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American Mozzarella

“American mozzarella” is the cheese commonly used on American pizza. It is made using citric acid for acidification instead of bacterial fermentation as in other cheeses. It is very elastic, melts well and strings when hot.


  • 5-quart covered stainless pot with heavy bottom
  • 1 cup pyrex measuring cup
  • 2 cup pyrex measuring cup
  • Thermometer
  • Long-bladed knife
  • Sterile handkerchief or non-terrycloth dish towel
  • 8-inch strainer
  • Receiving container to catch draining whey
  • 1000 watt microwave oven


  • 1/2 tablet Junket® Rennet Tablet
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon citric acid
  • 1 gallon milk (whole milk for a richer flavor or skim milk for low calorie cheese)


  1. Warm milk over gentle heat 88º F (31ºC), take care not to scorch.
  2. Dissolve 1-1/4 tsp. citric acid powder in 1/2 cup cool water. Add to 88º F milk, stir well.
  3. Dissolve 1/2 tablet Junket® Rennet into 1/4 cup cool water. Stir thoroughly into warmed milk mixture. Let set undisturbed for 1-2 hours, until a clean break is achieved.
  4. Cut curd into 1/2 inch cubes.
  5. Warm the curds and whey over low heat, stirring gently to warm evenly and keep the curds separated until temperature reaches 42º C (108ºF). Hold at 42º C for 35 minutes, stirring every five minutes to keep curds separated and off the bottom.
  6. Collect curds by pouring curds and whey through a fine cloth held in an 8-inch sieve over a 1 gallon container, let drain for 15 minutes. Save whey to make ricotta if you wish (see recipe).
  7. Break up curd, mix in 1 teaspoon salt thoroughly.
  8. Place 1 cup of salted curd into 2-cup measure.
  9. Microwave on high for 45 seconds
  10. Separate hot curd from container with the back of a fork, knead with hands to distribute heat evenly. Heat again for 20 more seconds. Stretch and fold to make smooth and elastic, shape into a soft ball.
  11. Drop into cold, salted water (1/3 cup salt per quart), let sit in refrigerator for a day, store in an airtight container. Use within a week or so.

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