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Making Mozzarella in One Hour!

I like to make my own cheese at home and have had success with Ricotta, Halloumi and Feta but Mozzarella has always evaded me and I have never been able to get it to stretch. It is also the most expensive to buy here in NZ at around $15 for 100 grammes so it is well worth mastering! The Muriwai Girls who I cook with wanted me to do a class and show them how to make Mozzarella so I knew what I needed to do was go back and see NZs cheese guru who first showed me how to make cheese, Katherine Mowbray. I’m sure Katherine won’t mind me calling her the cheese guru, since she has been making and teaching people to make cheese for many years and is also involved in cheese making awards. She holds classes all over New Zealand, which are such a pleasure to go to as Katherine has a wonderful way of presenting to a crowd.

Anyway, Katherine fixed my problem, my curds weren’t acidic enough to ‘stretch’ and she just happened to be showing a new method that allows you to make Mozzarella in an hour with the help of a little addition of citric acid. Normally the curds are left at least a day in the fridge to create their own acid but this method requires measuring the PH to ensure it is ready to create Mozzarella with. Katherine calls this Mozzarellia since it is not the ‘official’ way of making it.

I made 3 batches with this new method which all came out perfect so I knew it was time to show the girls my new found trick. Thanks Katherine. Six girls, 2 litres of milk each and they all work out perfect and we had a lot of fun at the same time, I highly recommend it. Below are a few action shots and the recipe.

If you are too nervous to make it yourself, look for one of Katherine’s classes if you are in NZ or if you are in Auckland give me a shout.

Ingredients & Method – makes 3 medium balls

1. In a pan add;

  • 2 litres full cream milk (not homogenized)
  • ½ tsp salt (not iodine salt)
  • 1tsp citric acid (dilute with 1 tsp water)

2. Gently heat to 32C, use a water bath if you are not confident with the milk.

3. Add;

  • ½ tsp rennet (diluted with ½ tsp water)

4. Stir well and leave for 20 minutes to allow curds to form.

5. Cut curds into 1 cm cubes with a knife.

6. Heat gently to 41C slowly forming the curd into a ball with a slotted spoon, take your time the process should take about 15 minutes so it stabilises properly. This should gradually come together into a ‘milk brain’ shape. Do not force or squeeze the curd together. Do not over heat. Remove from heat.

7. In a small pan heat some sterilized water to 70C.

8. Place a ball of curd into the hot water (inside a sift for ease of lifting out) to cook & stretch the curd. Roll around with a wooden spoon. It should start to become stretchy/sticky.

9. Take the ball out of the hot water and stretch (do not pull, let gravity do the work) then fold, then shape into a ball shape.

10. Plunge into a bowl of ice cold water. This helps cool the cheese quickly and retain its shape.

11. Eat immediately or it can be retained in the fridge in a sealed container for a few days only. Remember, it has no preservatives!

(note; To acidic will be too stretchy. Not enough acid, will snap so use exact citric acid offered)

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oo.. it looks so beautiful! What a fun process. Thanks so much for sharing I will have to give it a go!

    March 6, 2010
  2. I’m definitely going to give this a go! There is great milk here in Austria…I might even be able to get some buffalo (heh!)
    Have you tried paneer? That’s a yummy one for Indian recipes.

    March 6, 2010
  3. arugulove #

    Thanks for this post! I’ve just made ricotta but have bought the citric acid so I can attempt mozzerella soon. I just need to get some rennent now. I’m very excited!

    March 7, 2010
  4. Thanks for sharing! I will definitely try it myself.
    I’m very interested in how you make Halloumi…

    March 7, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Halloumi will be an upcoming class so I will post the recipe and method once I have done it, probably toward the end of the month. Hope you have fun trying the mozzarella.

      March 8, 2010
  5. I love ~the idea of making cheeses at home…..but I’ve never done it. Yogurt, I’ve tried….but will need to give this a go.

    March 7, 2010
  6. Excellent! I was going to do Mowbray’s course here in HB next weekend, but head chef has to disappear & I’m covering for her – I was gutted! This couldn’t have turned up at a better time, so cheers, Alli!

    March 8, 2010
  7. Stevet #

    Where can you buy citric acid and rennet in Auckland?

    March 9, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Hi Steve, you can buy citric acid at any supermarket in the baking section, the brand I have is Hansells and it comes in a plastic cylindrical container similar to baking powder. Rennet you can buy from Countdown (so possibly all Progressive stores), or you can from the Westgate branch. The brand is Renco and it is always in an obscure place, either with the jam making/setting agents, the baking section or possibly the shelved milk products. It is often on the lowest or highest shelf and comes in a clear bottle inside a green box (120ml). It is also used for making Junket! Ask someone at the store it is NZ produced so they should have it and if you persist they would likely order it in.

      March 9, 2010
  8. Wow, such an inspiring post! I should stop procrastinating, get me this citric acid and try this.

    March 12, 2010
  9. Thanks for sharing – I’ve wanted to have a go at my own cheese making for ages, but haven’t been quite brave enough. You’ve inspired me to try – could be my Easter weekend project. Love your blog BTW – only just came across it today and I will certainly come back.

    March 30, 2010
  10. Hannah #

    Made mozzarella today using your recipe having never made cheese before and it worked perfectly! I had to leave the curds a bit longer than 20 mins to get a clean break and just used a slotted spoon to put the cheese hot water before stretching but the end result was delicious!

    August 28, 2011
  11. Hi there, can you please let me kno where i can purchase the not homogenized milk from, thanks for the advice on where to get the other items, very helpful but now all i need is the milk.

    July 22, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      In NZ we can buy it in the supermarket fridges. Unfortunately not all countries sell much pasturised only milk, I have seen recipes where you can add calcium chloride to homogenised milk but I have never tried it..

      July 24, 2012
  12. Annette Ferneyhough #

    I have tried several mozzarella recipes and yours is definitely the best,I’m just not too sure how long to cook and roll the balls in the hot water,mine don’t seem to be as smooth as yours look.Does this mean I have cooked them too long or not long enough ?
    Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

    December 19, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Hi Annette, perhaps on the last stage of cooking (temp 70C) make sure the temp comes up to 70C when you dip the mozzarella ball, the temp drops quickly and you need a high temp to get a smooth finish. OR try 2 degrees hotter to be sure. Let me know how you get on and if no luck send me a pic so I can see what you mean

      December 20, 2012
      • Annette Ferneyhough #

        Thanks for that,I tried to keep the pan at 70deg so maybe I overcooked it ,I didn’t realise that you turn the heat off. I shall try again

        December 20, 2012
  13. #

    Wondering if you turn off the heat when the milk gets to 32?

    December 27, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Hi, yes turn the temp off when you get to 32. Same for all heating stages, when it reaches the temp turn off the heat. With the last stage to 70c you need to maintain it at that temp.

      December 28, 2012
  14. I am dying to make this recipe but sadly I live in Hyderabad and rennet and citric acid are unheard of. If anyone knows where I can buy these materials I would greatly appreciate it!!

    July 20, 2013
    • Fi #

      Hello Jyajjala. Rennet is a european product used for making warmed milk set like a jelly. It is made from the stomach lining of a mammal – usually a calf. So you may have trouble finding any in Hyderabad. There are vegetarian versions of it available, made from various plants that have similar enzymes. You may be able to buy them in a major mall-style supermarket there, but you can certainly easily buy them online by googling them. Both items should be inexpensive.

      January 15, 2014

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