Mozzarella Madness – Traditional Cultured Mozzarella

Anyone who knows me, knows that the bane of my existence in the cheese world is Mozzarella. I can teach people to make a successful batch of quick mozzarella 99% of the time. But when I am trying to make it for myself it is a hot mess. I have more failures than successes. I figured it was time to try a cultured version, maybe then I would have some better luck.

I was really hoping to get the Mozzarella Monkey off my back this time

After lots of research and going though my cheese making books, I settled on a Traditional Mozzarella formula from Gianclis Caldwell’s (2012) Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers, White River Junction Vt, Chelsea Green Publishing, with a few changes based on the type of rennet I was using.

So I fired up my borrowed cheese vat and went to work on making some cheese.

I have to admit that making this cheese was a bit of a challenge. There were a few steps that seemed “out of place” or went against my instincts. One example was that you were to allow the curds to settle under the whey for for up to 60 minutes to allow for the acidity to build up. I have always heated and stirred for this. I was pleased with the results. I did not get a chance to have someone take pictures of the heating and stretching portion of the making of the cheese, but it was hot and I had to wear gloves for the first time.

Not my prettiest work, but I was happy with it.
After cleaning the vat, I used it to soak/cool the mozzarella

There was great flavour, even for using pasteurized milk, but would it melt?

Only a pizza would do for this trial

I was so happy with this result. I even froze some for pizza “down the road” now it was time to kick that Monkey off my back and out of my head. I no longer have Mozzarella Madness.

4 Comments on “Mozzarella Madness – Traditional Cultured Mozzarella

  1. I’m so envious! I’ve only successfully made Traditional Mozzarella once out of 11 attempts. I now have PH strips, hoping that’ll help me with the process. Congrats on the meltiness! That is the monkey on my back, my cheeses don’t melt. But I realize that it’s mainly due to not enough milk fat. I live in Quebec (for now) and I can’t get pure cream without fillers, so I don’t think I’ll ever have a really good melty cheese. I found you through Gavin Webber’s new podcast channel. He’s publishing all of his old podcasts and I just listened to the interview you did with him. Great stuff.

    • Hi Rain,

      I am still not sure that this wasn’t a fluke. I am going to try the formula again soon. The meltiness of homemade cheese isn’t just about the fat content, it is about pH/acidity too. Too acidic and you have strayed out of that melt zone, not enough and you will be out of it too. Keep at it. I never used to measure pH, but my trip to Quebec this past summer to a cheese plant helped me change my perspective.

    • It is a Bain Marie/Steam Tray/food warmer. I borrowed it from a friend. I use a temperature controller to run the heating elements. Accurate within a few degrees

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