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Homemade Mozzarella

March 19, 2011

I’ve made mozzarella six or seven times, usually using the recipe in Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese Making, but I still can’t get it quite right.

Today my copy of Home Cheese Making is out on loan to my friend Jonathan, who is a master chef stricken by an inexplicable fear of cheesemaking. In its absence, I turned to the mozzarella recipe on Ricki Carroll’s web site.

I’m grateful for any guidance on cheesemaking at all, but I can’t help but feel that what is out there — including these two sources I’ve cited — leaves a lot to be desired. The instructions in this book and on this web site are vague, confusing, and contradictory. And the mozzarella help forums on cheesemaking.com are even worse!

While my mozzarella has never achieved Alex’s seal of approval, we always scarf it down immediately. The texture is off, but the taste is there. Typically it is too tough, and today’s mozzarella was downright squeaky — even more so than you’d expect paneer to be.

My suspicion is that I will have to make mozzarella at least a hundred times before I can work out all of the variables to my satisfaction. So far I’ve tried:

  • Using more rennet and using less rennet – helpful but doesn’t get me all the way there
  • Using expensive local milk – didn’t make a difference
  • Stirring differently, stirring longer, not stirring at all – nope and nope

The next step is, I think, to try liquid rennet instead of powdered rennet. This should give me more control over how much goes into the cheese.

In the meantime, I’m on the lookout for more guidance. I’d love to make the trek out to Ricki Carroll’s Cheesemaking 101 Workshop, but it’s always sold out. And I’ve tried Formaggio Kitchen’s Cheese 101 Class, but it is really cheese tasting more than it is cheese making. Open to suggestions if there are better options!

Having squeaks in your homemade mozzarella is, I admit, a rather high-class problem. And they go away entirely when you use the mozz to top a pizza. Mmmmm…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sylvie permalink
    March 23, 2011 11:38 pm

    I, for one, am a fan of squeaky cheese. Well done, Carey!

  2. April 15, 2011 10:05 am

    I made my first batch of mozzarella a few weeks ago (http://hourofscampering.com/scampervlog/?p=927) it worked out well – I have the same book you do, as well as the recipe in Rita Ash’s book (pg. 94) – which I find less daunting and more intuitive. I also found that looking up mozzarella on Youtube gave me some helpful hints just by watching other people make it.

    • May 6, 2011 5:59 pm

      Thanks for the video and the book suggestion! I have loved your blog, and I hope you keep posting even after week 52!

      • May 6, 2011 6:32 pm

        thanks for that – its always nice to know who’s looking in 🙂

  3. April 15, 2011 4:59 pm

    The best advice I’ve seen on making mozarella came from Food Wishes. All video recipes, this one is amazing. Just stumbled on your blog. Thanks for linking to mine!

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