New York And Thin Crust
For New York and thin-crust American-style pizzas, use shredded low moisture mozzarella. This works well with the longer baking times of a home oven and gives the iconic American pizza taste and texture.
Low moisture mozzarella in a block is best shredded yourself and spread out over the pizza. It melts evenly over the base and gives each slice a perfect amount of cheese. You typically need to use a decent amount of cheese to cover the whole base, so fresh mozzarella isnt suitable as you cant shred it.
New York style and replicas made in your home oven are intended to be eaten by the slice in your hands. You need a crisp base that can hold its weight. You can only get this with low moisture cheese.
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Tips On Using Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh mozzarella can be made from cows milk or from water buffalo .
Cows milk vs buffalo
Cows milk mozzarella is what is most common, especially outside of Italy. It is cheaper and the most popular cheese on Naples style pizza. It has a fresh, creamy taste which is perfect on a Margherita.
Buffalo milk has more fat and protein than cows milk mozzarella so makes a more premium-tasting cheese. Mozzarella di bufala is even wetter and softer than cows milk mozzarella meaning it can make the pizza even soggier. What I like is to cook the pizza and then add the cheese after. This makes it melt slightly into creamy pools. This cheese is more expensive so I just use it when trying something special.
How To Prepare Fresh Mozzarella
There are a few ways you can prepare mozzarella which can be characteristic to the visual outcome.
- Simply tearing pieces of mozzarella the size of your thumb is the easiest way to go.
- One of my preferred ways is to slice the mozzarella into thin strips a similar size to your pinky finger. I first saw it this way when I had the famous Naples pizza, Pizzeria da Michele.
- Cutting into slices also works, but you get larger pieces of cheese on the pizza and more gaps with no cheese.
Dry Your Fresh Mozzarella
Again, I like the Galbani brand which is widely available. But you also cant beat going to an Italian supermarket or deli and picking up their recommended mozzarella.
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Not Knowing That Mozzarella Is A Soft Cheese
What does it mean by acknowledging Mozzarella is a soft cheese? Well, there are two kinds of cheese, soft and hard cheese. While hard cheese such as Parmesan and Gouda are firm in texture and appearance, soft cheese like Mozzarella, on the other hand, is extremely soft, mushy, and tender.
This characteristic makes Mozzarella extremely sensitive to cutting and shredding. Under a few chops, the cheese texture can immediately collapse, and you cannot get any shreds out of it. Many people dont notice this fact and keep shredding Mozzarella like when they successfully did with hard cheese until they found out that they cannot achieve the same result.
Soft cheese like Mozzarella can easily break down if you push it too far in a cheese grater, and thats when you fail when trying to grating mozzarella. Thats the same mistake people usually find on how to reheat mozzarella sticks as well.
How To Make Them
In a blender or food processor add the cut up fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese, parsley salt, bread and egg. Mix together until well combined. It will be slightly sticky.
If you need to lightly dampen your hands with water and form into golf ball size balls. Roll in milk then roll in bread crumbs. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or plate and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes. Or even overnight if you wish.
Remove from the fridge and cook, if frying drain on a paper towel lined plate for about 10-15 seconds before serving.
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Neapolitan Style In A Pizza Oven
For Neapolitan-style pizza in a pizza oven, use fresh mozzarella. Cows milk mozzarella is better than buffalo mozzarella as it releases less liquid. Either should be drained well before using.
The Neapolitan style calls for dots of slightly melted mozzarella surrounded by lots of tomato sauce. You get less of the cheese pull effect this way, but more emphasis is on the dough which has a better character from the higher temp oven.
The cheese has less time to release liquid as it cooks so fast. A proper wood-fired oven will cook the pizza in 60-90 seconds. Thats why this cheese is better suited to this style and its traditional of course.
What does the AVPN say?
The AVPN regulations state that mozzarella di bufala or fior di latte can be used and should be cut into crescents or thin slices.
Pan Pizza Deep Dish And Other American Styles
For pan pizza and other American styles, low moisture mozzarella is typically usually used but you can mix in some fresh mozzarella too. Be wary of the extra moisture from fresh mozzarella
I love pan pizza as its a sort of anything goes pizza. You can use sliced low moisture mozzarella for a traditional style, or be more creative and mix some shredded low moisture and torn-up fresh mozzarella.
Chicago deep-dish pizza is traditionally packed with low moisture mozzarella rather than fresh. Cracker-style pizza also benefits from using low moisture to keep it crisp.
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How Is Mozzarella Cheese Made
There are two popular methods for making Mozzarella, depending on how the cheesemaker introduces acid to the milk.
In traditional Mozzarella-making, lactic acid bacteria ferment the milk, producing acid, which drops the pH over several hours to create a subtle and complex flavor profile.
In direct-acidified Mozzarella, acid mixes with the milk, lowering the pH immediately without bacteria. Cheesemakers add rennet to strengthen the curd, which is cut and drained after it has solidified.
Next, in the step that defines Mozzarella, the curds are re-suspended in hot, salty brine or whey. There, they are repeatedly stretched and folded either by hand or by machine.
This stretching process releases some moisture, incorporates salt into the curd, and aligns the protein network so that strings form. Continued stretching elongates the protein chain so that at the right temperature and pH, Mozzarella can achieve extremely long strings that stretch without breaking.
S To Make Fried Mozzarella
- To eliminate any unnecessary stress from the process, first prep the cheese for pan frying. Set up a standard breading station by mixing the flour, salt and pepper in one bowl , the egg wash in another and the bread crumbs and Parmesan mixture in a third .
- Next proceed to bread your mozzarella slices by dredging them in flour first , then dipping them in egg wash and finally giving them a good coating of seasoned bread crumbs . You can place them onto a cutting board or sheet pan as you go .
- To fry the breaded mozzarella heat oil over medium heat to 350 F and place only a few pieces at a time . Not overcrowding the pan helps maintain the oil temperature and results in more even frying. Fry each side until golden brown. Carefully flip over using a flexible utensil such as a fish spatula as the melted cheese inside the breading is quite delicate .
- As soon as you are done frying the last batch serve with a side of warm marinara. Garnish with fresh basil and dust with grated Parmesan.
TIP:Do not place the fried mozzarella rounds directly onto paper towels after frying. Chances are that some awesome melty cheese oozed from the casing and it will stick to the paper. Use a cooling rack instead .
How To Dry Mozzarella Using Paper Towels
The second step is t dry the mozzarella on a piece of paper towel. All you need to do is to place the mozzarella cheese in a folded piece of paper towel. Add another folded piece of paper towel on top, and let it dry for at least 15-20 minutes. You can leave it longer, but then I recommend placing the cheese in the fridge until youre going to use it.
To make it even easier to dry the cheese properly, I recommend cutting into sticks. This also makes it easy to use the cheese when youre ready to add it to your pizza.
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Stretch And Shape The Mozzarella
Fill up a large bowl with hot water or heat up the whey liquid and place the curds inside. It may be easier to divide the curds in half and do this in two goes.
Note* Using whey instead of water and add a little extra flavor to the cheese.
Keep the curds in the hot liquid for a few minutes. This is when the mozzarella is taking shape the curds should become stretchy, a bit smooshy, and look a little like melted cheese.
Note* You can also use a thermometer to check when the curds are ready to stretch. Youre looking for an internal temperature of 135F in the cheese.
Finally, remove from the hot whey/ water, add some salt and then stretch and fold the curds onto themselves , like how you would with taffy. Repeat until they become shiny and firm . Then roll into balls and quickly cool them.
If its hard to shape into a ball or comes apart while stretching, place back in the hot liquid and allow to heat up a little more to shape into the final, smooth ball.
You can also make small mozzarella balls .
To do a final set of your cheese, you can, optionally, place the homemade mozzarella ball into ice water for a few minutes or in room temperature whey for 10-15 minutes . Then, its ready to use.
Can They Be Frozen
I would freeze before they are baked or fried. Freeze them on a cookie sheet in a single layer for a couple of hours, once frozen transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container. They will keep for up to 3 months. They can be fried or baked from frozen. They will probably take a bit longer to cook.
So if you are looking for a delicious appetizer for any occasion I hope you give these Double Cheese Mozzarella Balls a try and let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!
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Eggless Fried Cheese Bites
A super addictive appetizer that everyone loves! Check out my ooey-gooey utterly delicious eggless fried cheese bites, aka fried mozzarella sticks. Here is my simple recipe with detailed step-wise pictures.
With the current pandemic situation, we couldnt relish our favorite restaurant food like before. Not that we were eating out regularly before, but those not-so-regular visits also stopped.
What do you do when you crave for your favorite food, make them at home and enjoy! I have quite a few of our restaurant-favorite recipes coming soon on the blog. Stay tuned.
Whats the big deal about this fried cheese? Most of the major fast-food chains and some Italian restaurants serve this addictive fried cheese sticks with marinara. You can also find the frozen ones in many grocery stores.
I am not sure if its an Italian dish or American. Whatever cuisine it may be, its very delicious. Its hard to find eggless cheese bites in the restaurants, and I always wanted to recreate it at home without eggs, and finally, I did it.
Guess what, making restaurant-style food at home is not that complicated, and in fact, you can customize it according to your dietary restrictions and make it even better like these eggless cheese bites.
Now without any further ado, here is my eggless cheese bites recipe. Please check the recipe notes for alternate ingredients and some tips.
What About Burrata
Burrata is similar to a fresh mozzarella ball but when it is shaped, it is filled with soft cheese and cream. So its pretty rich! It is more commonly eaten with salads or bread.
To use burrata on pizza, you put the whole ball on the pizza once it is cooked. It can then be sliced open when eaten, which lets the creamy inside flow out. Its usually used as a topping as such, rather than melted on the base like normal mozzarella.
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Can They Be Baked
Yes if you dont want to fry them then you can bake them in a pre-heated oven for about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to turn them after about 5-6 minutes.
I know most of us are used to eating a stick of mozzarella that is dredged in egg and then dipped in bread crumbs, but I have to tell you these are just as good if not even better. As the Italians say Uno tira laltro. in other words, you cant stop at one!
Remember to use fresh mozzarella and freshly grated parmesan cheese, your ingredients can make or break your recipe.
Extra Melty Fried Cheese Ball Recipe
Get the party started with this amazing Greek-style fried cheese ball recipe! Melting, oozing on the inside and with a wonderful golden brown crust on the outside, this fried cheese ball recipe is pure comfort! I
n Greece Tirokroketes is a very popular meze one can find in almost every tavern and is with no doubt my absolute favourite cheese appetiser . So I was more than excited to finally come up with a fried cheese ball recipe that tastes even better than the ones I ate at my favourite Greek taverns!
So go ahead, try out this super easy fried cheese ball recipe and indulge yourself to that little sin..
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How To Make Fried Mozzarella
How Do You Keep Mozzarella Sticks From Exploding In An Air Fryer
Theres nothing worse than finding all your mozzarella sticks leaked during cooking! Luckily, this recipe is made to help keep that from happening.
A good double breading should keep the cheese on the inside and the golden brown crust on the outside. Make sure you get egg wash and crumbs on all parts of the mozzarella ball for every dip.
Make sure to shake your basket every few minutes, too. This both helps them cook evenly and lets you check their doneness before an explosion strikes.
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How To Make It
This is a great make ahead party food or afternoon snack. You can freeze these and make them the same day, or freeze them up to a week before air frying and theyll still be just as delicious!