Fresh Mozzarella from a Gallon of Milk

If you are new to cheese making, please read Beginning Cheese Making carefully. Mozzarella is a challenging cheese and should not be attempted as your first cheese. This is a recipe to make a fresh mozzarella which I have developed from a recipe for pasta filata (a type of cheese of which mozzarella is one example) found on an Kenyan Cheesemaking site.

The modified recipe is more straightforward, easier and  dependable than the traditional Italian Fresh Mozzarella I posted on the web in the Summer of 2000. It requires preparation of the curd the night before, allowing the curd to mature in a warm place overnight, and then warmed and molded the next morning.

Stages of Mozzarella

There are six stages to making this mozzarella, many of which follow the general outline of most cheese preparation:

    Bacterial starter is added to slightly acidify the milk so rennet works
    Rennet is added which causes acidified milk protein to coagulate
    Curd is cut to allow the whey (liquid remnant of milk) to be expressed
    Curds are kept warm for 8 hours, allowing bacteria to further acidify
    Acidified curds are stirred with hot water causing them to melt together
    The soft curd mass is kneaded into balls, cooled and placed in brine


Day 1

  • 1 gallon fresh milk
  • 1/4th cup cultured buttermilk
  • ½ tablet rennet

Day 2

  • ½ gallon 85 C water
  • ½ gallon ice water
  • 1/4 cup salt Equipment


Day 1

  • 1 ½ gallon pot with thick heavy bottom and well fitting cover
    sterilized by boiling 1/2 inch water covered, 5 minutes
  • thermometer, 0-110 C (32-230 F)
  • whisk
  • long bladed knife

Day 2

  • 1 gallon bowl
  • ½ gallon jar with lid
  • slotted spoon

Illustrated Stages




Cutting the Curd



Molding and Brining

After completing those steps, be sure to:

  1. Drop the cooled mozzarella balls in the brine, cover and refrigerate.
  2. After 12-24 hours, remove from brine, place balls in zip lock bags until used. (Do not leave too long in the brine, or the surface will soften.)
  3. Use within several days or a week of preparation.  Fresher is better.


Beginning Cheese Making


Troubleshooting a Clean Break, Cheese Making

Mozzarella, Italian

Rennet for Making Cheese

Ricotta Cheese

American Mozzarella, Microwave a la Joyce

I modified this cheese from one I learned from “Joyce of KS” on the old Lactobacillus Board on the web (now It makes an “American mozzarella” similar to what is used on American pizza. It is very elastic, melts well and strings when hot. (It is not, however Italian mozzarella which is more tender at room temperature and possesses a more subtle flavor.) If you would like to make the Italian version,the recipe for making Italian fresh mozzarella which, as you will see is more complex than this one for “American” mozzarella.


  • 1 cup pyrex measuring cup
  • 2 cup pyrex measuring cup
  • 5 quart pot, stainless or enamel, with cover, preferably with a thick heat dispersing bottom
  • Thermometer, -20 to 110C
  • 8 inch strainer
  • 1000 watt microwave oven


  • 1 gallon milk (I used cow’s milk, homogenized, pasteurized, 3.5% butter fat)
  • 1¼ teaspoon citric acid powder (from local pharmacy) dissolved in ½ cup cool water
  • ½ tablet Junket rennet (from local supermarket) suspended in ¼ cup cool water


Italian Mozzarella

Fresh Mozzarella from One Gallon of Milk