For years I have followed the method in my mozzarella post, to make many pizzas worth of mozzarella. This past year, faced with my highest producing cow yet, as well as a small baby, I knew I had to figure out how to streamline this process. A few things factored into the creation of this recipe.
I did a bonus live video for my insiders club, and it was decided everyone needed to see this, so along with the video, I’ve written up a printable recipe as well as many notes on how/why I do things how I do.
First- I was also determined not to buy butter;
Which meant every jar of milk that could be skimmed, needed to be skimmed. It turns out, skim milk mozzarella is firmer to deal with and works better on a pizza! This is not a mozzarella I would use for caprese salad and fresh eating. I have tried this method with a 1’ish inch creamline and it still worked great, I’m not sure how it would go with a large creamline.
Secondly, WHY no gloves?
Mid making a batch of mozzarella one day, I discovered my gloves had a hole in them. This was HOT and not a fun discovery. How would I stretch this cheese without gloves?! I pulled out a sturdy wooden spoon, and discovered I could stretch it with that! No more gloves off and on, dealing with kids while stretching mozzarella.
Last, but definitely not least, what if I didnt strain the curds out?
What if I just left them in the pot, to heat up while the whey heated up for stretching? Well my friends, this is where the magic happens. Less dishes, less steps, less whey spilled on the floor! (I am not capable of straining cheese without getting whey on the floor)
This batch is written kind of loosely, without exact temperatures and times.
I do this, not to confuse you, but to assure you that I have made this recipe over and over again, successfully, with very loose timelines and temperatures. Its not as high maintenance as people make it out to be.
I make this at medium heat, this is reliable for me without being too high maintenance/hands on. If you’re in a rush and willing to stay close to the pot, I’ve made a one gallon batch at medium high heat, and went from flour and milk to pizza into the oven in half an hour. It was a feat even I impressed myself with. I wouldnt try that on your first go, but know that its possible.
Now- you’re going to need a sturdy spoon to stretch it with. This could be wood or metal, I tried with a plastic spoon at a friends house once and it was just not working. You’ll see mine in the video.
This second video is a follow up of a couple questions I got-
Big Batch Streamlined Mozzarella
- 1 gallon skimmed raw milk
- 1.5 tsp citric acid
- 1/4 tsp calf rennet I find vegetable rennet unreliable
- 1/3 cup non-iodized salt
- Skim your cream to make butter or whatever else makes your heart sing, Warm the milk in a pot on medium heat.
- Stir occasionally, when it reaches 55F, dilute the citric acid in 1/4 cup of cool water (If making a larger batch, do 1/4 cup water per gallon batch), pour it into the milk and stir in both circles and up and down for 10 seconds to distribute it. If it accidentally got a bit warmer, thats okay. Up to about 65F youre fine, if its warmer than that, take it off the heat and let cool.
- Continute heating milk until it hits 88F, then dilute the rennet in 1/4 cup cool water (again, multiple this water by gallon batch) and add to the milk, stirring in the same fashion. If it got a bit warmer, up to about 95F, you can still proceed. If its warmer than that, take off the heat and let it cool some.
- Turn off the pot, but leave it on the element (If you have a gas stove, its okay, just keep going with it) for 10 minutes. Its okay if you forget about it an hour. It happens. After ten minutes, check the curds, if you stick your finger or a butter knife in at a 45 degree angle the curds should “clean break” over your finger/knife. If not, leave another 10-15 minutes.
- When the curds are firm enough, stir them with a big spoon to break them all up into smaller pieces, roughly 1″ cubed or smaller. Turn the heat back onto medium. If you are making larger than a 2 gallon batch, pour off whey down to about 2 gallons worth, but save that whey for garden/animals/baking! I heard its good for marinating meat as well.
- add 1/3 cup salt to the whey.
- Stir every couple minutes, you’ll notice the curds starting to stick together and be less poached egg whites and get firmer. Sometimes they will look a boogery. Have faith, keep going! As they get warmer, they will start to stretch a bit too. Keep trying to encourage them into one big ball, it will take until around 120F for them to hit this point. See about minute 51 for this.
- Using your sturdy spoon, lift the whole ball up out of the whey, letting it droop down over the sides of the spoon. If its not drooping at all, it needs to be hotter, around 135-140F for me. If its drooping/stretching well, You can lift it up, let it droop down, put it back in the pot, pick it back up again in the middle, let it stretch more. See about minute 53 in the video for this step.
- As you stretch it using this lifting method, the ball with go from lumpy to smooth. Once you’ve got a couple good stretches with it all being shiny and smooth, feeling pillowy soft, put the ball of cheese into a rectangular container.
- The reason I do this instead of forming balls, is my end goal is grated mozzarella, and i can cut the rectangular block of cheese into chunks and grate it easier than I can balls. You could form it into balls and plunk them in ice water for them to hold their shape if you so wish.
- Eat fresh, tearing off pieces and salting, stuffing your mouth, until you have satisfied your craving, then put it in the fridge for 24 hrs. If you’re needing to use it ASAP for pizza night, you can simply tear strips and lay them on your pizza. It looks artfully beautiful.
- You can also pull off little strips, twist, salt and put on a tray to cool in fridge to make cheese strings!
- Once its well cooled, grate the cheese, put in bags or containers and into the freezer. Mozzarella does NOT keep well in the fridge. You can just freeze balls of it, but do your future self a favour and pregrate it now, its so convenient to have waiting for you!
- To use- go lighter on a pizza or lasagna than you would with storebought cheese, this goes farther and you could drown a pizza. Sprinkle a little salt on top of the mozzarella, it really needs it and you’ll be disapointed without it.
Want more dairy- centric recipe?