Mozzarella Pulling

24 Jan

Recently, I’ve been posting in a lot of places that I’ve been doing a few demos on how to pull mozzarella. I’ve gotten a bit of interest from some of my friends and followers on how to do this. The thing is, it’s a lot easier to show than to tell, but I’ll do my best.

Here are the 89 easy steps to making mozzarella in your own home.

Just kidding, it only takes 6 steps.

Here we go, step 1: Gather your mise en place.

2 large bowls, one for the hot water and one filled with ice water
plastic tubs or plastic wrap
rubber gloves, if your hands don’t tolerate hot water well
1+ lbs mozzarella curds, cut into approximately 1 inch pieces
1 gallon water, heated to 180 degrees
5.5 oz kosher salt

Step 2: Dissolve the salt

Add the salt to the hot water and stir until the salt has dissolved.

Step 3: Add the curds to the hot water

Add the cut curds to the water and walk away. I’m telling you, walk away. Let the curds heat up gently. If you play with them too much you’ll wind up pressing, or squeezing too much of the whey out of the curds. The resulting cheese will be dry and stringy. So really, walk away. After 5-8 minutes, re-approach and start step 4.

Step 4: Start pulling

The “pulling” in this step is a bit of a misnomer. It’s really more of a gentle stretch. This is also the step that is easier to show than to tell, but here goes nothing. When the curds have become very pliable and start to look like silly putty, you want to pull a portion off the main group and start to gently press any lumps that you see into the smooth mass. stretch the cheese until very few lumps remain. Then knead the cheese into itself and form a ball. You want the top of the cheese to look smooth and free of any air bubbles. Once you’ve achieved your desired shape, move to step 5.

Step 5: Chill the cheese

Drop the formed cheese into the ice bath and allow to chill for 10 minutes. The cheese will feel as firm as the curds felt before you put the in the hot water. If you take the balls out before they are properly chilled they will sag and become like cheese disks rather than balls of mozzarella.

Step 6: Eat!

As soon as the cheese is chilled you can eat it. If you can’t eat it all right away, store it in the fridge covered in either plastic wrap, or submerged in some of the water that the cheese was chilled in. Whatever you choose, the important thing is to keep oxygen out.

Give this a try. It’s really like therapy. When you make something from scratch it gives you a whole new appreciation for it. Oh, and if you can’t find mozzarella curds, you can make the curds on your own, but it takes 5 gallons of milk to make 1 pound of mozzarella, so that’s a lot of milk and time that most of us just don’t have.

Always thinking of the next meal


2 Responses to “Mozzarella Pulling”

  1. Diane Grant January 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    I liked that one too Katie, but is it cheaper to buy than for me to try that??? Maybe your Mom and me can try it one night.

    • mrsmarquiss January 24, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

      hmm, I’ll have to see if there’s a good place to get mozz curd around you guys. Maybe whole foods would sell some. I’ll let you know what I find out 🙂

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