Cottage cheese got its name from the fact that it could be made in any home or farmstead, provided you had extra milk. Today’s store bought cottage cheese is made from pasteurised milk and uses a culture to precipitate the curds. With the right ingredients, cottage cheese can be made at home and have a much better taste than store bought.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1 gallon milk
- 1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride
- 4 packet mesophilic starter
- 2 tablespoons double cream
Prepare the calcium chloride by diluting the powder in 1/4 cup of water. Heat the milk in a stainless steel pan to 22.2 degrees C and add the diluted mixture.
Add the starter and mix thoroughly. Remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let the pan set at room temperature for 24 hours.
Cut the curd using a long, thin knife into approximately 1/4 inch cubes. Let set for another 15 minutes.
Place the pot back on the stove over low heat. Bring the temperature of the curds up by one degree a minute until the curds reach 37.8 degrees C. Stir frequently. Maintain the temperature at 37.8 degrees Cor 10 minutes.
Turn the heat up slightly and let the curds rise to 46.1 degrees C. Maintain that temperature for 30 minutes or until the curds are firm. Test for firmness by squeezing a curd between your fingers, if it feels similar to pudding; let the curds cook for several minutes longer. Remove the pan from the stove and let sit for 15 minutes.
Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander and let drain for several minutes. Tie the corners and hang the cheese bag for another 5 minutes.
Rinse the bagged curds in a bowl of ice water and then drain again for 5 minutes. Untie the bag and put the cottage cheese into a bowl. Add the cream and stir.
Store, covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. The cheese will keep for about a week.
Tips and warnings
- Add a pinch of salt, herbs or fresh fruit if desired.
- Calcium chloride is not necessary and can be omitted if using raw milk.
- Calcium chloride and mesophilic starter can be purchased online at several different cheese making supply houses.
- If you add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid rennet when you add the starter, you will be making large-curd cottage cheese.
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