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Mozzarella Cheese


I am so lucky to have such a wonderful neighbor who explores as much as I do when it comes to food and gardening.  Yesterday Tracy invited me to learn how to make homemade organic raw mozzarella.  We were both very surprised at how easy it really was!  The hardest part was locating some raw milk (and I live in dairy land, so that really wasn’t all that hard :))  I am going to walk you through the steps one by one.  There are a few things to note.

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  • You can easily purchase a kit that will give you everything you need (with exception of the milk) to make mozzarella and ricotta cheese.  You will be able to make these cheeses 30 times with this one  kit.
  • You will need some raw milk or non-homogenized whole milk.

If you are not purchasing the kit, you will need to purchase the following:

This recipe came from 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes by Debra Amrein-Boyes

1. Sterilize all equipment.  In a small glass bowl or measuring cup, dissolve citric acid powder in 1/4 cup lukewarm water, stirring with a stainless-steel spoon.

Raw Milk

2.  In a large stainless steel pot, combine milk and dissolved citric acid, stirring to blend well with an up and down motion.

3. Place pot over medium heat and warm milk mixture to 88ºF, stirring gently to prevent scorching.  Remove from heat.

4. Dilute calcium chloride in 1/4 cup cool water.  Do this step only if you are using non-homogenized whole milk.  Add to milk using the same up and down motion.  If you are using raw milk, this step can be eliminated.

5.  Dilute rennet in 1/4 cup cool water.  Add to milk and using the same up and down motion, draw rennet down into milk until well blended.  Cover and let set for 30 minutes.  Check for a clean break (as shown in picture below).  If the curd is still to fragile, cover and let set for another 15 minutes or until a clean break is achieved.

Clean Break

6.  Using a long-bladed knife and skimmer, cut curd into 1/2 inch cubes.  Let stand for 5 minutes to firm up the curds.

Stirring Curds

7.  Place pot over low heat and slowly warm curds to 106ºF, stirring gently and continuously, adjusting the heat as necessary to make sure it takes 20 minutes to do so.  Turn off heat and continue to stir for 20 more minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

8.  Meanwhile, in another pot, bring 4 quarts fresh filtered water to a boil.  Add 6 tbsp pickling salt and stir until dissolved.  Turn off the heat.

9.  Drain off whey through a cheese cloth lined colander.  Let drain for 15 minutes.

Cheese Curds Draining

10.  Place curd mass on a clean cutting board and cut into 1 inch strips.  Place in a large bowl.  Pour salt water over strips.

Cut curds into 1 inch strips

11.  Wearing heat resistant rubber gloves or using a long handled wooden spoon, work strips under the hot water (the cheese will become very soft), pushing and pulling and stretching them.  The curd will begin to stretch.  Pull cheese out into a long rope, folding it back on itself and stretching again until it is smooth and shiny.  Use your hands to shape the cheese into the single ball or pinch off pieces for small bocconcini size cheeses.

Stretching Cheese

Tip:  One of the most important steps in making stretched curd cheeses is determining the right moment to do the stretching.  The acidity of the curd must be just right.  To test whether your pasta filata cheese is ready for stretching, pinch off a small piece of curd and immerse it in a bowl of 175ºF water.  Work the ball of cheese with your fingertips to soften, then  try to stretch it into a long strand.  If it breaks or will not stretch, it is not yet ready.  Wait for a while longer before trying again.

Place cheese in ice water

12.  When the cheese turns smooth and shiny place the cheese in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes.  Remove and drain on paper towel.  Use immediately or wrap and refrigerate.

Fresh MozzarellaTop Picture courtesy of

How To Make Organic Raw Mozzarella Cheese
Review post above to find resources on where to purchase these ingredients or you can purchase them here.
  • 1½ tsp citric acid powder
  • 6 quarts non homogenized whole milk or raw milk
  • ¼ tsp calcium chloride (this is not needed if using raw milk)
  • ¼ tsp liquid rennet
  • 6 tbsp pickling (canning) or kosher salt
  • Bowl of ice water
  1. View Instructions above in post.

This post was shared at Monday Mania

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15 thoughts on “How To Make Organic Raw Mozzarella Cheese”

  1. Claudia Davis Reshetiloff says:

    I would *love* to do this but getting the raw milk has been a challenge….

  2. Carole R Timmins says:

    Wow Hallle, looks great!

  3. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Claudia you can use non-homogenized whole milk which you can most likely get at a health food store or whole foods.

  4. Rhonda Harader Cain says:

    I have been wanting to try this…probably be awhile. School is taking up most of my free time. : (

  5. Organic Mom says:

    How much does this recipe yield?  We have an organic farm down the road and so I will get my milk from them.  We would like to swap milk for cheese but I really need to know how much cheese I will get from 6 quarts of milk.
    Thank you

    1. hallecottis says:

      Organic Mom I didn’t actually weigh it but it was a good amount.  The picture at the bottom shows about how much is there, if I had to guess I would say about 12-16 oz.

  6. pennyo says:

    My friend and I are planning to attempt this next week.  I have an excellent source of raw milk!!  How long does the process take start to finish (approximately)?  I’m guessing 2 hours??

    1. hallecottis says:

      pennyo sounds about right.  You will love it and it really is quite easy to make!

      1. pennyo says:

        hallecottis Excellent!  Seems like “simple but a lot of steps.”  We’re really excited to give it a try.  Thanks so much for the recipe, pictures, instructions and quick answers!!

  7. duane says:

    your not organic if you use the ingrediants shown

  8. NadineMullins says:

    Hello, thanks for this great detailed recipe.  
    Is the milk meant to start curdling as soon as you put the rennet in?  I am using rennet tablets, citric acid and raw milk and find I need to add vinegar to get it to curdle.  

  9. Amani says:

    How does it stay raw if you put the boiling salt water on it? Is there another way?

  10. toni says:

    I have 4 gallons of raw milk that have been in the refrigerator for several weeks – I would consider them soured at this point…..and I know there are many ways to use soured raw milk…..and I am hopeing this rececipe is one if them. Do you think I can use soured raw milk that has been kept in the fridge to make this cheese?



    1. amy says:

      My guess is yes. Since you didn’t use a specific bacterial culture it might taste a little different, but it will definitely still make cheese.

  11. Gg says:

    Just thought that I’d mention that this was the only mozzarella recipe that I’ve seen asking for calcium chloride in the recipe. When I looked online to add it to my order, it said NOT to use it in mozzarella as it will inhibit the stretching of the cheese. So might be worth double checking before using. 😉

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