How to Make Mozzarella
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10-15 mins
2-3 balls
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1 gallon (3.8 L) whole milk
1.5 tsp (8 ml) citric acid, dissolved in 4 Tbsp (30 ml) water
0.25 tsp (1.18 grams) liquid rennet, dissolved in 2 Tbsp (30 ml) water
3 Tbsp (45 g) kosher salt


Heating and Acidulating the Milk.
  1. In a large pot, stir together the milk and citric acid solution. Slowly heat to a temperature of 32’C (90’F). Remove from heat and, in an up and down motion, gently stir in the rennet solution. Let sit, covered for 5 minutes.
  2. Check the curd to see if it has separated. Slide a spatula down the side of the pot and see if the curd (the milk solids) pulls away from the side has clearly separated from the whey (the remaining liquid). If they are not clearly separating, cover again and allow to sit another 5-10 minutes.
Forming the Curds.
  1. After the mixture has separated, cut the curd with a long knife or thin metal spatulas into ½”-1” (1.5-2.5 cm) squares, being sure to cut deep enough to fully separate the squares.
  2. Return to heat and bring the temperature up to 43’C (110’F), stirring very gently the whole time. When it hits 43’C (110’F) remove from heat and continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes. With a slotted spoon or fine mesh sieve, gently remove curds and transfer to a cheesecloth lined colander.
  3. To the whey left in the pot, add 3 tbsp (35g) kosher salt and stir to dissolve. Set aside ⅓ of the salted whey into a mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature. You’ll use this to rest the finished mozzarella. Heat the remaining whey to a temperature of 88’C (190’F). You’ll use this to stretch and form the mozzarella.
Stretching and Forming the Mozzarella.
  1. Place one third of your curds in a mixing bowl, Down the side, gently pour enough hot whey to cover the curd. Let sit, undisturbed for a couple minutes. The ideal temperature to stretch the curds is 57’C (135’F), measured at the center of the curds.
  2. While wearing rubber gloves (two pairs may be necessary as the liquid is quite hot) gently knead the curds into a mass. Do this while submerged in the hot liquid as once the cheese cools it can no longer be worked.
  3. Once a mass has formed, stretch the mozzarella 3-7 times***. For each stretch, pull the cheese to about 60cm (2’) in length, bringing each end together and repeating until a nice sheen develops. If the cheese becomes too cool to work, return it to the hot whey until it becomes pliable again.
  4. Once you’ve stretched the curd to your desired consistency, Place the finished mozzarella ball in the room temperature, salted whey you had set aside and repeat with the remaining two thirds of curd.