Author: Pizza Today
Recipe type: appetizers
- 2 gallons water
- ⅓ cup sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 pound whole milk curd
- In a large stockpot, add and stir the sea salt into the water.
- Bring the water to a temperature of around 160 F.
- Stir again to make sure the salt is fully dissolved.
- Meanwhile, slice the curd off the block into pieces or strips that are similar in size.
- Put the strips into a large stainless steel bowl.
- Pour the hot water around the sides of the bowl, not onto the curds.
- Keep adding water until the curds are completely covered.
- Using a wooden or metal paddle (or large wooden spoon), stir the curds for about five minutes to allow water to be absorbed into the curds.
- Let the curds rest for about 5 minutes.
- Discard about half the water.
- Repeat step No. 3.
- Insert the paddle under curds.
- Stretch the curd over the paddle, working a small section at a time, until the texture is smooth.
- It should have a string-like or taffy-like consistency at this point.
- Continue to stretch the mass, pulling it into a long rope.
- Work quickly - stretch, knead, stretch - to get the mass to a consistent, elastic, silken texture.
- Take the cheese in your hands and begin to fold it under itself, which at this point allows you to pinch off sections and shape into various sizes and shapes.
- Presto! You now have fresh mozzarella.
- Put the cheese into ice-cold water for around 15 minutes to set the shape.
- To enhance the flavor, store your fresh mozzarella in a mild brine (salt and water) solution. Or you can simply store it covered with water, container covered and refrigerated.
- CHEF'S NOTES: When using fresh mozzarella on a pizza, keep in mind that you will use a lot less than when using say part-skim, low moisture mozzarella. In fact, I use 3 to 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella (diced or cut into rounds) on a 14-inch pizza.
- Flavor enhancements: For the ultimate pizza Margherita, you can infuse your fresh mozzarella with fresh basil. At the point of Step 7, add finely chopped fresh basil. Knead the basil into the cheese.