Homemade Mozzarella and Ricotta


I have been using raw milk for nearly 20 years now and I love the natural taste and the other things that are missing.  (plus I just read somewhere that we need the fat that is in milk and we shouldn’t drink skim ~ I’ll have to look into that)  You can read at Real Milk about why raw milk will help you to be healthier and fight off sickness.

In addition to the health benefits, in the long run I believe it is ultimately less expensive to buy raw milk because you can make so many healthy things with it.  (Even better if you have your own animals to milk, but I know that is not possible for everyone)

I am including here the recipes I use to make Mozzarella and Ricotta.  It takes a few hours, but it is really easy.  Start by skimming the cream off the top of each gallon to use for making butter, whipped cream or cream cheese.  This will leave about 1 1/2 gallons of milk, so you will need to add milk from a third gallon to fill them back up again.

Easy Mozzarella

What you need:

  • 1 gallon milk  (preferably raw, but you can use store milk)
  • 2 teaspoons citric acid (I bought mine from Cheesmaking.com)
  • 1/4 teaspoon rennet (also from Cheesemaking.com)
  • candy thermometer
  • strainer and large pot

Heat the milk and the citric acid to 88º.

Mix 1/4 teaspoon or 1/4 tablet of rennet in 1/4 cup water and dissolve.  (don’t double the rennet if you are making 2 gallons)  Add this to the milk and citric acid that has reached 88º.

Continue to heat all until it reaches 105º.  There should be a thick layer of curds (they look similar to yogurt) on top of the milk.  I have a photo of the curds somewhere, but I can’t find it.  I will get one up here as soon as I can. Gently scoop them into a strainer and continue to heat the whey to 175º.

Once the whey reaches 175º, set the the strainer full of curds back into the hot whey and knead it until it’s stretchy, like fresh mozzarella.  This is the tricky part. The whey is hot, so I put on a thin pair of winter gloves under some yellow kitchen gloves and work with it that way.  (Knowing how to tell when it’s the right stretchiness is something I am still working on.)  I think it’s better to not knead long enough, rather than kneading too much.  It isn’t very long, just a few minutes.

Yield: This should make 3/4 – 1 pound of cheese per gallon.

Don’t throw out the whey, you will use it to make ricotta (below)

Ricotta From Heaven (from the book Home Cheesemaking)

What you need:

  • whey (use the whey left over from making the mozzarella above – no more than 3 hours afterward)
  • candy thermometer
  • cheesecloth

Heat the whey in a pot until foam appears … this will happen before it boils.  You don’t want to let it boil or it will scorch, so watch your thermometer and keep the whey under 212º

Once the foam appears, turn off the heat and let it set for 5 minutes.

Skim off the foam/whey very gently and place it in a colander lined with cheesecloth or butter muslin

Allow it to drain for 15 minutes, then refrigerate.  It will keep up to a week.  Or I freeze it until I am going to make calzones, stuffed shells or lasagna.

Yield: 1/2 pound of ricotta per gallon of whey

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