Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe – Plus Bonus Ricotta Cheese

Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe so easy the kids can do it, plus bonus ricotta and instructions for homemade string cheese.
I recently decided to try my hand at home cheese making with friends, and it came out delicious! I used the “30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese” recipe from Ricki Carrol's book “Home Cheese Making“. Ricki also features this recipe on her website at www.cheesemaking.com.

This easy mozzarella cheese recipe works best with whole milk. Since I have a friend with a cow, we used raw milk, which worked just fine. You may use skim milk, but the yield will be lower and the cheese will be drier. You cannot use UHT (Ultra High Temperature) pasteurized milk. The extreme heat damages the protein in the milk and it comes out looking like ricotta, no matter what recipe you use. Try switching brands of milk if your cheese fails.

Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 level teaspoons citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
1 gallon pasteurized whole milk
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/4 rennet tablet) diluted in 1/4 cup cool, unchlorinated water
1 teaspoon cheese salt (optional)

Directions

1. Gently bring the milk up to 55°F ( 13°C) in a large, stainless steel pot. While stirring, add the citric acid solution to the milk and mix thoroughly.

Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe so easy the kids can do it, plus bonus ricotta and instructions for homemade string cheese.

This mozzarella recipe is so simple that the boys usually handle it themselves.

2. Heat the milk to 90°F (32° C) over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pot from the heat and gently stir in the diluted rennet with an up-and-down motion for 30 seconds. (We use a potato masher to move the milk up and down.) Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for five minutes.

3. Check the curd. It should look like custard, with a clear separation between the curd and whey. (If the curd is too soft or the whey is too milky, let set for a few more minutes.) Cut the curd with a knife that reaches all the way to the bottom of your pot.

Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe so easy the kids can do it, plus bonus ricotta and instructions for homemade string cheese.

4. Place the pot back on the stove and heat the curds to 105°F (40°C), gently moving the curds around with your spoon. Remove from heat and continue to stir slowly for 2 to 5 minutes. (Stirring for 5 minutes will result in firmer cheese.)

Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe so easy the kids can do it, plus bonus ricotta and instructions for homemade string cheese.

5. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and put into a 2 quart microwaveable bowl. Press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible. Reserve the whey. (You can use the whey to make ricotta cheese.)

***If you do not have a microwave:

After step 5, heat the reserved whey on the stove top to at least 175°F (80°C). Add 1/4 cup of cheese salt to the whey (you could probably substitute kosher salt, but cheese salt is best). Shape the curd into one or more balls, put them in a ladle or strainer, and dip them into the hot whey for several seconds. Knead the curd with spoons or gloved hands between each dip and repeat this process several times until the curd is smooth and pliable. Please be careful! This is really hot, and working with more liquid increase the risk of getting splashed! If you use the non-microwave method, you cannot use the whey to make the Ricotta from Heaven below, because the whey will contain too much salt.

Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe so easy the kids can do it, plus bonus ricotta and instructions for homemade string cheese.

Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe so easy the kids can do it, plus bonus ricotta and instructions for homemade string cheese.

6. Microwave the curds on high for 1 minute. Drain off all excess whey. Gently fold the cheese over an over (as in kneading bread) with your hands or a spoon. This distributes the heat evenly throughout the cheese, which will not stretch until it is too hit to touch (145°F (63°C) inside the curd). Rubber kitchen gloves are very handy at this stage.

7. Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each; add salt to taste after the second time. After each heating, knead again to distribute the heat.

8. Knead quickly until it is smooth and elastic. When the cheese stretches like taffy, it’s done. (See top photo in post.) If the curds break instead of stretch, they are too cool and need to be reheated.

9. When the cheese is smooth and shiny, roll it into small balls and eat while warm. Or place them in a bowl of ice water for half an hour to bring the inside temperature down rapidly; this will produce a consistent smooth texture throughout the cheese. Although best eaten fresh, it can be stored in the refrigerator at this point.
Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe so easy the kids can do it, plus bonus ricotta and instructions for homemade string cheese.
Yield: 3/4 to 1 pound from 1 gallon milk

With some experimentation, I found you can pull this mozzarella cheese into strips or strings – think “homemade string cheese”. Pull the strips, drop them in the water to cool, then pack them tightly in a Pyrex container or wrap in plastic wrap. They're not as pretty as the store bought ones, but they work just the same.

Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe so easy the kids can do it, plus bonus ricotta and instructions for homemade string cheese.

Although the original recipe recommended storing the cheese in water, I prefer storing it in a tightly sealed container without water. Water storage makes the cheese soft and washes out the salt.

Optional Lipase Powder

If you want to add lipase powder to give the cheese more flavor, use 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water and allowed to sit for 20 minutes. To start, probably try the mild and see how you like the flavor. Add the lipase and water mixture at the same time you add the citric acid solution. If you add lipase to this cheese, you may have to use a bit more rennet, as lipase makes the cheese softer.

Ricotta From Heaven

(also from Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Delicious Cheeses)

Ingredients

Fresh whey, no more than 3 hours old, left over from making hard cheese

Directions (other options available at www.cheesemaking .com)

1. Heat the whey in a pot until foam appears, This usually happens just prior to boiling; if the mixture boils, it will taste burned.

2. Turn off the heat; let the whey set for 5 minutes.

3. Gently skim off the foam and place the whey in a colander lined with butter muslin.

4. Let drain for 15 minutes, then refrigerate. This ricotta will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Yield: About 1/2 pound per gallon of whey

*Note – I later read that the 30 minute mozzarella whey is not recommended for making ricotta (it says this in the cheesemaking kits), but mine works just fine.

We ate one batch of mozzarella fresh, and then I made more to put on homemade pepperoni pizza. 🙂 It was delicious.

homemade-pizza

The ricotta was lovely, too. Very smooth and creamy, and just a tiny bit sweet. I think it would be great in homemade lasagna.

I'm looking forward to trying other cheese recipes, but these were great ones to start with – very quick and easy.

Another family favorite that may be even easier, although it takes a bit longer, is fromage blanc. Fromage blanc is a soft white cheese that is great as a spread or dip. (Or for topping spuds – yum!) It can also be used in cooking.The recipe only has five steps – that's it! Learn how to make fromage blanc in this post.

You may also enjoy our other recipes, such as, “Never Buy Bread Again – 13 Homemade Bread Recipes“.

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Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe – Bonus ricotta cheese

Quick and easy homemade mozzarella recipe.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman

Ingredients

1 1/2 level teaspoons citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
1 gallon pasteurized whole milk
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/4 rennet tablet) diluted in 1/4 cup cool, unchlorinated water
1 teaspoon cheese salt (optional)

Instructions

1. Gently bring the milk up to 55°F ( 13°C) in a large, stainless steel pot. While stirring, add the citric acid solution to the milk and mix thoroughly.

2. Heat the milk to 90°F (32° C) over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pot from the heat and gently stir in the diluted rennet with an up-and-down motion for 30 seconds. Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for five minutes.

3. Check the curd. It should look like custard, with a clear separation between the curd and whey. (If the curd is too soft or the whey is too milky, let set for a few more minutes.) Cut the curd with a knife that reaches all the way to the bottom of your pot.

4. Place the pot back on the stove and heat the curds to 105°F (40°C), gently moving the curds around with your spoon. Remove from heat and continue to stir slowly for 2 to 5 minutes. (Stirring for 5 minutes will result in firmer cheese.)

5. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and put into a 2 quart microwaveable bowl. Press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible. Reserve the whey. (You can use the whey to make ricotta cheese.)

***If you do not have a microwave:

After step 5, heat the reserved whey on the stove top to at least 175°F. Add 1/4 cup of cheese salt to the whey. Shape the curd into one or more balls, put them in a ladle or strainer, and dip them into the hot whey for several seconds. Knead the curd with spoons or gloved hands between each dip and repeat this process several times until the curd is smooth and pliable. Please be careful! This is really hot, and working with more liquid increase the risk of getting splashed! If you use the non-microwave method, you cannot use the whey to make the Ricotta from Heaven, because the whey will contain too much salt.

6. Microwave the curds on high for 1 minute. Drain off all excess whey. Gently fold the cheese over an over with your hands or a spoon. This distributes the heat evenly throughout the cheese, which will not stretch until it is too hit to touch (145°F (63°C) inside the curd). Rubber kitchen gloves are very handy at this stage.

7. Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each; add salt to taste after the second time. After each heating, knead again to distribute the heat.

8. Knead quickly until it is smooth and elastic. When the cheese stretches like taffy, it’s done. (See top photo in post.) If the curds break instead of stretch, they are too cool and need to be reheated.

9. When the cheese is smooth and shiny, roll it into small balls and eat while warm. Or place them in a bowl of ice water for half an hour to bring the inside temperature down rapidly; this will produce a consistent smooth texture throughout the cheese. Although best eaten fresh, it can be stored in the refrigerator at this point.

Yield: 3/4 to 1 pound from 1 gallon milk

You can pull this mozzarella cheese into strips or strings – think “homemade string cheese”. Pull the strips, drop them in the water to cool, then pack them tightly in a Pyrex container or wrap in plastic wrap.

Store cheese in a tightly sealed container and use within a day or two.

Notes

Optional Lipase Powder

If you want to add lipase powder to give the cheese more flavor, use 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water and allowed to sit for 20 minutes. To start, probably try the mild and see how you like the flavor. Add the lipase and water mixture at the same time you add the citric acid solution. If you add lipase to this cheese, you may have to use a bit more rennet, as lipase makes the cheese softer.

Originally published in 2011, updated in 2017.

The post Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese Recipe – Plus Bonus Ricotta Cheese appeared first on Common Sense Homesteading.

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