Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a rather advanced cheese to make and you may have to practice a few times to get it right.
Keep your spirits up and you will soon learn to master making this delicious cheese.

This recipe takes 6-8 hours to complete and gives a very tasteful mozzarella. You can find a faster recipe for mozzarella among the list of our recipes.

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Ingredients for ½ - ¾ kg mozzarella:

4 litres whole milk, non-homogenized milk.
3 pinches of freeze dried starter culture or 1 dl of fresh buttermilk or soured milk
1 ml rennet
1½ tsp salt

Optional:

1 dl fresh plain yogurt

Required tools:

Pot with lid
Bowl
Collander
Sieve spoon
Long knife
Dropper
Thermometer
Cheese cloth
Timer

Plastic or disposable gloves

Helpfull tools (non-essential):

pH-meter or pH-strips

Steps:

This mozzarella is made over 6-8 hours. 

  • Pour the milk into a pot and slowly heat it to 32°C
  • If you use freeze dried starter culture, dissolve it in 2-3 tbsp cold water - add the mixture to the milk and stir well. Or, if you use fresh buttermilk, soured milk and/or yogurt to culture the milk - add that to the pot and mix in well.
  • Put a lid on the pot, wrap a towel around it to keep it warm and let the milk settle for 60 minutes.
  • Mix rennet with a small amount of cold water, add it to the milk and stir thoroughly for half a minute.
  • Put the lid back on, wrap a towel around the pot and leave it for 35 minutes.
  • The milk has now coagulated and transformed into curd.
  • Cut the cheese in 1-2 cm cubes, using a long knife or cheese cutter.
  • Stir carefully using a sieve spoon to prevent the cubes from sticking together.
  • Suspend a collander lined with cheese cloth over an empthy pot and pour curd into it - keep the whey, you need it later!
  • Let the curd ferment for a minimum of 4 hours. The goal is to reach pH value 5,3-5,4. If pH drops lower than this, the cheese tends to become too dry, whilst higher pH values tends to make the cheese difficult to work with.

  • IMPORTANT: Either, measure pH or perform the ”spin test" as described below:
    - Heat a bit of water to 85°C. Take a small amount of curd and drop it into the water whilst stirring with a fork. When the curd seems thoroughly warmed, fetch it out of the water. Try to gently stretch, fold and knead it a little. If the cheese seems flexible and does not break, it is acidic enough and you can move on to the next step. However if it breaks you must ferment the curd a little longer to allow pH to drop a little further.

  • When pH is right or when the curd passes the "spin test" - cut it into 1-2 cm cubes and devide the entire portion into 2 dl portions.
  • Heat 2 litres of whey to 85°C. - you can use water but whey works better. It adds taste and enhances texture.
  • Take one of the 2 dl portions and put it into a bowl. Pour warm whey over it and stir with a spoon, until the wheys temperature reaches 57°C. When the cubes seem soft and warm right to the core, fetch them up, sprinkle with a small amount of salt and squeeze them tight into a little ball. 
  • Massage, fold and stretch the cheese until it has a shiny smooth surface. From time to time, drop it back into the water to keep it warm or use a microwave to heat it for a few seconds. When you stretch it, try not to over do it – stretching is best performed letting it slide down from one hand to the other. The more you work the curd the better texture and outcome.
  • When the cheese has been worked on for long enough (normally ½-2 minutes) put it in a food safe container or plastic bag.
  • Perform the same process with the rest of the 2 dl portions you made. 
  • The mozzarella is ready to be savoured straight away but a few days in the fridge will enhance flavors and make it even more delicious.
Tips:

If the mozzarella turns out too dry, try using a slightly lower temperature on the milk (30 instead of 32°C), stretch/fold the curd at 55°C instead of at 57°C.

If the mozzarella turns out too soft, adjust to the opposite of the dry mozzarella.

If the mozzarella does not melt when heated, adjust the recipe to make a more soft mozzarella next time.

Note: When you make mozzarella, you DO NOT use calcium chloride, as you can do in many other types of cheese. When making mozzarella calcium is released during processing/stretching. This is precisely why the cheese achieves the desired elasticity. Adding calcium chloride will therefore counteract this release of calcium from the curd and you will get a better structure of the mozzarella without the use of calcium chloride.