- Offering housemade mozzarella doesn’t just give you fresher, better-tasting cheese. It has marketing advantages as well.
- It won’t be perfect the first time, but you will learn a lot about technique as you go along.
By Chef Santo Bruno
There are some advantages to making your own mozzarella in-house. It gives you something unique to market about your restaurant, allows you to control the freshness and quality of your cheese and, in some cases, can even save you money. However, like dough, making mozz isn’t something you can master the first time you try it. But once you’ve got it down pat, the product can be very satisfying. Here is the process. Try it out, use it on a couple of pizzas and see what you think.
20-qt. stainless steel pan
Strainer to fit all the curd
Slotted ladle, tongs or spoon
1 pack (20 lb.) of curd (sold by cheese supplier)
2 cups salt
- Fill a pan with water to cover all the curd and bring water to a boil.
- Add two cups of salt and bring to an idle for a minute or two. Make sure the water doesn’t get cold because then the curd will get hard. Be careful here, because once the temperature reaches 250° to 300°, you run the risk of overcooking the curd.
- Turn off heat and leave curd in the water for 30 minutes or less.
- Remove one piece at a time and cut into desired sizes. Make sure the curd is soft, which will make it easier to process and roll. The harder the curd is the harder it will be to roll.
- Roll the pieces the same way you roll pizza dough. Place in strainer to drain.
- Seal the ends, bring your piece into the shape of a pear and wrap in a plastic.
- I recommend storing the mozzarella two days before using it.
It won’t be perfect the first time; you will learn a lot about technique as you go along. Remember, just like pizza dough, practice makes perfect.
About 20 pounds of curd will produce approximately 30 pounds of cheese. If you like, you can also add your own herbs to the cheese to flavor it, such as basil or pesto. If you like a little extra salt, add it to your taste. But experiment and learn the technique before you take the next step and start adding your own flavors.
Once you have mastered the process, be sure to let your customers know that you’re using fresh, housemade mozzarella on your pizza. This will give them something to talk about as they are eating at your restaurant or pizzeria and can help in generating word-of-mouth advertising.