Make one gallon of milk from the powdered milk. Add buttermilk, let clabber *, then heat on low heat until it forms a curd. Let cool. then strain through cheesecloth. This makes a very dry cottage cheese.
* clabber: milk that has soured and thickened; curdled milk.
Also known as pot cheese or farmer's cheese, this type of cheese derived its name from the cottages it was produced in. This cheese tastes great by itself or with fruit added to it right before it is served
1 Gallon Fresh Milk
4 oz. Mesophilic Starter Culture **
1/4 tab Rennet *
* rennet: A dried extract made from the stomach lining of a ruminant, used in cheesemaking to curdle milk.
Mix 1 gallon fresh milk with 4 oz. of mesophilic starter.
Mix 1/4 tab Rennet into two tablespoons of cool water. Mix this into the milk thoroughly using a whisk and stirring for at least 5 minutes.
Cover and set aside to ripen for about 20 hours at room temp (70°F / 21°C).
The milk should be a firm curd within 20 hours, however the full 20 hours is needed to develop the correct flavor.
After 20 hours cut the curd into 1/2 inch cubes.
Allow the curds to firm up for 15 minutes.
Over the next 30 minutes slowly raise the temperature of the curds to 110°F (43.5°C).
Cook for an additional 45 minutes at 110°F (43.5°C).
Stir the curds often to prevent them from matting.
The curds should have greatly shrunken and sunk to the bottom of the pot.
Line a colander with a cheesecloth and drain the curds.
Allow the curds to drain for 5 minutes.
Lift the curd filled cheese cloth from the colander and repeatedly dunk into a bowl of ice cold water for at least three minutes.
Drain the curds and place in a bowl.
Season the curds with a teaspoon of salt, herbs, etc. Use more or less to taste.
Place the cheese into a sealable container into a refrigerator. A few tablespoons of cream may be added if desired.
** Mesophilic Starter Culture
Cheese cultures are necessary to inoculate the milk with friendly bacteria. These bacteria serve two functions. First, they cause the milk to become more acidic aiding its coagulation. Second, the bacteria help develop the flavor of the cheese.
Cheese cultures are divided into two basic types mesophilic and thermophilic. These terms describes at the temperature the culture thrives at. Mesophilic (from the Greek words meso - meaning intermediate and philic - which means loving) cultures thrive around room temperatures. Thermophilic (from the Greek words thermo - meaning heat and philic - which means loving)cultures require a higher temperature. Professional quality cultures can be bought from a cheesemaking supply company. They are usually available in a freeze dried form. A home-spun method is to use cultured buttermilk as a mesophilic starter or fresh yogurt as a thermophilic starter.
This simplest of cultures can generally be used for all recipes requiring a Mesophilic Starter. The taste of the final product will vary slightly from that of a true cheese culture.
Start with 2 cups of fresh store bought Cultured Buttermilk.
Let the 2 Cups of buttermilk reach room temp. (70°F/ 21°C).
Then allow the buttermilk to ripen for about 6-8 hrs. (Store bought buttermilk does not have a high enough concentration of bacteria to serve as a starter culture without ripening.)
The resulting buttermilk will be much thicker and sour then what you started with. It should have the consistency of fresh yogurt, if it doesn't let it sit a few more hours.
Pour this culture into a full sized clean ice cube tray and put into your freezer. As with all steps of cheesemaking, cleanliness is next to godliness.
Once frozen, remove the cubes and put into a clean sealed container or plastic freezer bags. It is a good idea to label the container to distinguish it from your thermophilic culture.
The resulting ice cubes are each 1 oz of mesophilic starter.
Add these cubes (thawed) to your recipes as required. The cubes will keep for about one month.
To make more starter simply thaw one cube and add into 2 cups of fresh milk. Mix thoroughly with a fork or a whisk. Allow the milk/culture to stand at room temperature (70°F/ 21°C) for 16-24 hours or until the consistency of fresh yogurt. Then follow from step 5.
Small curd cottage cheese
1 Gal. milk, whole or skim
1/2 c Instant non-fat dry milk*
1 c Buttermilk
*Optional, but does add a little extra body. Pour the
milk into a 6 quart, heavy pot. Add the dry milk if
you are using it. Set the 6 quart pot into a larger
pot, double boiler fashion, filling the larger pot
with enough water to come up the side of the smaller
pot about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way. To get the milk to 86°F,
turn the heat on under the larger pot for 2 - 3
mins. Stirring the milk slowly. Then turn off the
heat, not stirring and wait a few minutes. Check the
temp., and if it is not warm enough repeat the
procedure. This is where a floating dairy therm. is
very useful. It will be very accurate as well as not
need to be removed from the milk and will not cool it
when put back in. If you start with relatively warm
water in the lower pan, it should not take more than
one or two times of heating the pan to reach the
desired temp. At 86 deg., add the buttermilk to the
milk. Stir it in well, then leave the therm. in the
milk. By covering the pot and checking the temp. a few
times, hold the temp. at 86°F. for 12 hours. This
allows the curd to form. The curd should be a bit
firm, or custard like. Cut the curd into 1/2" pieces.
Allow the cut curd to set for about 30 mins. after
cutting to allow more of the whey to seperate, keeping
the temp. at 86°F. Then slowly begin to cook the
curd until the temp. reaches 100 - 104°F. Use the
same method of heating as before. Don't hurry the
process.Allow about 30 mins. to reach 100 - 104°F.
If hurried, it will cause the curd to shrink on the
outside and harden and be mushy inside. Stir gently
once in awhile for even heating and to prevent the
curd from sticking together. This will also allow you
to cutup any oversize curd. As the temp. rises, it
will require more frequent stirring as it firms and
separates from the whey. Remove curds from the heat as
soon as they firm and reach the desired temp. Line a
large colander with 2 - 3 layers of clean cheese
cloth. Using a measuring cup, scoop out the curd into
the colander. Allow to drain for several mins, then
rinse curd by immersing the cheese cloth & curd in
lukewarm water. Allow to drain for several more mins.
Place drained curd into a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1
Tab. plain salt and mix with hands or spoon to blend
evenly. Put into a covered container and chill. When
cool, taste for salt and add if needed. Then add a few
tblespoons of heavy cream or sour cream, if desired.
Yield is about 1 1/2 pounds. This is very different
from "store bought" with a much better texture and
flavor. Once you start making this, you may never buy
it from a grocery again.
Recipe By: Karen Visocky
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