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By Christine Clark 

It takes just a few ingredients to craft this richer, creamier cousin of mozzarella. A cheese expert leads you through the process, step-by-step.

On any given day at Murray’s Cheese Shop in New York City’s Greenwich Village, you’ll find some 200 different kinds of cheese, ready for sampling. As someone who has introduced countless customers to myriad mind-blowing varieties, I can say with confidence that one in particular steals everyone’s heart: burrata. And for good reason—silky, milky, and wonderful, burrata is like the best fresh mozzarella you’ve ever had, only better.

Although burrata is not mozzarella, it’s made from mozzarella. More precisely, burrata is a supple pouch of tender mozzarella stuffed with stracciatella, a luscious blend of fresh cream and soft mozzarella shreds.

Invented in southern Italy, burrata began as a frugal way for cheesemakers to use mozzarella scraps. But the concoction was so wonderful, it promptly became a delicacy in its own right. The only trouble is that the cheese’s exquisiteness is ephemeral. Burrata is meant to be eaten within hours, if not immediately, and it’s certainly past its prime after 48. This is the best argument I can put forth for learning to make it. Your own burrata will be fresher, more delicious, and—ultimately—less expensive than any you can buy in a store.

For all its allure, burrata is among the simplest of cheeses. If there’s one thing I want you to hold in mind, it’s this: Yes, making it involves lots of little steps, but this is not a monumental undertaking by any means. The entire process will take less than one hour. (And a mere 15 minutes if you don’t make your own curds!)

I offer you two possible starting points: You can begin by coagulating high-quality pasteurized milk into curds and whey, or you can begin with curd that you’ve purchased. (If you’re doing the latter, start at step 4 in the step-by-step photos below). Don’t feel like you’re cheating if you opt to buy curd instead of making it. Do people who make their own curds stress out about not milking the cow? Of course not. Whether you begin your burrata with milk or with curd, your end result will be delicious. It may take a few tries before you are producing beautiful looking balls of burrata, but regardless, all will taste divine.

Step by Step: How to Make Burrata


1. Add the dissolved citric acid and then the dissolved rennet to the milk mixture and let sit.


2. When the curd resembles a mass of silken tofu, use a long, sharp knife to slice the curd into 1-inch cubes


3. Gently scoop the curds out of the pot into a colander set over a large bowl.


4. For the stracciatella filling, remove one-quarter of the curds to a bowl, and add cream and salt.


5. Transfer the remaining curds to a bowl, and pour or ladle hot water around—not directly onto—them until submerged. Let sit for 60 to 90 seconds.


6. Gather half of the curds into a ball, lift it from the bowl and let it stretch down into the water.


7. Continue to stretch the mozzarella until shiny and elastic.


8. Gently form the stretched piece of mozzarella into a 5- to a 6-inch disk about ¼ inch thick, and spoon the stracciatella filling into the center.


9. Twist the burrata ball to seal and place it into an ice bath. Repeat the process with the remaining mozzarella and filling.


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