1. Cut the mozzarella curd into smaller pieces. Add them to a large bowl; mix in the salt. 00:50
2. Carefully pour the boiling water over the curds until they are covered. With a large wooden paddle, mix the curds in the water for 2-3 minutes. Add more boiling water, if necessary, but this step should happen quickly to minimize milk loss. 01:19
3. Once the curds start to meld together, pour the contents of the bowl into a colander, draining out all the water. Place the cheese back in the bowl. 02:19
4. Mix the melted curd, using a similar kneading process as with dough, until it combines into a cohesive mass. 02:40
5. To begin stretching the cheese, add 2 more cups of hot water to the cheese bowl. Use the wooden paddle to lift up and stretch the cheese. Smooth out any graininess or lumps from the cheese with your hand. Add heavy cream to help soften the cheese further, if desired. Repeat until the mass is smooth, shiny, elastic, and uniform. 03:15
6. To form mozzarella balls: Pull up a handful of mozzarella and roll the end under about 3 times. Squeeze the rolled mass with one hand, allowing a tight ball to emerge between the thumb and forefinger. Pinch the ball off with the other hand, and place it in a bowl of cold tap water which will help the cheese to firm up. 05:15
7. Ways to use the fresh mozzarella: Spread the mozzarella into a long rectangle. Cover it with a thin, even layer of arugula and prosciutto, and roll the long side over like a swiss roll. Once rolled, cut it into 1-inch slices and serve. Another serving option is the classic caprese salad: cut the mozzarella into 1/2 inch-thick slices and serve with tomato, basil, and olive oil. 06:48
What You'll Need
- Cutting board
- Two large mixing bowls
- Large wooden spoon
- Large food storage container
- Mozzarella curd
- Boiling water
- Cold water
Making the curd is the first step in the cheese-making process. Rennet, a set of enzymes found in mammals, is added to warmed milk which eventually results in coagulated curds (solids) and whey (liquid). Chef Roberto prefers to start with BelGioioso's fresh mozzarella curd (from Green Bay, WI) because it resembles the curd in Italy, but any mozzarella curd can be used or made.
When making fresh mozzarella, it is important to wear gloves because hands-on work is involved, and the cheese mixture gets very hot.
The less time the curd is in hot water, the less milk that will be lost; and the less milk that is lost, the more creamy the final mozzarella will be. So it is beneficial to work quickly in the process.
The word "mozzarella" comes from the word "mozzare" which in Naples means "to cut." The cutting happens when the cheese is separated from the mass to become mozzarella balls. The balls can be made into any size, based on use and personal preference.