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Mozzarella - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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  • Mozzarella

    Is there something wrong with me if I think the 100% whole milk mozzarella was tastier than the Mozzarella fresca that was packed in water? I used both of several pizzas last weekend and thought the 100% melted more evenly and had more flavor. Did I do something wrong? What is the difference between the two?

  • #2
    Hi Lester---I've been using whole milk Polly-O Mozzarella on my N.Y. style pizza and I also like it more. I guess it's a matter of taste. It is also stringy as you take a bite out of the slice, just as the cheese was growing up in Brooklyn {N.Y.}---Mel


    • #3
      Hmm after reading a few posts i was gona try fresh mozz, cause were i live in new york, i live like 5-10 mins from like, 8 diffent italian stores, were fresh mozz is in abundance, tho i em so used to polly-o .Guess ill try both, me and my father always used the polly-o and no frills when making ,do to growing up on a union construction workers salary .


      • #4
        I'm no expert, but. . .

        Fresh Mozz is essentially a large curd that has not been aged. It is packed in water and is a very fresh cheese.

        "Regular" mozz is taken from the water and aged. AFAIK, the aging process removes moisture and allows secondary flavors to develop.

        They are two different animals entirely. Fresh mozz, esp. Fior de latte or mozzarella de bufala, is used for the Italian-style pizza Napoletana. The Napoletana style is minimalist to an extreme, and relies on delicate flavors in harmony. That's why dough and ingredients are crucial. If you can taste the delicate flavor of the fresh mozz, and if it's in harmony with the tomatoes, basil and the crust, you're in heaven.

        "Regular" mozz, including whole milk, low moisture (i.e Grande, Stella, Sorrento, or Polly-O) is used for American-style pizza, namely NY-style. The American style is "more" of everything, and relies on heavily-spiced sauces and an abundance of toppings. There is "more" cheese, and it has a stronger flavor. Fresh mozz on an "American" pizza would be overwhelmed by everything else.

        One more thing: When using fresh mozz, be sure to slice it and drain it on paper towels for a couple hours before putting it on a pizza. Excess moisture in fresh mozz will render it into ricotta on a cooked pizza.

        Hope that helps.

        - Fio
        There is nothing quite so satisfying as drinking a cold beer, while tending a hot fire, in an oven that you built yourself, and making the best pizza that your friends have ever had.


        • #5
          Making Your Own Mutz

          If you really want to up it a notch you can buy mozzarella curd (Polly-O is a big supplier) and make your own! It costs about $5 a pound and can be bought in 1 to 3 pound increments at various etailers but typically comes in 20 pound packages if you want a bunch. It only takes ten minutes to make it and it is better IMO than what you can buy at the store in the water. Also opens up the opportunity to do things like make a mozzarella log with proscuitto and pesto in the center!!! I haven't tried that as a topping yet but I will soon!

          One last comment, curd freezes well and can be thawed with only minimal degradation from the fresh.


          • #6

            Do you have any photos of the Polly-O, or the process. I would like to see that. Can we put a photo journal together on how you make it. All we need is photos!

            Living in the land of fresh mozzarella, it's hard to think about bad mozzarella. Ouch. I like a moist pizza, so I am happy to tear fresh mozzarella into pieces and put it right on my pizza. Our local restaurant lists a standard Margherita, a fior di latte Margherita, and a mozzarella di bufala Margherita. The waiter (who is great) says "normale o bufala". You can definitely taste the difference -- all other things being equal, and the oven is wood-fired, you can taste the stronger cheese.

            Still, as Fio has noted -- these pizzas are lighter than NY-style pizza. Fio, what is a good NY-style Mozzella? How does it work in your oven for melting, moisture, etc.?

            I am looking forward to hearing more about Polly-0 and good NY-style mozzarella.
            Last edited by james; 12-13-2006, 01:03 PM.
            Pizza Ovens
            Outdoor Fireplaces


            • #7

              if you live in ny and want something that is right between polly o and fresh, there is a place on 187 th street in the bronx, ( arthur ave. ) called casa del mozzarella. they make a dried fresher mozzarella.


              • #8
                Homemade or imported?

                Is their cheese imported or do they make it? Or have they found a good U.S. producer?

                Living on the east coast, and a little more urban, has the advantage of having more Italian deli's. Definitely more than Sonoma country.

                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces


                • #9
                  they make it right there, you can watch thru the window. when i am there i always buy a hunk to eat as i walk the avenue


                  • #10
                    Making Mutz

                    Hi James and All!

                    I will put together some pictures. Making mutz from curd is pretty cool. Only takes about ten minutes and the result is REALLY good cows milk mutz (assuming you are using PollyO curd).

                    I first made mutz from curd at a cooking school in October where we formed sheets out of the hot cheese, put prosciutto on the sheet and covered that with pesto, rolled it into a log and chilled it. At the school we sliced it into rounds and put the rounds on our mesclun salad.

                    HOWEVER, I can't wait to make a log and use it in the place of mutz on a simple pizza - essentially a dressed up margharita. Imagine the possibilities!

                    I will probably make mutz next week and will put together photos and a general recipe/how to.

                    Happy Holidays!