Homemade Mozzarella

Makes 6-8 Mozzarella Balls


For the Curd

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • ¼ tsp powdered rennet (or rennet tablets, crushed & measured)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tsp citric acid

For Forming

  • 1 gallon heavily salted water

To Store

  • 1 quart water
  • ½ cup kosher salt


  • digital thermometer (that can clip to side of pot)
  • cheese cloth
  • fine mesh strainer set over large, deep bowl


Separate Curds & Whey

  1. Heat milk in large pot over medium-low to 88° - 91º. Maintain this temperature throughout the recipe. A digital thermometer clipped to the side of the pan is useful for this. You may need to adjust or turn heat completely off at times to maintain this temperature
  2. Meanwhile, dissolve rennet in warm water and set aside (if you are using rennet tablets, crush to a fine powder & measure out ¼ tsp)
  3. Add citric acid, stir well and wait 2-3 minutes until the mixture startes to curdle
  4. Stir dissolved rennet into curdled milk, stir well and wait 2-3 minutes
  5. Maintain a 88º - 91º temperature for 45-60 minutes, using a digital thermometer (the curds will float to the top of the pot and form a soft, pudding-like cap). Do not stir

Strain Curds from Whey

  1. Take a sharp chef's knife and make a few cuts in the curd for easier removal
  2. Place a piece of cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer, and rest in a large bowl (with room for liquid to drain, without touching the bottom of the strainer)
  3. Scoop the curds into the cheesecloth. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth, and squeeze the curds, draining the whey. Tie the cheesecloth tightly and allow to drain at room temperature over the strainer, 1½ hours

Stretch & Form

  1. Heat 1 quart of water to boil. Add ½ cup kosher salt, remove from heat and set aside to cool (this will be used to store the finished mozzarella)
  2. In a separate pot, heat 1 gallon of heavily salted water to 160º
  3. Remove draining curds from cheesecloth. Crumble into the center of a large bowl
  4. Slowly pour a couple ladles of the salted water around the outside of the curds. The curds will slowly start to soften. Gather the curds with your hands into a ball, kneading with your palms. When the water starts to cool, drain the excess water, passing through the cheesecloth (to reserve any loose curds). Ladle more warm water around the curds, repeating the process. This will take about 10 minutes
  5. Eventually, when the curds are soft and have gathered, start stretching and folding the cheese into itself until it starts shining and ripping
  6. Form into balls by squeezing the cheese through your thumb and index finger, then pinching off
  7. Drop formed balls into the cooled quart of salt water (from earlier). Refrigerate in the salt water until use