June Kitchen Challenge - Mozzarella

Just in time for tomato season, this month’s kitchen challenge involves making homemade mozzarella cheese. Apparently it’s pretty easy (if the internet is to be believed).

My cheese-making experience is limited, having only made homemade ricotta and mascarpone. While mozzarella does require a few special ingredients, the overall process is quite similar, albeit a bit more precise.

The Challenges:
  • Supplies. Don’t let the mention of rennet and citric acid scare you. They are actually pretty easy to come by. Check out any beer or wine-making supply stores in your area, which often carry cheese-making supplies as well. Health food stores and even most grocery stores will have citric acid, and both traditional and vegetarian rennet can easily be found online as well.
  • Temperature. A good thermometer is an important tool in this process. If yours is old, you may want to calibrate it to make sure it’s accurate.
  • Milk. Apparently you can use any type of milk, including whole, 2%, organic, raw… just be careful to avoid UHT (ultra high temperature) pasteurized milk, which may not form proper curds.
  • Shaping. This seems to be the trickiest part, getting square curds to stretch and form into a smooth ball.
  • Spelling. Mozarella. Mozzarella. Mozzarrella. Yeah. The 2nd one. By the end of this maybe we’ll all know how to spell it properly.
Resources:
  • the Kitchn offers up a thorough recipe with detailed tips, including what to look for when buying your milk.
  • Food Republic has a great recipe complete with step-by-step images.
  • New England Cheesemaking Supply is a great resource, both for recipes and ingredients (such as rennet). They also have starter kits that come with all the ingredients and supplies you need (minus the milk and the pot).
  • But seriously? Just google it. This is just the beginning. There are literally hundreds of thousands of cheesy resources out there!

Join me!

If you’re up for the challenge, submit your homemade mozzarella (and what you did with it!) by Friday, June 21st. Send me a photo of your results to be included in the roundup. This challenge is simply about getting in the kitchen and challenging yourself to make something new; you aren’t required to have a blog to participate, nor are you required to post about it if you do. However, if you do have a blog and post about the challenge, you are more than welcome to use the above graphic if you’d like to spread the word! (Please upload it to your own server.)

Submit Your Results »

Say cheese!

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16 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. I’ve never done any cheese. I like the challenge, need to buy a thermometer and am ready to try.

  2. This looks so fun! Will you put a tutorial up here?

  3. This sounds fun! I think I’ll definitely participate this month. We’re growing our own tomatos this month so it will be wonderful to have fresh, 100% homemade and home-grown caprese!

  4. Ooo I am excited about this one! I’ve never made any homemade dairy products.

  5. So tempting since I love mozzarella but think it is too expensive to buy!

  6. Oh man. Great challenge! I think everybody love mozzarella! I have never made cheese, but now I want to!

  7. Mozzarella has been on my list of to-do’s for AGES!! I’m totally gonna give this a go!

  8. This sounds like so much fun! I hope I can find the supplies and get this done in time. I’ve never done anything like this before and I bet it would be so awesome to eat my own homemade mozzarella.

  9. I have tried making mozzarella three times, and it’s never been right! Doing the stretching appropriately is tricky. We’ve actually had more success with havarti and gouda – which sound like they would be more challenging, but aren’t. The internet certainly makes it seem like some people are doing it easily though – I hope you’re one of those people and it turns out great!

  10. I made mozzarella a few months ago and it was so worth it! This makes me want to do it again! It was so amazing on pizza.

  11. Never made cheese before…need to try it now!

  12. Ooouu, so exciting!! I’m totally going to take on this challenge!

  13. I’m all over this challenge. There’s sooo much you can do with mozzarella..exciting cheesy times ahead :)

  14. I adore cheese, who doesn’t. This project seems worth it :)

  15. Making mozzarella is FUN!!! I made it for the first time last summer and it is very cool. I was able to find the rennet and citric acid really easily at my local co-op. the first time I made it, it turned out ok – I initially heated the liquid up a little too high, the second time around I watched my thermometer like a hawk and it turned out beautifully – stretching is the best part! I’m definitely going to make a new batch soon so I can participate in the challenge! :)

  16. I enjoy your newsletters and your challenges. I have not “attempted” any of your challenges, but have been very interested in your results. I did make a list of items I have never made in my years of being a regular cook for my family, and an avid baker. It is funny what I have not ever made. I have tackled my list this year as part of my new year’s resolution though and have made lava cakes, fried chicken, and risotto…and see what I mean…they are not the challenges you are presenting, but still culinary items I have never tackled for one reason or another. I forge on and still have to make an angel food cake. Thank you for your inspiration.

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