Victor made homemade mozzarella on Saturday. O.M.G. It’s too wonderful to even begin to describe!

And while it takes a bit of finesse, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Which is good, because I already want more!

He’s been doing really good with his cheese-making – goat cheese and ricotta in the past couple of weeks – but this one was the trickiest, to date. And he nailed it!



The two biggest no-nos are that you can’t use ultra-pasteurized milk and you can’t use Junket rennet. You’re making cheese – go for the quality. We bought organic whole milk and used organic goat milk for the chevre.  You’re taking the time to do it – so do it right.

You need a good thermometer and rubber gloves. Clean rubber gloves – not the ones you use for scrubbing floors and stuff.

There are a lot of recipes for making mozzarella on the web,  and most of them are pretty similar. This is an adaption of a few of them.

Okay… start!

Fresh Mozzarella

  • 1 1/4 cups water, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp citric acid
  • 1/4 rennet tablet or 1/4 tsp liquid rennet (NOT Junket rennet)
  • 1 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra-pasteurized
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Prepare the Citric Acid and Rennet:

Measure out 1 cup of water and stir in the citric acid until dissolved. In a separate cup, measure out 1/4 cup of water and stir in the rennet until dissolved.

Warm the Milk:

Pour the milk into the pot. Stir in the citric acid solution. Set the pot over medium-high heat and warm to 90°, stirring gently.

Add the Rennet:

Remove the pot from heat and gently stir in the rennet solution. Count to 30. Stop stirring, cover the pot, and let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Cut the Curds:

After five minutes, the milk should have set, and it should look and feel like soft silken tofu. If it is still liquidy, re-cover the pot and let it sit for another five minutes. Once the milk has set, cut it into uniform curds: make several parallel cuts vertically through the curds and then several parallel cuts horizontally, creating a grid-like pattern. Make sure your knife reaches all the way to the bottom of the pan.

Cook the Curds:

Place the pot back on the stove over medium heat and warm the curds to 105°F. Stir slowly as the curds warm, but try not to break them up too much. The curds will eventually clump together and separate more completely from the yellow whey.

Remove the Curds from Heat and Stir:

Remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring gently for another 5 minutes.

Separate the Curds from the Whey:

Ladle the curds into a strainer set over a bowl to catch the whey.

Heat the curds:

Warm a large pot of water to just below boiling (about 190°).  Set the strainer into the pot so the curds are submerged in the hot water. Let the curds sit for about five minutes. Wearing rubber gloves, fold the curds under the water and check their internal temperature. If it has not reached 135°F, let the curds sit for another few minutes until it does. The curds need to reach this temperature in order to stretch properly.

Stretch and Shape the Mozzarella:

Sprinkle the salt over the cheese and squish it with your fingers to incorporate. Using both hands, stretch and fold the curds repeatedly. It will start to tighten, become firm, and take on a glossy sheen. When this happens, you are ready to shape the mozzarella. You can make one large or several smaller balls. Just don’t over-work it.

Store the finished cheese:

Place the mozzarella balls in slightly salted water or whey. Keep refrigerated and use within a week.

This is such a treat. When we get back from vacation and the tomatoes are in full production, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of this!


The steaks were covered in the Peach BBQ Sauce I made yesterday. Fresh corn on the cob…

We’re doing well…