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Fresh Mozzarella Recipe: How to Make It at Home

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Mozzarella and tomatoes.

If you’re a fan of fresh mozzarella, you might be surprised to know that you can make it from scratch at home. Making fresh mozzarella is easier than you might think and requires just a few basic ingredients. With the right recipe and technique, you can enjoy delicious, homemade mozzarella in no time.

To make fresh mozzarella, you’ll need milk, citric acid, rennet, and salt. There are different methods for making fresh mozzarella, but the most common involves heating the milk, adding the citric acid and rennet, and then stretching and shaping the cheese. Making fresh mozzarella can be a fun and rewarding experience, and it’s a great way to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills. Plus, homemade mozzarella tastes amazing and can be used in a variety of recipes, from pizza and pasta dishes to salads and sandwiches.


To make fresh mozzarella cheese at home, you will need just a few simple ingredients. Here is a list of what you’ll need:

  • Milk: Whole milk is best, and it’s important to make sure it’s not ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurized. You can use either pasteurized or unpasteurized milk, but avoid using ultra-pasteurized milk.
  • Rennet: This is an enzyme that helps to coagulate the milk and form curds. You can buy liquid rennet or rennet tablets at specialty food stores or online.
  • Citric acid: This helps to acidify the milk and make the curds easier to form. You can buy citric acid powder at most grocery stores or online.
  • Salt: This is added to the cheese for flavor.

You’ll also need some basic kitchen equipment, including a liquid measuring cup, a non-reactive stock pot (enamel or stainless steel are best), a super long-handled spatula, a cooking thermometer, a sharp knife, and a slotted spoon.

Making fresh mozzarella cheese at home may seem daunting, but with these simple ingredients and equipment, you’ll be well on your way to creating delicious homemade cheese.


To make fresh mozzarella cheese, you’ll need some basic equipment. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Stainless steel pot: Use a pot that’s large enough to hold at least one gallon of milk. Stainless steel is the best material to use because it’s easy to clean and won’t react with the acidic ingredients.
  • Thermometer: You’ll need a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the milk. A digital probe thermometer works well.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: You’ll need measuring cups and spoons to accurately measure the ingredients.
  • Cheese cloth: You’ll need cheese cloth to strain the curds from the whey.
  • Rennet: Rennet is an enzyme that helps the milk coagulate and form curds. You can buy rennet tablets or liquid rennet.
  • Citric acid: Citric acid helps the milk coagulate and form curds. You can buy citric acid powder.
  • Salt: Salt is added to the cheese for flavor. Use kosher or sea salt.
  • Slotted spoon: You’ll need a slotted spoon to scoop the curds out of the whey.
  • Bowl of ice water: You’ll need a bowl of ice water to cool the mozzarella after it’s been stretched.
  • Microwave or hot water: You’ll need a microwave or hot water to heat the curds so they’re stretchy.

Once you have all of your equipment, you’re ready to start making fresh mozzarella cheese.

Making the Cheese

To make fresh mozzarella cheese, you will need just a few simple ingredients: milk, rennet, citric acid, and salt. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Heat the Milk: Pour a gallon of milk into a non-reactive stockpot and heat it over medium-low heat to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add Citric Acid: Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid powder over the milk and stir well. This will help the cheese curds to form.
  3. Add Rennet: Dissolve 1/4 of a rennet tablet or 1/4 teaspoon of liquid rennet in 1/4 cup of cool, chlorine-free water. Pour the rennet mixture into the milk and stir well.
  4. Let the Curds Form: Allow the milk to sit for 5-10 minutes until the curds have formed. You should see a clear separation between the curds and the whey.
  5. Cut the Curds: Use a long-handled spatula to cut the curds into small cubes, about 1/2 inch in size.
  6. Heat the Curds: Heat the curds to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. This will help the curds to firm up.
  7. Drain the Whey: Pour the curds and whey into a cheesecloth-lined colander and let the whey drain off.
  8. Add Salt: Once the whey has drained off, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of kosher salt over the curds and mix well.
  9. Shape the Cheese: Gather the curds into a ball and knead them gently until they come together into a smooth, shiny ball of cheese.
  10. Store the Cheese: Store the fresh mozzarella cheese in a container of cool water in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

Making fresh mozzarella cheese is a fun and rewarding process that yields delicious results. With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can create your own homemade cheese that’s perfect for salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and more.

Shaping the Cheese

Once you have your freshly made mozzarella cheese, it’s time to shape it into the desired form. Here’s how you can do it:

Method 1: Stretching by Hand

  1. Heat a pot of water to 170°F and place the cheese in it.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, lift the cheese out of the water and stretch it out with your hands.
  3. Fold the cheese back onto itself and repeat the stretching process several times until it becomes smooth and shiny.
  4. Shape the cheese into a ball or knot and place it in a bowl of cold water to cool.

Method 2: Using a Cheese Mould

  1. Heat a pot of water to 170°F and place the cheese in it.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, lift the cheese out of the water and place it into a cheese mould.
  3. Gently press down on the cheese to remove any excess whey.
  4. Place the mould in a bowl of cold water to cool.

Method 3: Using a Cheese Press

  1. Heat a pot of water to 170°F and place the cheese in it.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, lift the cheese out of the water and place it into a cheese press.
  3. Apply pressure to the cheese for 10-15 minutes, until it takes on the desired shape.
  4. Place the cheese in a bowl of cold water to cool.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to handle the cheese gently to prevent it from tearing. Once the cheese has cooled, it’s ready to be enjoyed!

Storing and Serving the Cheese

Once you have made your fresh mozzarella, you’ll want to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh and flavorful. Here are some tips on how to store and serve your homemade cheese:

  • Storage: Keep your fresh mozzarella in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for up to a week, but it’s best to eat it within a few days for optimal flavor and texture. If your mozzarella came in a container of liquid, keep it in that liquid to help retain its moisture.
  • Serving: Fresh mozzarella is delicious served on its own or with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some ideas:
    • Caprese salad: Slice the mozzarella and layer it with fresh tomatoes and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a simple and delicious salad.
    • Pizza: Use your fresh mozzarella to top homemade pizza for a creamy and flavorful addition.
    • Sandwiches: Add slices of fresh mozzarella to your favorite sandwich for a tasty twist.
    • Antipasti platter: Serve fresh mozzarella alongside other Italian meats, cheeses, and olives for a classic antipasti platter.
  • Flavoring: If you want to add some extra flavor to your mozzarella, try marinating it in olive oil and herbs or spices. You can also sprinkle it with salt and pepper, or drizzle it with honey for a sweet and savory treat.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your fresh mozzarella stays fresh and flavorful, and that you can enjoy it in a variety of delicious ways.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make mozzarella from curd?

To make mozzarella from curd, you will need to heat up the curd and stretch it until it forms a smooth, shiny ball. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this on various websites, such as Serious Eats or From Scratch Farmstead. Keep in mind that making mozzarella from curd requires some practice and patience, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience.

What are some easy recipes with mozzarella cheese?

Mozzarella cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. Some easy recipes that feature mozzarella cheese include pizza, lasagna, caprese salad, and grilled cheese sandwich. You can also use mozzarella cheese as a topping for baked potatoes, roasted vegetables, or pasta dishes.

What is the difference between fresh and regular mozzarella?

Fresh mozzarella is a type of cheese that is made from cow or buffalo milk and has a soft, creamy texture. It is usually sold in water or brine and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Regular mozzarella, on the other hand, is a semi-soft cheese that is made from cow’s milk and has a firmer texture. It is often used as a topping for pizza or in sandwiches.

How long does fresh mozzarella last in the fridge?

Fresh mozzarella should be consumed within a few days of purchase for best quality. If stored properly in water or brine, it can last up to a week in the fridge. However, keep in mind that the texture and flavor of the cheese may change over time, so it’s best to use it as soon as possible.

Is it worth making your own mozzarella?

Making your own mozzarella can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires some time and effort. If you enjoy cooking and want to experiment with different cheese-making techniques, then making your own mozzarella can be a great way to learn more about the process. However, if you’re short on time or don’t enjoy cooking, then buying pre-made mozzarella might be a better option for you.

Where can I find fresh mozzarella nearby?

Fresh mozzarella can be found at many specialty food stores, Italian markets, and some grocery stores. You can also try making your own mozzarella from scratch using curd, which can be purchased online or at some cheese shops.

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