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How to make homemade mozzarella cheese from scratch

Making homemade mozzarella has never looked so easy. In this Grateful video, Kristopher Juniel demonstrates how to make fresh mozzarella cheese at home with a few key pieces of equipment and simple ingredients—nonhomogenized whole milk, citric acid, rennet (any kind), some sea salt, and distilled water.

collecting curd
“When it comes to milk,” The Ktchn keeps it simple, explaining that “almost anything goes: whole, 2%, skim, cow, goat, raw, organic, or pasteurized.” For more nitty gritty, Serious Eats has specific recommendations:

If you absolutely cannot find nonhomogenized milk, [Dr. Lloyd] Metzger recommends purchasing a gallon of skim milk and adding a carton of cream to it, rather than using homogenized whole milk. The only obstacle? That skim milk also has to meet our other major standard for cheese-making: lower-temperature pasteurization.

“The minimum legally required temperature for pasteurization [145°F] basically has no effect on the protein,” explains Metzger. “But when you get to the 170, 175°F point, the casein and the whey proteins actually start to interact with each other…”

Luckily, you can often find excellent lower-temperature-pasteurized, nonhomogenized alternatives at farmers markets and local dairies, and even some supermarkets (especially stores like Whole Foods) sell it. I’ve had great success with Organic Valley’s Grassmilk, which is whole, nonhomogenized, and pasteurized at just 165°F (74°C).

Epicurious also has step-by-step instructions. Your equipment list should include cheesecloth, a large mesh strainer, a cooking thermometer, gloves, slotted spoons, a large stainless steel pot, and a measuring cup and spoons.

stretching the mozzarella
Related: The Guardian‘s Science and magic of cheesemaking.

Next, watch more videos with cheese, including how the pros make mozzarella in the Bronx, how cheese is made at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, and A Brie(f) History of Cheese.

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