Mozzarella Sticks from Scratch

I love baked mozzarella sticks. I could eat them every day. I like them dipped in marinara, pizza sauce, or ranch. They are even good dipped in barbecue sauce. But I absolutely can not bring myself to compromise my firm no-hydrogenated-oils belief to buy  the store-bought sticks.

No, homemade aren’t fast and easy. No, they aren’t as tasty- in the same way- as store-bought. But they are much healthier, and they are delicious in their own way. The full recipe is at the end of this post and unencumbered by pictures.

Start by cutting your mozzarella into sticks. The number of sticks will depend on what size you want them.

Next, prepare your coating. I combine my egg and water and blend it in my NuWave Twister. It’s a knockoff of the Magic Bullet; Wal-Mart has similar blenders. I don’t know what I would do without it! I bought it at a Goodwill, and it’s so handy. I make my baby food in it, Danny uses it to make smoothies… it’s well worth the $20 I would have paid to buy it brand new. It’s really something every kitchen should have.

I also blend my breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning in the Twister. It breaks the crumbs up even more and really incorporates the seasonings.

With the egg and water, and breadcrumbs and seasonings blended and ready to go, it’s time to start dipping. I have found that “double dipping” my mozzarella sticks helps them to stay together when baked. Otherwise, they spread out and I end up with mozzarella melts. Not easy to dip.

Using a fork, dip a stick in the egg mixture…

…and then into the breadcrumbs. Once the egg dip gets low, I swirl the bowl around to get the stick completely covered. Make a “well” in the center of the crumbs. Set the stick (still on the fork) into the well.

Use the second fork to cover it completely.

Set the stick onto a baking pan (I never grease mine), using the second fork to slide it off of the first.

I usually do this single-coating for all of the sticks before going back through and doing the second coating. This gives the breadcrumbs time to “set up” and keeps them from coming off into the egg mixture when dipped again. After ever stick has been coated once, start again by dipping each stick in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs. Set the sticks the freezer for at least an hour.

Bake the sticks at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes. It’s hard to get an exact time for baking. Sometimes they take more time, sometimes less. You’ll want to watch for small cracks in the coating. WARNING: If you let them bake too long, they will completely melt. I do this often, usually because I’m making pizza, bread sticks, and salad while these are baking. 🙂 Keep an eye them!

Homemade Baked Mozzarella Sticks

1 c homemade bread crumbs (store-bought works, but it’s worth using homemade!)

1 T garlic powder

2 T Italian seasoning blend

1 t onion powder

2 eggs

1 T water

1 lb mozzarella cheese

Start by cutting your cheese block into strips of cheese. The number of sticks will (of course!) depend on how large you cut them. I usually use the pull-n-peel mozzarella sticks as a size guide.

Blend the egg and water in a blender. Pour into a small bowl  and blend the breadcrumbs and seasonings. Place the breadcrumb mixture into a small bowl as well.

Spear a cheese stick with a fork. Dip it into the egg mixture, being sure to coat all sides of the stick. Make a well in the crumb mixture with a second fork. Set the stick (still on the fork) into the well. Use the second fork to completely cover it. Place the stick onto a baking pan (I never grease mine), using the second fork to slide it off of the first.

I usually do this single-coating for all of the sticks before going back through and doing the second coating. This gives the breadcrumbs time to “set up” and keeps them from coming off into the egg mixture when dipped again. Also, the reason for two forks is simple: my hands stay cleaner. I don’t always have twenty seconds to wash my hands if the baby is screaming.

After every stick has been coated once, start again by dipping each stick in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs. Set the sticks the freezer for at least an hour.

Bake the sticks at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes. It’s hard to get an exact time for baking. Sometimes they take more time, sometimes less. You’ll want to watch for small cracks in the coating. WARNING: If you let them bake too long, they will completely melt. I do this often, usually because I’m making pizza, bread sticks, and salad while these are baking. 🙂 Keep an eye them!

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