and water/rennet
Heating the milk:
- Add your 1 gallon of milk to your heavy duty pot. Mix 1.5 tsp of citric acid with roughly a 1/4 cup of cool water and stir until the citric acid is dissolved.
- Pour your water/citric acid into the pot of milk and stir doing an up and down motion and side to side.
- Heat milk and citric acid up to 100 degrees, with the lid off.
- As your milk is heating up, add 1/4 tsp of rennet to about 1/4 cup of cool water. Follow your instructions on your rennet for how much per gallon of milk is required. Usually it’s 1/4 tsp.
- Once your milk reaches 100 degrees, turn it off and add your rennet/water to the pot pouring through the slotted spoon to evenly distribute (see video for full details). Stir in an up and down motion and side to side to evenly incorporate.
- Stick your lid on and let sit for 10-15 min. If you forget and it’s longer, don’t worry! It will still work!
- After 15 min you should see the whey and the curds separated. Stir your curds around with your slotted spoon and turn your stove back on. Heat the curds to 110 degrees while stirring until your cheese forms a ball.
Straining and salting the cheese:
- Once your cheese is at 110 degrees remove from the heat and strain, making sure to catch the whey if desired.
- Heat a small pot of water with a lid on the stove to 150-160 degrees, then turn it off.
- Take your cheese and squeeze it to get any remaining whey out. It should start to look glossy. Flatten your cheese slightly into a disk and put it into the pot of water with the lid on. I do not turn the stove back on.
- Let cheese sit in there for about 5-10 minutes or until really hot.
- Using rubber gloves if desired, remove cheese from the water. Sprinkle salt on top. I don’t measure the salt, just to taste.
- Fold and stretch the cheese several times. If the cheese tears, it is not hot enough and put it back into the water.
- Once you have stretched your cheese a few times, shape it into a ball pinching the bottom. Place in a container and put a lid on. Store in the fridge for a week or shred and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Watch how to make homemade mozzarella cheese in 30 minutes.
As I grow in my homesteading journey I am always finding new ways to further my skills. Making homemade mozzarella cheese was high on my list to learn. Now it’s time for more complicated hard cheeses!
If you try this method for making homemade mozzarella cheese, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how it turned out!
Homemade Mozzarella Cheese in 30 Minutes
- 1 Heavy Pot with Lid
- 1 Slotted Cheese Making Spoon
- 1 Cheese Thermometer
- 1 Small pot of water with lid
- 1 Strainer
- 1 Gallon Raw or pasteurized milk
- 1.5 tsp Citric Acid
- 1/4 tsp Liquid Rennet
- 1/2 cup Water
- Add milk to the large heavy pot. Mix citric acid in about a 1/4 cup of cool water. Stir to dissolve.
- Pour the citric acid/water into the milk stirring up and down and side to side for a few seconds. Heat milk on stove until it reaches 100° with the lid off.
- While milk is heating up, mix 1/4 tsp of rennet in about 1/4 cup cool water.
- Once milk reaches 100°, turn the stove off and pour your rennet in through the slotted spoon. This ensures proper distribution. Stir the rennet in up and down and side to side until evenly mixed. Place the lid on and wait 10-15 minutes.
- After the 15 min is up, take the lid off. Your curds should have separated from your whey.
- Turn your stove back on to heat the curds up until 110°. Stir your curds while they are heating up until they come together into a ball.
- Once you reach 110° and your curds have formed a ball, strain your whey off reserving it for later if desired.
- Squeeze your cheese a few times to remove any extra whey. The cheese should look glossy.
- Heat your small pot of water up on the stove to 150°-160° then turn the stove off. Flatten your cheese out into a disk and stick it into your hot water with the lid on and the stove off. Let it sit for 5 minutes or until heated all the way through. Your cheese should be very hot.
- Once your cheese is heated all the way through, remove it from the water using rubber gloves if needed. Flatten it out in your hand and sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Stretch and fold your cheese several times until you see no curds and salt is evenly distributed. It should be a soft and elastic cheese. Mold into a ball and pinch the bottom.
- Store in a small glass container with lid in the refrigerator for a week or shred and freeze for up to 6 months!