Pulling Your Own Mozzarella Is The First Step To Perfect Homemade Pizza

There’s nothing like a hot and cheesy pizza. Whether you like your pizza thin crust or deep dish, or with any assortment of toppings, chances are you are really into that mozzarella.

Chef Michael Davis of Kid Brother Pizza Bar in New York City began his pizza bar concept as a pop-up mid-pandemic before it ultimately expanded into a stand-alone pizza bar in the UrbanSpace food hall at Union Square.

The chef is a pizzaiola in the most authentic sense of the word, because he doesn’t only make his own dough at his popular pizza bar, but he also pulls his own mozzarella cheese.

At a time where everyone is on a tighter budget than ever and we’re all trying to do more at home, pulling our own mozzarella cheese can be a really fun activity for at—home cooks.

Whether planning a family pizza night or just looking to expand our culinary prowess, this process is shockingly easy – and the results are delicious.

Chef Michael Davis was kind enough to demonstrate his process. He begins his hand-pulling by starting with 1.25 lbs of fresh cheese curds for every pound of cheese he wants to make.

While this may be a small quantity for a solo home chef or a couple having date night in the kitchen, the amount may quickly expand if planning for a larger occasion, such as Christmas dinner.

Next, Davis will break up the curds into smaller pieces before he puts it in a pot of water that has been salted and heated to 175-degrees Fahrenheit.

“Start to stir it until the curds start to come together (between 2-5 minutes). When the curds start to come together you start to stretch it until it starts to look shiny (less than 5 minutes – not too long as the more you work it the more water comes out which is not ideal),” said Davis.

At this point in the cheese pulling process, Davis says you have a choice on how to proceed. “Either form it into a ball (for burrata) or form it into a block in a storage container that can then be chopped or sliced.”

The mozzarella is best served within three hours. “During downtime it can be refrigerated but keeping it longer than that affects the taste and consistency,” said Davis.

Pro tip: “Cool the liquid it was cooked in to room temperature and store the cheese in that,” said the chef.

At this point, all that is left to use that mozzarella on your pizza with your choice of toppings — though you may just find yourself eating it all way before it gets to the pizza oven!

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