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fresh mozzarella for homemade pizza

y
yum Aug 28, 2006 05:50 AM

i want to use fresh mozarella cheese for my pizza but either the sauce was watery or the cheese was too watery.... is there a certain brand i should use for cheese or is it just how it is with fresh mozarella?

  1. ChefBoyAreMe Aug 25, 2008 01:32 PM

    I would definitely stick with fresh, as opposed to low-moisture packaged mozz. My reco would be to slice your mozz and lay the slices on a couple of paper towels. Salt it lightly, then put a couple more paper towels on top, roll it up, and set it aside while you prep everything else. I find that eliminates the soggy whey-pond on pizzas cooked at the types of temps you are likly to get out of a home oven (PS, use a convection setting if you have it on your oven, to help offset the lower temp!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
      tdeane Aug 25, 2008 02:21 PM

      Actually, cutting it into cubes is better than slices. Some people even dry it for hours before using it. No need to salt it.There really is nothing wrong with dry mozzarella and even Dom De Marco at DiFara uses it. It holds up much better in a lower temperature oven. Especially a home oven that only reaches 500 degrees. I believe Dom uses a combination of fresh and dry. That's what I do and it works well. I have a pizza oven that reaches 700 degrees but if I were using my regular oven, I wouldn't use fresh at all. If I had a wood burning oven I would only use fresh. Probably mozarella di bufala but not from Italy. The imported stuff is usually a mess by the time it gets to North America. IMO

    2. msmarabini Aug 25, 2008 10:49 AM

      I've been making fresh pizzas at home lately because it's just so hard to find good pizza in Valencia (my husband is Italian). We always use fresh buffalo mozzarella...(my DH wouldn't have it any other way) but there is a trick for keeping it from making the pizza too watery: Put the pizza in a pre-heated oven with all the toppings (MINUS the fresh mozzarella & fresh basil - if using). A hot oven is important so put your oven on to its hottest setting, turning the temp all the way to the max, it's also good to have a preheated pizza stone or pizza tray to put the pizza on. Cook the pizza about 10 minutes (or according to your dough's recipe) and THEN in the last 5 minutes of cooking, put on the fresh mozzarella & fresh basil, and cook until mozzarella melts (usually less than 5 minutes). This usually does the trick, and I think is the way that the pizzaiolos of Italy do it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: msmarabini
        tdeane Aug 25, 2008 01:13 PM

        No they don't do it that way. Their ovens are so hot that the pizzas cook in only a minute or so. The cheese has just enough time to melt and that's it. As far as buffalo mozzarella goes, it depends where you are getting it from. If you are using mozzarella di buffala from Italy, then you can hardly call it fresh mozzarella. Most of the imported mozzarella from Italy has been frozen and sitting around for a long time. You would be better off using fresh cow's milk cheese made locally or by yourself. The real trick is to dry out the fresh mozzarella before using it. That's how they do it in Italy.

        1. re: tdeane
          Caitlin McGrath Aug 25, 2008 03:25 PM

          Note that msmarabini is in Valencia, Spain, so if she's using buffalo mozzarella imported from Italy, well, let's say it's probably a lot fresher than what we get on this side of the Atlantic. Chowhound is an international site, after all.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
            tdeane Aug 25, 2008 03:31 PM

            I didn't notice that. That does make a difference.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
              v
              VenusCafe Feb 5, 2012 11:22 AM

              I thought MsM was from Valencia California!
              Anyway the Chowhound who suggested Belgioso mozz was absolutely right about it.
              It 'pizzas' really well! I am also amazed at cooking pizzas for 10 minutes, especially THIN crust pizzas! And turning down the oven after it has reached 500-550 is still another thing that I never heard of doing.
              After 25 years of unsuccessful pizza efforts, I finally cracked down on myself and became successful. I do small 10-12 in pizzas, very thin crust, and b/c my oven on the convection roast setting goes up to 550, that is what I use. Actually, instead of turning the oven DOWN, I give my oven and extra 15 minutes at 550 to insure that the pizza stone is up to speed before I start my pizza baking.
              It takes some time for my oven to reach 550, plus the additional stone time, and it has definitely impacted my gas bill, as we now have pizza 2-3X a week since my good fortunate with making pizza this past year.

          2. re: msmarabini
            mschow Sep 18, 2008 09:20 AM

            msmarabini:
            Are you pre-heating the stone in the oven, then putting the dough and ingredients on top of it? I have a pizza stone, but haven't tried using it except to reheat cold pizza (purchased pizza). I'd love to try making my own pizza at home, since I have the stone.

          3. tdeane Aug 24, 2008 01:42 PM

            If you use fresh mozzarella you have to dry it out. Cut it into cubes and let it dry. I squeeze mine with paper towels. If you are using a regular oven I think dry mozza or a mixture of fresh and dry works better than just fresh.

            1. JoanN Aug 28, 2006 02:05 PM

              I like fresh mozzarella on a pizza, but I think of it as a condiment, sort of like pepperoni, instead of the "cheese" itself. I'll place maybe four or five very thin slices on top of a 14" pie.

              For the "cheese," low-fat Polly-O is a good choice, perhaps mixed with some Parmesan, Asiago, or Pecorino. I usually buy either the Grande Skim-Milk Mozzarella or the 50/50 Mozarella/Provolone blend from PennMac.com and freeze it in portions, but use the Polly-O when my freezer supply runs out.

              http://www.pennmac.com/page/27

              And if you like pepperoni, their Ezzo brand simply cannot be beat.

              1. j
                JudiAU Aug 28, 2006 01:26 PM

                Unless your oven reaches 700 degrees I don't think fresh mozzeralla is an option.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JudiAU
                  j
                  jackie de Aug 28, 2006 01:37 PM

                  I agree with Judi, if your making traditional pizza with red sauce, I don't think fresh mozzeralla is needed. If doing a "gourmet" type pizza, then o-k, but do try to press and dry it the best you can so it doesn't weep.

                  1. re: jackie de
                    lynnlato Aug 25, 2008 01:28 PM

                    I have a standard electric oven and have never had a problem w/ using fresh mozz on my homemade pizzas. No watery issues and I don't dry it out in any way. I actually prefer using the fresh mozz when I have it on hand. Maybe it's the brand your using?

                    Perhaps your oven isn't reaching set temperature? Or maybe your not preheating it adequately? I'd turn it up to 450 or 500 and then turn it down to bake your pizza. But no lower than 425.

                    Now, high heat commercial grade ovens are needed to produce that beautiful crust that typically can only be found in restos.

                2. c
                  cheryl_h Aug 28, 2006 01:17 PM

                  Costco stocks Polly-O grated mozzarella. It comes in huge bags, must be 5lbs or so. It's in the frozen food section.

                  1. b
                    Bride of the Juggler Aug 28, 2006 12:30 PM

                    Try smoked mozzarella for a less watery texture and a lovely smoked flavor. Thank you.

                    1. coll Aug 28, 2006 11:17 AM

                      I just started making pizza at home myself, and I've been using Belgioso fresh mozz which I get in a sealed 2 pack at BJs. Not packed in water so it's nice and dry. And as noted, it's great to have around for tomato and mozz salad. I also drain my tomatoes for an hour or two before cooking, to get rid of all the water (actually I save the water for next time I make sauce) or you can buy "pizza sauce" already made; it has to be almost as thick as tomato paste.

                      1. Chocolatechipkt Aug 28, 2006 09:10 AM

                        Also, you can press it in a towel to remove some of the moisture.

                        1. a
                          ashwood Aug 28, 2006 08:34 AM

                          use fresh low moisture mozarella, the best brand to use it... hard to remember... starts w/ a k, like korsomething.... has a green or red striped package.... will get back to you. but definetly use low moisture..... blast....

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ashwood
                            c
                            ciao_ny Aug 28, 2006 09:07 AM

                            I've used fresh Buffalo moz from Costco; inexpensive and real tasty. I think their other fresh comes in a 3 pack, it doesn't dry out or lose it's taste after a few days. Anyhow, you'll finish it all with fresh basil and tomatoes now in season.

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