While stretching is the most enjoyable aspect of producing mozzarella, don't overdo it. The mozzarella will get rubbery if it is overstretched. Simply stretch it for 1-2 minutes, or until it is smooth and not gritty. Overstretching will also crack the cheese.
You can use this technique to make different shapes of cheese. For example, you can make a ball from the stretched cheese by simply twisting it in your hands and letting go; the ball will keep its shape because the string was still attached at both ends. Or, you could make a tube by pulling the end of the mozzarella away from you while keeping the other end tied off. The cheese will stretch around the rope and form a tube.
You can also use the string method to make shapes that are hard to make with other techniques. For example, you could cut strips of mozzarella and wrap them around vegetables such as carrots or potatoes to create stuffed peppers or zucchini boats. Or, you could cut squares or triangles from the cheese and bake them until browned for an easy pizza alternative.
Stretching cheese makes it more flexible so it can be molded into different shapes.
Cook the pizza only until the cheese has browned. This will also help to decrease the stretch. I'm a traditionalist who prefers mozzarella, but according to this: The Ultimate Stretchy Cheese Test, Muenster was the stretchiest cheese. So, if stretching is essential to you, experiment with different cheese combinations.
My mozzarella cheese isn't going to stretch! Jerri's response The secret to the stretch in mozzarella is acidity. Hard curd will float or disintegrate in water if there is insufficient or too much acid. Your slab's pH should be between 5.0 and 5.2 in order for it to stretch effectively when kneaded in hot water. If your pH is low, add more vinegar until it reaches this range; if it's high, use more lemon juice.
If you don't mind a slightly sharp flavor, use white wine vinegar instead of regular white vinegar. It will also help cut the fat content of your cheese.
You can also try using calcium salt instead of plain table salt. This will provide some extra help with the coagulation process.
Finally, heat helps the milk proteins to relax and allows them to stretch further when pressed. So, by heating the milk, you're allowing the cheese to hold its shape better while still maintaining its softness.
You can use a microwave to do part of the job for you. Place a glass bowl inside a larger dish that has been filled with 1 inch of hot water. Heat the mixture on high for 30-60 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave, then drain off the water and proceed as usual with the recipe.
To cut a long story short, mozzarella cheese does go bad, however it may be stored for a long time depending on the type. Your fresh mozzarella will go bad far faster than your aged mozzarella. However, with careful storage in an airtight container and refrigeration, you may be able to extend the shelf life. The taste will become more intense as the cheese ages, but that's what makes it so special.
Mozzarella is a soft cheese that can be eaten alone as a snack or used as an ingredient in many dishes. It can be bought in blocks of varying sizes from the supermarket counter. Or you can buy fresh mozzarella which has still been dripping wet from the milk tank and needs to be packed in water. The cheese will keep its shape better when soaked.
You can eat fresh mozzarella immediately after buying it or within a few days. It will continue to ripen even after you get it home, so if you want it to taste its best, don't delay in eating it!
You should always check the sell-by date on packages of cheese. If it says "use by" then you should use it before then, but if it doesn't then you can keep it for up to one year. After one year, the cheese will begin to smell funny and some people say they can taste alcohol in old cheese, so make sure you don't serve it to children or else they might end up eating it!
1. Mozzarella cheese. We had big aspirations for mozzarella going into this shoot. After all, it's a cheese famed for its stretchiness. But even after half a dozen attempts, we couldn't get it to stretch more than about 20 percent of its original size. Of all the cheeses we tried, this was by far the least stretchy.
2. Cheddar cheese. Cheddar is the default cheese in most households and it did very well in our tests. It can stretch up to 40 percent of its original size.
3. American cheese. This soft cheese got the biggest jump in popularity after World War II when processed cheese products became available. American cheese tends to be thicker than cheddar or mozzarella so it stretches more easily when baked or grilled.
4. Goat cheese. This creamy cheese is usually less stringy than cow's milk cheese but it will still stretch if you use enough heat. The hotter the better; otherwise the sugar in the goat milk begins to caramelize instead of melting.
5. Sheep's milk cheese. Similar to goat cheese, sheep's milk cheese will also stretch if you use sufficient heat.