Ricki Carroll’s 30-Minute Mozzarella - Homemade

Recipe by Charlotte J


  • 1 12
    teaspoons citric acid, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water
  • 1
    gallon raw whole milk or 1 gallon pasteurized whole milk
  • 14
    teaspoon liquid rennet, unchlorinated water or 1/4 rennet tablet, diluted in 1/4 cup cool unchlorinated water
  • 1
    teaspoon cheese salt (coarse, noniodized flake salt similar to pickling salt, do not use iodized salt)
  • 14
    cup cheese salt, added to whey if using the non-Microwave method


  • Remember if you are using fresh, raw milk, you have to pasteurize it first (found above in the 'Description').
  • Slowly heat the milk in a stainless steel pot to 55 degrees. While stirring, add the citric acid solution to the milk and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat the milk to 88 degrees over medium-low heat. The milk will begin to curdle. (A NOTE that I found -- The bit about milk not curdling at 88F is wrong, since it curdles just fine at 68-72F for chevre, and 88F is a standard setting temp for cheddar cheese. When I make cheese from my raw farm milk this is where I set it to coagulate. I may raise the temp a bit due to high buttterfat or other seasonal changes to get the whey out but not by much. However, if you are using store-bought milk, we do find that it needs to be heated a bit higher for coagulation (93-97F) after setting, and then a bit more after that to release the whey.).
  • Gently stir in the diluted rennet with an up-and-down motion for 30 seconds. Then let the milk sit still while heating it to between 100 and 105 degrees. In about 5 to 8 minutes, the curds should be pulling away from the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat.
  • The curds will look like thick yogurt and have a bit of shine to them, and the whey will be clear. If the whey is still milky white, wait a few more minutes before turning off the heat. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and put into a 2-quart microwavable bowl. Press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible.
  • Microwave the curds on high for 1 minute. (Without a Microwave follows below.).
  • Drain off all excess whey. Gently fold the cheese over and over (as in kneading bread) with your hand or a spoon. This distributes the heat evenly throughout the cheese, which will not stretch until it is too hot to touch (145 degrees inside the curd). You may want to don rubber gloves at this point, as the cheese will be extremely hot to the touch.
  • Microwave two more times for 35 seconds each; add salt to taste after the second time. After each heating, knead again to distribute the heat.
  • Knead quickly until it is smooth and elastic. When the cheese stretches like taffy, it’s done. If the curds break instead of stretch, they are too cool and need to be reheated.
  • When the cheese is smooth and shiny, roll it into small balls and eat while warm. Or place them in a bowl of ice water for half an hour to bring the inside temperature down rapidly; this will produce a consistent smooth texture throughout the cheese. Although best eaten fresh, it can be stored in the refrigerator at this point.
  • Note: If you are using store-bought milk, and your curds turn into the consistency of ricotta cheese and will not come together, switch brands of milk. It may have been heated at the factory at too high a temperature.
  • *How to Make Quick Mozzarella Cheese Without a Microwave*.
  • Follow the recipe for 30-minute Mozzarella until Step 5.
  • When you get to Step 5, reserve the whey. Then put on heavy rubber gloves.
  • Heat the reserved whey to at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add 1/4 cup of cheese salt to the whey.
  • Shape the curd into one or more balls, put them in a ladle or strainer, and dip them into the hot whey for several seconds.
  • Knead the curd with spoons between each dip and repeat this process several times until the curd is smooth and pliable. When it stretches like taffy, it's done.
  • Roll the cheese into small balls, and serve warm. Or place them in a bowl of ice water for half an hour to bring the inside temperature down rapidly. This will produce a consistent, smooth texture throughout.
  • If you have any cheese leftover (highly unlikely!), cover and store in the refrigerator.


@Charlotte J
“Read the description and recipe in its entirety before attempting. From motherearthliving.com We have a dairy farm a few miles from us so I'll make mine using raw milk. Elisa72 has one posted also, Recipe #157435 This one is a little different (amount of citric acid use) Mine tells how to do the non-microwave method. I thought you could get tips from both our recipes. Here it goes .... If you’ve never tried to make cheese, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that making many kinds of cheese is no more difficult or time-consuming than baking a pie. Luckily, one of the most popular cheeses — mozzarella — is one such supereasy cheese. The following recipe comes from Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll. She has taught thousands of people how to make cheese, and her devotees refer to Carroll as “The Cheese Queen.” You can order the special ingredients for mozzarella from her company, New England Cheesemaking Supply, or you may be able to find them in your local natural foods store. Simple Cheesemaking Equipment All you need to begin making cheese at home is a stainless steel pot, a dairy thermometer, measuring spoons and some cheesecloth. You can find these supplies practically anywhere that sells kitchen equipment, but you can also order them — and other equipment for more ambitious cheesemaking adventures — from New England Cheesemaking Supply. The cheesecloth they sell is of extremely high quality, and can be washed and used over and over again. They also offer a kit with all the supplies necessary to make mozzarella and ricotta cheese many times. About the Milk Historically, mozzarella has been made from whole sheep’s milk, water buffalo milk and cow’s milk (pretty much in that order). It’s great if you can find fresh cow’s milk from a nearby farm, but store-bought milk will work, too. Skim milk also works, but you’ll get less cheese as a result. Just be sure to avoid any packages that say “ultra-pasteurized” or “UHP.” Ultra-high-temperature pasteurization exists solely to allow milk to be shipped over long distances without spoiling. The protein in milk, the compound responsible for curdling ability, is destroyed by excessive heat. Ultra-pasteurized milk can sit around for many weeks without spoiling, but it can’t make cheese. NOW TO PASTEURIZE: If you have access to fresh, raw milk, and want to pasteurize it, simply heat it to 145 degrees Fahrenheit in a stainless steel pot (a double boiler is even better). Hold the temperature at 145 for exactly 30 minutes, then chill the pot in a sink filled with ice water until the temperature of the milk dips to 40 degrees. Then refrigerate it.”