Serious Eats: Recipes

How to Make Mozzarella

Editor's note: To commemorate the seventieth anniversary of New York's beloved Murray's Cheese, our Tam Ngo visited the cheese shop to make mozzarella with the pros. —The Mgmt.

Clockwise from left: curds, the wrong way to pour water, stretching, balls in brine. [Photographs: Tam Ngo]

Making mozzarella at home is ridiculously easy, especially if you've got Kevlar hands. Mozzarella is a pasta-filata style of cheese which involves hand-stretching hot curds into pliable strands. Like pulling bread dough, the point is to manipulate it just enough to improve elasticity, but not so much as to toughen the thing.

At Murray's Mozzarella Making class at Murray's Cheese in New York, I learned that my desk job makes me ill-equipped to endure blazing hot baths of cheese. These pampered hands turn a furious pink at any temperature above tepid. As Taylor Cocalis, our instructor, praised the moisturizing virtues of whey, I cursed my milk-scabied fingers and the lactic acid that aggrieved them. (A tip for those with similarly tender digits: a triple layer of Latex gloves.)

Raw hands aside, the class was a raging success. Taylor moved us through instruction with such efficiency, I managed to make two pounds of mozzarella before the night was over. (I am still eating through the bounty.)

Be sure to check out Murray's website for their budding roster of hands-on courses.

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Murray's Recipe for Making Mozzarella from Pre-Made Curd

If you're feeling ambitious, New England Cheesemaking Supply Company gives tips on how to make your own curd, but the process of making mozzarella is even easier if you start with store-bought. In New York, it's available at Di Palo Selects.

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