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30 Minute Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

a nonaluminum pot that will hold a gallon of milk
a measuring cup or bowl to dissolve the rennet
a spoon
a candy thermometer
a large slotted spoon, or small sieve

1/2 rennet tablet
1/4 cup cool, chlorine-free water (most bottled waters are chlorine-free)
1 gallon milk (2%, 1%, or skim)
2 teaspoons citric acid

Crush the rennet into the water and stir to dissolve. Pour milk
into a nonreactive pot (no aluminum or cast iron). Place over medium
heat. Sprinkle the citric acid over the milk and stir a few times.
Heat milk to 88 degrees. Milk will begin to curdle.

At 88 degrees, add the rennet solution and continue stirring slowly
every few minutes until the milk reaches 105 degrees. Turn off the
heat. Large curds will appear and begin to separate from the whey
(the clear, greenish liquid).

With a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, scoop the curd into a large
glass bowl. (If it's still too liquid, let it set for a few more
minutes). Press the curds gently with your hand and pour off as
much whey as possible. Microwave curds on high for 1 minute, then
drain off all the excess whey. (There is a stovetop method, if
anyone needs it just ask). With a spoon, press curds into a ball
until cool. Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each, and
continue to drain the whey and work cheese into a ball. In the
meantime, place the whey over medium heat and let it heat to about
175 degrees.

When cheese is cool enough to touch, knead it like bread dough
until smooth. When you can stretch it like taffy, it is done. You
can sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons salt into the cheese while kneading
and stretching it. The cheese will become stretchy, smooth and
shiny. If it is difficult to stretch and breaks easily, dip it into
the hot whey for a few seconds to make it warm and pliable. Then
pick it up again and stretch it into a long rope. Fold over and
stretch again. Dip in hot whey as needed to make the cheese pliable.

When the cheese is smooth and shiny (this takes just a few minutes),
it is ready to eat. Shape it into a log or golf-size balls, then
store in a solution of 2 teaspoons salt to 1 cup water. This make
3/4 pound cheese (about 12 ounces).

Notes: Citric Acid and Rennet are available through mail order
(you could try Or you might check your local


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