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It is so easy to make homemade mozzarella cheese! You’ll be extremely surprised how fast too, just 20 minutes! There aren’t any scary temperatures to worry about or special tools needed either. You can also control the amount of fat and salt. Check out the recipe below to see for yourself.
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I started out using 1/8 teaspoon of double-strength liquid rennet, but wanted to experiment with double the amount, 1/4 teaspoon. I am very pleased at using a double dosage of double-strength rennet. Most recipes suggest using 1/4 teaspoon of single-strength rennet. When using 1/4 teaspoon of double-strength rennet, tons of curds form and you can gather it together easily.
Update: I realized after using 1/4 teaspoon of double-strength rennet, the cheese did not melt as well as the cheese I buy in stores. Now I know why you want to use less rennet. The more you use the harder it is to melt the cheese. However, using double the amount of rennet results in the cheese coming together easily.
I froze the leftover cheese and it crumbled easily. So, I crumbled it all up, allowed it to reach almost room temperature and stirred in some milk to use a substitute for ricotta cheese in a lasagna. It worked perfectly!
Can I Use Nonfat or low-fat milk?
Nonfat milk makes hard cheese. Think Parmesan and Romano. To make part skim mozzarella (like you see in stores), you can use a mixture of whole and nonfat milk. Therefore, 2% milk should work but will make a harder mozzarella than whole milk.
This recipe is available to everyone.
Homemade Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 gallon whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized and homogenized are okay (2% if that's all you have)
- 1 teaspoon citric acid (or more vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or more citric acid)
- 1/2 teaspoon double-strength liquid rennet
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Heat the milk in a large pot. Mine got to 130⁰F (scalded but not boiled). Remove from the heat.
Stir in the citric acid and vinegar. A few curds of milk begin to form and float on top of the milk.
Stir in the rennet and set aside for 3 – 5 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a colander and push as much excess liquid from the curds as possible.
Transfer the curds to a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle with salt, and heat on high in the microwave for 1 minute.
Drain the excess liquid from the bowl. Then, starting with a wooden spoon, silicone spatula, etc., knead the cheese until it forms into one solid mass. Once it is cool enough to handle knead the cheese by hand (I use gloves for cleanliness) and knead for about 2 minutes, stretching and twisting. If the cheese breaks, it's not yet done.
Microwave the cheese again for about 30 seconds and squeeze out any excess liquid. If 1 teaspoon or less comes out, you’re done heating it. If not, heat again for another 30 seconds and squeeze out the liquid again. Knead until smooth and stretchy. Repeat until there is only up to teaspoon left of liquid. The more you microwave the cheese, the drier it will turn out.
Place in a dry, clean heatproof bowl to cool. Once it’s cool, it will be shiny on the side that was touching the bowl.
Store in a zipper storage bag up to 1 week. Feel free to freeze as well. Then defrost at room temperature.