The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mozzarella Help Wanted

Greg D's picture
Greg D

Mozzarella Help Wanted

I am looking for a clear and hopefully "idiot proof" recipe to make mozzarella at home.  I have several books on home cheesemaking and artisan cheesemaking (Ricki Carroll, Tim Smith, et al).  I am a pretty decent home brewer so I understand about cleanliness and sanitation, and I am reasonably smart and can follow recipes.  But so far I am 0 for 10 tries on making mozzarella at home.  I got close one time but when I moved from the curd stage -  which actually looked and tasted pretty good - to the stage where you stretch the curd in near boiling water to obtain the mozzarella texture, everything went to heck.  I am using fresh local cows milk that is not ultra pasteurized.  My wife is a microbiologist and while she helps me with my fermentation issues, she won't let me use raw milk and my back yard is too small for a cow or water buffalo.  So far my efforts have yielded a lot of souply glop (and worse) which I have fed to my chicken flock but otherwise is a complete waste.  My daughter lives in Philly and she can just go buy mozzarella cheese curd at her local Italian deli and then "stretch" it at home, but I have not found a similar raw mozzarella cheese curd product in the Portland (OR) area and I am way too cheap to pay to ship cheese curd from Philly to here.


proth5's picture

will sell you by mail (and instuctions are here: without buying the kit) a kit for 30 minute mozzarella.

I'm not sure that I would call it "idiot proof" - but I generally have success when I use it - although I did have a few failures... My failures, however, were at least a crubly sort of thing that could still be used in place of ricotta - not inedible souply glop.

Hope this helps.

linder's picture

Hi GregD,

You have probably already looked at this site, but if not, there are lots of helpful tips on making mozzarella-

Hope it helps


Greg D's picture
Greg D

Thank you both for the links.  There are a lot of tips that I was not aware of.  I have never used citric acid which I might try next time.  And the comment about not over stirring the renet was very interesting, as my "main" cheesemaking book advises to stir top to bottom for 1 minute and then top stir for "several more minutes" whereas recommends a maximum of 30 seconds of total stirring of the renet due to weaker milk available in today's grocery stores.  I suspect I may be grossly over stirring the renet.

This is a great site.  Thanks to the creator / owner of the site and to those of you who help me.  May you and your families be visited by the "great bread" fairy.

Happy Baking!

bob13's picture

   We had a similar issue when we first started.  Wife makes the cheese & me the technologist for her.  Upon further review, we found that when it called for the curds to be heated prior to form & stretching, we were too chicken to heat it that much.  Once we took it to the required temperature the curds blended together and stretched so nice.  We too are forced to use store bought milk so I know it works.  I advise you to check your thermo, temps, and times.  Sounds like something is very close but not quite where it needs to be.  Enjoy !!

pepperhead212's picture

Leener's microwave method is the one I have used for many years, with great success.

To get a little extra flavor, add a little mild lipase powder, which both of these sites carry.

I forgot to mention - raw milk mozzarella is a misnomer. It is the heating of the curd that gives it the texture, so tell your dw she has nothing to worry about - it is heated hotter than when pasteurised.


Greg D's picture
Greg D

Made a batch of Mozz curd very carefully yesterday.  Two gallons of very fresh milk.  Followed instructions exactly.  Measured ph, curd looked pretty firm, drained, cut, held, etc.

Today I went to heat / pull my lovely curd from yesterday.  Added water at 90 F - all well.  110 - all well.  130 - all well.  150 - all well.  180 - started to get a lot of milky residue but curds definitely not cooked or stretchy.  200 - everything in the bowl turned into a giant white slurpee with no curd structure and nothing left to stir or stretch.

My chicken flock is dining well tonight but my quest for home made mozzarella goes on.

Happy Baking!

linder's picture

Let me preface my comments by saying I am not an expert here, let the curds come to room temp then I believe you add 175F water all at once and begin stretching the curds(using wooden spoons, or well gloved hands 'cuz that's hot!). 

Another option - if you have a microwave you can microwave the curd for 1 minute on high, drain off any whey, knead, heat 30 sec. in microwave, knead , until curd is 135F then stretch curd. 

I have to say I've not made mozzarella using the citric acid method where I didn't make the curd and then immediately make the cheese, so my suggestions may not hold. 



Crider's picture

Back at the turn of the century, his site was about the only thing on the web that had instructions for cheesemaking. One thing you might try is adding a wee bit of calcium chloride to your pasteurized milk:

The one remaining problem relates to use of pasteurized, homogenized milk (as one would get from the store).  I am less familiar with it than the fresh raw goat's milk I use, but the processing alters the protein structure, and may cause problems establishing a firm curd.  Some recipes call for purchasing a solution from a cheese making supply house, and adding "1/2 to 1 teaspoons"  per gallon (5-10 mL).; But nobody talks about the concentration of the solution!  The desired concentration of CaCl2 is usually specified as 0.02%. This would mean adding 3.6g CaCl2 to 5 gal of pasteurized milk. My measurements indicate that 3.6g of crystals = 3/4 tsp. Thus 3/4 tsp crystals/5 gal = 0.02%. You should completely dissolve the CaCl2 in about 1/4 cup water before adding it to the milk. Add it slowly with thorough stirring. If you know more on this subject, please let me know!  This could be critical for folks making cheese from store-bought milk.

Frankhauser has three recipes for mozzarella on this one he calls Pasta Filata he goes into detail about acidification of the curds. And if a test of a small bit of curds in 185° water doesn't enable the 'spin', leave them to acidify for more time.

The next morning, test for proper ‘spin’ of the acidified curd by dropping a few pieces of curd into 85 C (185 F) water, stirring with a fork, and testing to see if it ‘spins:’ pulls like taffy.  If it breaks apart when you pull it, let the curds sit additional hours until it does ‘spin.’

But what do I know? I tried making mozzarella only once and I failed! Good luck.

Donkey_hot's picture