I made cottage cheese for the first time this week. It certainly is tasty and not hard to make. You’ll need cultured buttermilk for this recipe. I have not tried the mother culture approach to making my own buttermilk, maybe next weekend! 😉
The yield is quite low though… No wonder the organic stuff in the store is expensive! For 4 liters of milk, I got about 4 cups of cottage cheese.
- You’ll need a thermometer, a stock pot and a canning kettle or something large enough for a water bath for the stock pot. Also, make sure everything is clean!! The recipe suggests sterilizing utensils etc with boiling water.
- You’ll need cheese cloth to strain the cottage cheese.
- If you want creamy cottage cheese, add 1/2 Cup heavy cream once the cottage cheese is ready
- You can add salt if you wish at the very end
- You can freeze dry curds
The recipe is adapted from this website: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/making-cottage-cheese-with-buttermilk
Pour milk into large stock pot. Heat the milk to 75°F and remove from heat. (NOTE: Our room temperature is warmer than 75F so be careful not to heat too much!) Stir in 1 cup cultured buttermilk or mother culture. Cover and keep at 75° for about 24 hours.
After 24 hours the milk in the pan will have set to a custard-like consistency. Cut the curd into 1/2-inch cubes, slicing one direction, then rotating the pan to slice in the opposite direction. Don’t be concerned if your cut lines seem to disappear. Let the curd set for 5 minutes.
Heat water in a canning kettle (something big enough to hold the stock pot) to 120F. Place the stock pot in the canning kettle so that the water level is as high as the curds inside the stock pot.
Gently stir the curds for 30 seconds every 5 minutes or so as the temperature of the curds slowly rises. When the curds reach 100°F, increase the heat under the canning kettle until the curds reach 120°F. Hold the curds at this temperature for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring more vigorously every 5 minutes. Most of the curds will be firm now. You can squeeze a few curds to see if they are still soft in the center. (A little soft is OK; runny is not.) If curds are not firm enough, continue to hold at 120°F for an additional 5 minutes.
Line a colander with double thickness of cheesecloth and set it over a container to catch the whey. (Save the whey for ricotta cheese.) Carefully pour curds into the colander and let drain for five minutes. Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and rinse the curds under a stream of very cold water. (Alternately you could dip the curds in a bowl of cold water.) Rinse until the water from the curds runs clear. Let the curds hang to finish draining for 15 minutes.