Cottage Cheese Making Recipe

Cheese Making photo for Cottage Cheese Making Recipe

Cottage cheese is a mild flavored cheese product. It is drained, but not pressed; so some of the whey remains with the curds. The curds are generally washed to remove acidity which provides a sweet curd cheese. It is not aged or colored. Different styles are made from different milk with various fat levels. Pressed cottage cheese is farmer cheese or queso blanco. Cottage cheese may be eaten straight or with fruit, or as an ingredient in recipes. This is an old fashioned large curd cottage cheese with a clean acid flavor which will keep under refrigeration in an airtight container for up to a week.

Ingredients

Procedure

Gently heat milk to 86°F over medium low heat.

Add the diluted calcium chloride to the milk and stir gently for 30 seconds.

Sprinkle the Mesophilic starter over the milk surface and let it rehydrate for 1 or 2 minutes. Gently and thoroughly stir the culture into the milk. Let the milk ripen with the cover on at 86° F for 30 minutes.

Stir the dissolved rennet gently into the milk. Cover and allow the milk to rest undisturbed for 30-45 minutes at 86°F or until there is a clean break.

Cut the curd into ½ inch slices. Turn the pot 90°and repeat the process, forming a grid pattern. Continue using a curd knife to gently break up the curd into approximate ½" cubes. Be very gentle and do not make the pieces too small. Avoid mashing the curds together.

Slowly heat the curd in a double boiler or kitchen sink full of water to 115° F by increasing the temperature of the curd 2 degrees every five minutes until the target temperature is reached. The curds will shrink as the heat forces whey from the cheese. The entire cooking process can take from 1 to 1½ hours.

Line a colander with fine cheesecloth. Pour the curds and whey into the colander and allow them to drain for 5 minutes. Take the bag of curd and rinse in cool water. This removes some more of the whey, reduces the acidity of the cheese and prevents the curds from matting together.

Hang the curd to drain for one hour.

Remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and place in a bowl. Break up the curd mass into smaller pieces with your hands but do so gently. The size of the finished curds is up to you.

Finish by tossing in ¼ teaspoon flaked salt. For a creamier consistency, stir in 2 Tablespoons half and half cream. Store cottage cheese in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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