30 Minute Mozzarella

Watch Valerie Pearson making Mozzarella 



Mozzarella in a Moment

Mozzarella is a fantastic cheese for just eating by itself or for cooking with. Who could have a pizza without it? While we are probably able to make our own pizza dough, did you know you could make your own Mozzarella in your microwave in about 30 minutes? Full instructions, ingredients and any specialised equipment, such as a thermometer, are available in the Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit.

Here's the short version:


  • 4 litres full cream milk.
  • 1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride, diluted in 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water.
  • One and one-half teaspoons of citric acid powder diluted in 1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water.
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Lipase dissolved in 1/4 cup of demineralised non-chlorinated water. (This is optional for increased flavour)
  • 1/4 of a rennet tablet or 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet disolved or diluted in 1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water.
    Important note: If you are using Lipase, increase the rennet to 1/2 a rennet tablet or teaspoon of liquid rennet, as the addition of Lipase makes for a softer curd and the increased rennet will counteract this.
  • One to one and a half teaspoons of cheese salt.


  • Large pot;
  • Cheese thermometer;
  • Stainless steel slotted or perforated spoon
  • Long bladed stainless steel knife for cutting the curd
  • Microwave safe bowl large enough for your curds, (if using the microwave method).
  • Rubber gloves;


  1. Pour your milk into a large stainless steel pot and add your calcium chloride solution, mixing in well.
  2. If you are going to use Lipase for additional flavour, add this now and mix it in well.
  3. Stir in your citric acid solution.
  4. Using a low setting on your stove, gently heat your milk to 32 degrees C. As the milk heats it will start to curdle. Stir gently while the milk heats through.
  5. Once your milk has reached 32° C, add the rennet solution you have made and stir gently but thoroughly, in an up and down motion, to ensure that the rennet solution is evenly distributed throughout your milk mixture.
  6. Remove your pot from the heat and allow to sit for five to ten minutes, or until you have a clean break. The curds will begin to form and appear to be shrinking and pulling away from the sides of the pot. If the curd is not firm enough to break cleanly as you move the knife within the curd, leave for another five minutes and try again. The whey should be clear. If it is milky, wait a few more minutes. This is an important step as if you do not achieve a clean break your cheese will not work.
  7. Cut the curd using a knife that reaches all the way to the bottom of the pot. First, cut it into strips about 2 centimetres wide; then do the same across the original cuts. Then slant your knife and make cuts on as great an angle as the confines of the pot will allow, so that the result is the curd cut into evenly sized cubes.
  8. Place the pot back on the heat and heat your curds to 38° to 40° c, stirring gently to keep the curds moving around the pot.
  9. Once the desired temperature has been reached, remove the pot from the heat and stir for a few minutes more, to help the curds dispel further whey. The longer you stir, the firmer the curds will be.

Microwave Method (preferred method)

  1. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the curds into a microwaveable bowl.


    Making Mozzarella


  2. Gently press the curds with your hands and pour off as much excess whey as you can.


    Making Mozzarella


  3. Microwave the curds on high for one minute and then remove and again press out and drain off any additional excess whey. The cheese should begin to mass together and become sticky. Fold the cheese over itself and press like you are beginning to knead bread. It will become smooth and shiny and form into one piece.


    Making Mozzarella


  4. Place the curd back into the microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and drain any remaining whey. Knead the cheese like bread again until it begins to cool. This time the cheese should be too hot to handle and you may need to wear rubber gloves.


    Making Mozzarella


  5. Microwave again for 30 seconds. Knead again until the cheese is smooth and shiny, only this time; work in your salt as you are kneading. When the cheese stretches it is done.


    Making Mozzarella


  6. If the cheese does not stretch, microwave it again for an additional 30 seconds. Note that the cheese will not stretch properly if it is below 58° C.


    Making Mozzarella


Water Bath Method:

Note: With this method your hands need to go into the hot whey, so using heavy duty rubber gloves is highly recommended.
  1. Using a perforated spoon, scoop the curds into a bowl, retaining the whey in the pot for further use.
  2. Gently press the curds with your hands and drain off as much excess whey as you can back into the pot. Gently fold the cheese as you go, expelling additional whey; Do this several times.
  3. Heat the whey remaining in the pot to 85°C. Place your curds into a small colander and then place your curds while still in the colander into the pot of 85°C whey for five to seven minutes. While still in the hot whey fold your cheese over itself several times like you are beginning to knead bread and until it starts to feel elastic and stretchy.
  4. Remove the cheese from the hot whey and place it on a glass or smooth, food grade plastic cutting board, placed on a draining area near your sink and knead the cheese like bread again until it begins to cool.
  5. Return your cheese to the hot whey to reheat and continue to work the cheese with your hands. Again remove the cheese from the whey and knead it again on the cutting board.
  6. Test your cheese for stretch by pulling it slowly apart. If it stretches well and does not break it is ready. If it still does not stretch, return your cheese to the hot whey and continue to work your cheese.
  7. Once the cheese is stretchy, remove it from the hot whey and while the cheese is still hot, quickly knead in your Cheese Salt to taste. This must be done while the cheese is still hot, as the cheese will not stretch once it drops below 58°C.
  8. When your cheese is finished, make it into two balls and drop them into cold nonchlorinated water to cool for a few minutes. Alternatively, try eating some right away, while it is still hot for a real treat.


When your cheese is finished, make it into two balls and drop then into cold, non-chlorinated water to cool for a few minutes.


Making Mozzarella

This cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week or stored in the freezer for one month. If your cheese is too soft to shred for pizza, place it in the freezer then shred and use it partly frozen.


Here is another video shot by Logan City Council;

Recipe © 2010 Green Living Australia

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