Cottage Cheese
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.