This is the second time I’ve made mozzarella, and the first time I’ve made it on my own. Taking a class took away some of the fear for me, but I was still a little nervous about making it. Although I’m not sure why – the worst that could happen is I waste a gallon of milk. Or maybe a cheese explosion.
I got all of my equipment and ingredients ready before I started. I decided to use raw milk since I can get it pretty easily (at my neighborhood grocery!). The other advantage of using raw milk is that it’s much more reliable than pasteurized milk. This was very apparent as I went through the steps to make the cheese – we used pasteurized milk in my class, and there was a ton of variation in the results for each of the four groups. But with the raw milk, everything just worked as expected.
It’s amazing to start with just milk and citric acid (and water), apply a bit of heat before adding a teeny amount of rennet (I used vegetable rennet), and ten minutes in a covered pot and the milk is completely transformed into a solid mass. I was off to a good start – the curd had good separation from the whey, which was pretty clear and not at all milky.
I cut the curds up and then stirred again over low heat until the curds had formed a large mass of cheese and was separated from the whey. At this point the cheese is drained, then cut into chunks before stretching. Stretching is the easiest and most fun part of making mozzarella if you ask me. The salted water is very hot in order to get the cheese soft enough to stretch (which is done using gravity and the weight of the cheese, not like stretching taffy), so gloves are needed. But I find that it’s easier to form nice balls of mozzarella without gloves so I remove them once it’s ready to be shaped.
I like the mozzarella plain or maybe with a little salt and pepper. It’s very milky and kind of sweet. Some of this went to make pizzas, though – which is another new thing in my kitchen.
Normally I just pick up dough at Trader Joe’s or a local pizza parlor. It’s good, cheap, and pizza dough has always seemed like too much work to me. But when my favorite bread cookbook authors from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day came out with a pizza book, I knew my days of buying dough were over.
The premise of this book, Zoe and Jeff’s third, is the same as the first two – make up a simple, wet dough and let it rise once, then stash it in the refrigerator, ready to take off chunks as needed. The best part of this book is that weight measurements are now included – it makes the process really easy. I just weigh everything into a big bucket and stir with a wooden spoon, so I don’t have to deal with measuring cups.
We love this dough. I need to practice getting it thinner, but it’s delicious and has just the right amount of chew. I made a simple tomato sauce using canned crushed tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper flakes. The only other things the pizza needed was mozzarella and some fresh basil. Larry got a bit of Italian sausage on his as well. And I’ve still got dough that is sitting in the refrigerator, developing flavor and ready for use over the next two weeks. Dinner can easily be made in a matter of minutes.
The great news is I’ve got a copy of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day to give away, and it’s even signed by ZoÃ« and Jeff! And this isn’t just a one-recipe cookbook – there are recipes for different flatbreads, dips, sauces, and even desserts.
To enter the contest for the giveaway, just post a comment about pizza here – do you make it at home? What are your favorite toppings? A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Here are contest rules:
- Only U.S. residents can enter, and I will only ship to a U.S. address. You must supply a valid e-mail address so that I can notify you if you are a winner (winners cannot be notified by U.S. mail).
- You must be 18 or over to enter.
- You must type your commentÂ€Â entry under the post announcing the contest (this one). Comments will be open until 11:59 PM PST on Monday, March 12, 2012.
- Only one entry in any single contest is allowed. If you post a comment more than once, you will be disqualified. But you can enter in any or all of my contests over time.
- Winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org.
- Prize is one brand new copy of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day.
- If selected, you will be notified by e-mail and you must respond by March 19, 2012 with a U.S. mailing address so I can ship your prize.
UPDATE March 13, 2012: Congratulations to Valerie (random.org results are here), the winner of a signed copy of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day! Thanks to everyone for entering, and stay tuned – I have another copy to give away.
- Classic Pizza Margherita (Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, p. 59)
Well it’s obvious I need this book because I’m still at the point of getting my dough from a local Italian restaurant!
That pizza looks amazing; I would gladly eat it now for breakfast. :)
I would love this book. Although I am guilty of occasionally ordering pizza from Papa John, I do make fresh pizza at home, including the dough. In fact, here is a recipe from my blog for a spicy sausage pesto pizza:
I would love for you to try it and let me know how you like it!
Love pizza w/ fresh mozzarella. I make dough but never tried cheese; thanks for the article! Gotta give it a go.
I’d love this book! I already make their bread all the time. And I do make my own pizza dough, usually with an assist from the dough cycle on my bread machine.
Very cool in your homemade mozzarella! I’m impressed.
Love making pizza at home! I like to keep it simple with mushrooms and onions.
yes, we make it at home.. we use two layers of dough with fried onions in between, mozzerella parmesan and marinara on top.
Tried some of the recipes online. I can never get the dough to work right. I have had the best luck with Trader Joe’s pre-made dough. Couldnt tell you what the difference is- all I know is that the TJ dough stays stretched out, whereas my dough always springs back, like silly putty.
Yep, make pizza at least once a week from scratch. Love their bread book. Love to have their pizza book.
Sharpsville, PA. 16150
I’m totally using my cake decorating skills to make a nerd-tastic pizza!
I love their other books! Totally would make a veg pizza with this.
I have been making pizza with their regular bread recipe. Id love to try their pizza dough recipe. I love making our own pizzas. The kids can customize their own and everyone gets what they want. And it’s fun! What more could you ask for? :)
Pizza is so personal. the ingredients you put into it makes it that way. Love it all vegie less cheese or no cheese at all. and the crust is where its all about.
I love the Artisan Bread recipes and use their basic one to make bread for our family. We also love homemade pizza from scratch in our family. This would be a wonderful cookbook to have! Our fave homemade pizza crust by far is the sourdough deep dish crust…..!!!! Yum!
Just last night I made for the first my very own pizza dough. It turned out pretty good for a first time, I think with time I will get better. Our whole family loves pizza. Thank you for offering this gift. I’m sure whoever wins it will enjoy it thoroughly.
We love the Artisan Bread books and have been making bread almost every day. We just began making the pizza dough and LOVE it! Maybe we will try making cheese now!
We make pizza every Friday night! I often use dough from ZoÃ« and Jeff’s books. Our fave topping is sundried tomato spread, tomato slices, pinch of fennel seeds, fresh basil, shrimp, and shredded three-cheese mix. (Can’t have mozzarella; lactose-intolerant; more’s the pity!) getting the dough thin enough is the biggest challenge. Would love to learn to “throw” the crust!
Making mozzarella for the first time this week. Would love to have this book to go with it
I make homemade pizza (my favorite is with eggplant and ricotta) at least once a week using my 30 minute pizza recipe, but I love the Artisan Bread and Healthy Bread books and have been dying to get the Pizza and Flatbread one, too. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
I love keeping it simple–fresh mozzarella, basil, tomatoes and garlic. Delicious!
I would love to learn how to make pizza dough! I like simple: thin crust, light on the cheese and sauce! Lots of fresh basil and sliced tomatoes.
I am all about the kitchen sink pizza – onions, peppers, bacon, ham, tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, basil – everything but the kitchen sink. Lately though, I have really been enjoying carmelized onions, goat cheese and arugula pizza with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
I love to make pizza at home! But I am having some trouble sliding the pizza off of my makeshift peel onto my bread stone. The pizza usually sticks and becomes odd shaped! But it is still delicious! My favorite toppings are anchovies and black olives.
When I make homemade pizza, I enjoy adding pesto and/ or sautÃ©ed red peppers w extra oregano & fresh black pepper.
I do make pizza at home…following the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe. It is so easy and delicious. I would love to get my hands on their pizza book! :-) Perhaps I’ll try homemade mozzarella as well. My Italian mother-in-law would be thrilled.
Here it’s homemade pizza and a movie every Friday night;-)
I’m still buying prepared pizza crusts to make my “home-made” pizzas. I could use some instruction on making and baking my own.
Pizza pizza! I love mine with LOTS of pesto, veggies & goat cheese!
I love making dough. My favorite pizza has olive oil, fresh garlic, spinach, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, feta cheese, mozzarella and fresh basil. That homemade fresh mozzarella looks great.
I love their other cookbooks, I cant believe the bread comes from my kitchen! Margherita pizza is one of my favorite pizza’s, so I can’t wait to try this!
I have used the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day with great success and would love to try the Pizza and Flatbread book. I enjoy all kinds of pizza but my favorite topping is fresh tomatoes.
I make pizza dough at home, but I’ve used the same recipe for years. I’m really intrigued about this book, as I keep reading good thing about it.
My husband wants very standard toppings–I had to get “sneaky” to introduce him to turkey pepperoni to make things a little healthier! I do pizza sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, maybe Parmesan on top. I’d really like to get more adventuresome. I think I may start doing mini pizzas so we can do our own thing.
I am very intimaded by making homemade bread but this book makes it seem possible so I’m excited to try it.
We only make homemade pizzas at our house. Always the same – spinach/arugula, chicken, romas, black olives, shrooms and light on the cheese! We love our pizza but could use some fresh ideas, for the crust and toppings too!
We love homemade pizza in this house! A little fig and Tamworth ham are our favorite toppings. I’ve just started on the journey of bread baking and this will make my library complete. Thanks for a great offer!
Love their bread book. First time out success! Can’t wait to try pizza.
I have been using their book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day for over a year and bake bread 2-3 times a week. I’m definitely a believer in this method. I have been very curious about their new pizza book. Currently I make fresh pizza dough using Mario Batali’s recipe, making a bunch of crusts, cooking them partway on a stove top grillpan and then freezing them for future use. I would love a chance to win the new book!
I’ve been using the master recipe from Zoe and Jeff’s first book for a long time now for my pizza dough. My kids love making their own pizza. My older son doesn’t like cheese on his pizza so it also spares me the standard “huh?” when ordering from the local pizzeria. My favorites are spinach, mushroom and artichoke hearts and the standard Margherita. So good.
We make homemade pizzas every now and then. Our favorite toppings are pepperoni, onion, and green olives.
I would love to win this book. I have a boy who would eat pizza every day if possible! Thanks so much for doing a great give-away.
We love any kind of pizza here at our house. The only stipulation is that is MUST have extra cheese!!!
Think I’ll try to make my own mozzarella….:)
I use the olive oil dough recipe from ABin5MD. Usually make a batch every other week. Our toppings can vary from the standard pepperoni to my new current fav: no sauce, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, thinly sliced onions. Once it’s out of the oven, drizzle a bit of truffle oil over the top. Haven’t been out for pizza since I discovered how great homemade is. Would love to try out the new book’s recipes.
I make pizza at home all the time. I love to use pesto as the base, then coppa, mushrooms, red bell pepper, fresh plum tomatoes, fresh mozzerella and fresh basil. Yummy!
I am making home made pizza tonight. I make my own dough, sauce and then add what ever fixings I have in the fridge. Tonight’s will be hamburger, home made pepperoni, dried tomatoes, tons of veggies, fresh spinach…it is going to be a party at our house. So a cookbook all about flat breads would work out just fine!
We love pizza… Making my own crusts is something I haven’t tried… I am open to the possibilities!
I have been making homemade pizza more often, and love to do so using my cast iron skillets and Lodge cast iron pizza pan. I lightly oil the pan, press out the dough as thin as desired and top. Then put pan on stove top, on high, for 3 or 4 minutes before transferring to oven. Makes a nice, crisp crust, which we enjoy! Now we need to experiment with more toppings!!
Love making homemade pizza! Homemade crust, fresh moz, organic sauce, basil, yum!
Would love this book! :)
I started making pizza at home when I got their first book, “Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day.” It has an olive oil pizza dough recipe that is delicious. Since then, even our favorite take-out doesn’t compare. We try all kinds of toppings. One of my favorites has been mushroom and fontina cheese. Yum! I’d love to get this book and see what else they’ve come up with!
I make pizza about once a week, and love using ‘Artisan bread in 5″ method. My favorite is shaved brussel sprouts, roasted red pepper, ground coriander and sharp cheeses. It is so good! I can’t wait to try making mozzarella.
I don’t make pizza at home but I think about doing it all the time because brick oven type pizza is my favorite food.
Great books! I have a friend that does not eat bread except, when I make it using the recipe from Artisan Bread in 5. Thanks for the chance to win the new book.
Made my first pizza in 1958. I’m sure some things have changed since then. I’d love this book so I could find out. Bet my ham & cheese on rye pizza isn’t in the book. ;-)
I love the Artisan Bread books and I really would like a copy of their pizza and flatbread book. Your cheese looks wonderful. It’s been a while since I made some and now I’m motivated to make a pizza tonight. Have the dough already in the refrigerator.
lamb with spicy tomato sauce
How interesting, I just made a batch of Mozzarella today. I HAVE NOT been able to get it to stretch, but todays batch has a much firmer texture. I promise my 92yr MOM that I would bring her a homemade pizza this Friday. I usually make the Olive Oil Dough in double batches. If company comes, I just pull some off and make rolls, so yummy. Also have discovered you can add all kinds of herbs and spices to water/yeast mix and flavor your dough just adjust for salt content.
So, first thing in the morning. I’ll get busy.
These books are wonderful gifts. I give the book & Flour/yeast/ in a bucket with a bow on top, and it is the gift that keeps on giving. Mine changed my Life,
Favorite toppings: homemade tomato sauce, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives, pepperoncini peppers, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and top with parmesan cheese and wheat or oat bran.
I enjoy making pizza with/for my now adult children……but my crusts are hit or miss. I’d love to someday have my own wood burning oven!
I have all your cookbooks but the pizza one to complete my collection.
The picture of your pizza is so beautiful and mouth-watering. I want to be able to say as you can, that I made the entire pizza from scratch! Thank you.
I love cheese and I’ve always wanted to make my own. I might have to take a weekend and follow this recipe. Thanks for the inspiration.
As for favorite pizza, I love funky toppings, like artichoke hearts, figs, lobster, you name it. My favorite though, if I could only pick one, is mushrooms.
Fave toppings mushrooms and green olives
I have always used a recipe for dough from Fine Cooking, but I bet this one is good. My favorite pizza is a classic margherita, but I’m fond of white pizzas too. The cheese looks perfect, Sheri!
If the food gods hadn’t chosen grilled cheese for me I would most def say making pizza at home is my absolute favorite and one of my talents.
A pizza secret I will share with your fans: Most, if not all, pizza joints will sell you their dough to take home and use. If you have a favorite place (like Arinell’s Pizza) and you want to make your own version at home, just go and ask! I have done this from FL to NJ to CA and only 1 place in Berkeley said no.
So once I have my dough I enjoy making thin crust pizzas of various kinds: Mushroom/pep, Carmalized onions and goat cheese and olive oil, Chicken Tikka Pizza, Palaak Panizza, Veggie pizza, etc, etc. I’m actually hosting a pizza night at the end of this month and will try and share some pics!
Oh and I hope I win!
Wow, Sheri! I am truly impressed – it has never occured to me to make homemade cheese. Yours turned out beautifully! I make pizza at home often. I use Wolfgang Puck’s dough recipe and a varitey of toppings, but my favorite is: Proscuitto, Mozzarella, Marinated Artichoke Hearts and finely sliced onion. Your Margherita looks great!
I have NOT tried to make pizza at home, but am hoping that the new book will help me change that and help me make HEALTHY pizza!!!!
Once I tried to make my own pizza from scratch (many years ago!) and it turned out terribly. I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at it again!
Normally, I tend to be simple and just do cheese, sometimes pepperoni, but every so often, I mix it up and do garlic and eggplant or something fun like that!
I really want to start making my own dough. You have really got me wanting this book.
I’ve tried to make pizza several times – unsuccesful (as far as taste) so far. We’ve got food allergies (diary, gluter, and corn) in our family so I substitute most of the recipe. I’ll figure it out eventually because I am determined to not let my kids grow up without pizza. My favorite toppings lately are chicken & artichoke.
I’ve been wanting to make my own mozzarella for quite awhile now. Looks wonderful.
I would love to make my own cheese–thank you for sharing your photos! It would be amazing to win the pizza cookbook, thank you for the opportunity!
I have to add that I am envious that you can get raw milk at your local grocer!
I don’t know why but I am totally intimidated by homemade pizza. However, my youngest really loves it, so I am determined to give it a go!
We’ve gotten to the point where we prefer to make it at home. We found a dough recipe we like (although I really want to try the Artisan one!) and we can have dinner on the table in less time than it takes to have it delivered. We love pepperoni, mushroom, onions, and lots of mozzarella!
I like to do margarita pizza on a gas bbq; I make my dough from scratch my friends and family love it. I’ve convinced my that if i get rid of our old broken hot tub that i can build a pizza/bread oven!