How to Stretch Shy Brothers Farm Mozzarella Curd
Recipe type: Technique
  • Shy Brothers Farm Fresh Handmade Mozzarella Curd
  1. Bring curd to room temperature. When opening the bag, try to capture any whey that is with the curd.
  2. Prepare cold saline bath: In a large pan, thoroughly dissolve 1 pound of non-iodized salt with 2 quarts of water. If you have whey, including any you recover from the sealed bag, add it also. The bath should be deep enough to fully cover your finished mozzarella balls. This is a cold-water bath that stops the process, and you can use ice, or chill the whey down first to be sure it’s really cold.
  3. Slice the curd into small pieces of uniform size, (ex. inch by inch by inch,) keeping in mind that the point is to let the curd melt evenly. If one piece is large, its center won’t melt like a smaller piece would.
  4. Place the curd pieces in a wide stainless steel bowl.
  5. Bring a pot of unsalted water to below boil.
  6. Pour the water around the edge of the bowl so that it slides down the colder steel toward the curd cubes. Don’t pour directly onto the curd. This technique, called “tempering,” lets the bowl, the water, and the curd (and your hands) heat up gradually and uniformly.
  7. Continue to pour hot water, quickly around the edge of the bowl, to “temper” the curd, bringing it uniformly to from 135°F to about 165°F. If you are going to use your hands without gloves, let your hands warm up gradually with the curd by gently tossing the curd to heat it evenly and penetrate the interior of the cubes.
  8. Heat the cubes just until they melt, which you can gauge by pulling the curd over a wooden paddle or large spatula. You can tell when the cubes are melting because that’s when they starts stretching.
  9. Gently stretch the curd using the paddle as quickly as possible, doubling the stretched curd over, letting it fall on itself, looking for lumps. Too much stretching will make the mozzarella tough. The look should be “smooth and shiny.”
  10. Pinch off an end, shape into a ball, and push the pinched edge into the center. Drop quickly into the cold saline bath. Continue. Start with a bath time of 5 minutes, which many find to be the limit. Too long will be too salty. You can always put the mozzarella back in the bath. 20 minutes is absolute maximum.
  11. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours and then package in a plastic bag, twist tied, with a little water. (Maybe experiment with the whey, it is not salted.)
Recipe by Shy Brothers Farm at