Homemade Mozzarella & Ricotta

homemade mozzarella

We make home-made pizza once a week in our house. We’ve managed to crack the pizza base, but for a long time struggled with the mozzarella. Then I stumbled upon raw organic milk at my local market and this video of a simple mozzarella recipe. These two simple tutorials make homemade mozzarella and ricotta a breeze.

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Making Mozzarella at Home

How Much Milk to Buy

The milk I can get comes in a recyclable 2 litre plastic container, which makes 2 mozzarella balls (see pic above for size). I find this enough mozzarella for 4 x 12″ pizzas, so I use 1 litre of milk to make one mozzarella ball one week and freeze the other litre to use the following week.

How to make Mozzarella

  1. Stir just over 1/4 of teaspoon of citric acid into a 1 litre of raw milk
  2. Warm the milk and citric acid up to 90 degrees fahrenheit on the hob. This happens quickly so watch it like a hawk.
  3. When it’s reaches 90degrees fahrenheit I turn off the heat and put in 20 drops of vegetarian rennet. (I got my rennet in Down to Earth, St Great Georges St, Dublin 2 for €2.30 for 30ml)
  4. Leave to sit for 20 minutes until the curd forms a solid mass and separates from the whey.
  5. Next, using a knife that reaches to the bottom of the pot, cut the curd into squares (see video linked to above).
  6. Then put the heat back on under the pot and heat the mixture again until it reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove from the heat
  8. If you want stretchy gooey mozzarella then start folding and stretching the curd in the whey. If it is too hot to handle just use wooden / plastic spoons until it cools down a bit. Try to handle it gently. I’ve gave up on this step and just use the well-drained curd directly on the pizza.
  9. If the curd starts to cool down and becomes hard to work with simply heat up again in a pot or microwave it for 30 seconds to make it soft and pliable again
  10. After a few minutes of stretching and folding shape the cheese into a ball.
  11. You can use it straight away or store it covered in some whey in the fridge for a couple of days.

Making Ricotta at Home

homemade ricotta

Ricotta is even easier to make that mozzarella using this simple method for making ricotta from whey.

  1. Add 2 cups of regular milk to the whey that was used to make the mozzarella. (I’ve been told it’s best to use whey that’s been resting for 24 hours as you get more ricotta.)
  2. Bring the milk to the boil, making sure it doesn’t boil over.
  3. Turn off the heat.
  4. Leave to sit for up to an hour. The curd will clump together over this time.
  5. Drain the curd by pouring the whey and curd into a sieve lined with a cheesecloth / muslin.
  6. Once adequately drained it’s done!

Downsides to Homemade Cheese Making

Waste

The biggest downside to making cheese at home was the large amount of leftover whey it created. I’ve looked up uses for it but most require baking, which I’ve more than enough to do already.

Plus because I couldn’t get the raw milk package-free the whole endeavour wasn’t as low-waste as I would have liked.

Time

After about 6 months I gave up making the mozzarella on a weekly basis. It just ended up being too time consuming for me

Other Homemade Cheese Recipes

I recently came across this recipe for vegan mozzarella from the Minimalist Baker. I haven’t made it myself but thought some here might want to give it a whirl.

I’ve also come across one for home-made cream cheese, which uses yoghurt and so would really only avoid waste if you were able to buy package-free yoghurt or make your own  

More Staple Food Recipes

You can find some more of my staple food recipes here

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Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

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