Thursday, February 23, 2012

Making cottage cheese from cows milk

We are in high milk production now so are finding a bunch of great ways to use Rosebud’s contributions. I can’t

We have been playing around with cheese making and have made yogurt cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella, and just recently cottage cheese.

The cottage cheese has turned out wonderful. Here is what we did.

Step 1. Heat 2 gallons of skimmed milk up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit's and add in a cup of cultured buttermilk. Let sit for an hour. (We used fresh raw milk that I squeezed from our cow with my own two hands. Not sure how we’ve gotten to this point but none the less I am a cow milker by morning and night).

Step 2. If the milk hasn’t curdled yet (sometimes it has for us) add a rennet tablet to a quarter cup of milk and when dissolved stir in with milk and buttermilk culture for a good half minute or there about.

Step 3. Let sit for 45 mins keeping the temperature at around 90 degrees F. The magic heat retention bag is great for this.

Step 4. When the substance is at a clean break stage, cut the white substance in half inch cubes. Then cut the good at a 45 degree angle to chop up the cubes into nice size pieces. Ours looked like the below after cutting the cubes to pieces.

Step 5. Let sit for a bit. I saw 5 mins as one suggestion. We just waited until we couldn’t wait any longer.IMG_1446

Step 6. Raise temperature to 99 degrees F

Step 7. Decrease temperature to 85 degrees F. We did this by adding cold water but I think we’ll just put the pot in cold water next time so we don’t waste the whey.

Oh, the yellow liquid stuff is whey. Keep this stuff. You can make ricotta out of it we hear. We’ve been cooking rice and spaghetti in it. The rice and spaghetti is delicious. It’s tastes kind of like cheese and anything that tastes like cheese is great in my books.


We poured out about half of the way then added cold water to decrease the temperature. Then we poured out the contents through a colander.


As you see Milly is the one pouring the big pot. She’s pretty tough. She was in charge this time around and I was just in the way mostly. We find that whoever starts the process is best to finish as it will end in an argument otherwise.

For example, if I start doing it my way I’d rather fail miserably and have Milly tell me “told you so”, then to have her step in and do it the right way. And she’d rather do it the right way than my nonchalant way that usually ends in misery and pain. Go figure.


You can see the curds below. We poured them all into the colander and let them drain.


We added salt. We didn’t add that much, just enough for it to taste wonderful and then let the curds drain over night.


Here’s the bottle of whey we saved to cook rice and stuff in.    IMG_1449   This is a dry curd. We covered and stored in the fridge over night. Fias Co Farms says to do it for a couple of days as the culture is supposed to keep working its magic and get nice and tasty. But we ate it before the couple of days was over. We did add cream after the cheese sat overnight so it was more moist when we served to Grey beard, Dancing Queen and the kids.

Not too surprising but Ringo didn’t like the cottage cheese all that much. He’s not that big of a cheese fan which I don’t really mind. Milly and I often say to each other “I sure hope the kids don’t like this food so we can eat more of it.” I wouldn’t call us greedy, just really compassionate when it comes to our kids not liking the wonderful food we make.


I love cottage cheese and this wasn’t that hard to do. This made about 2 lbs of cottage cheese. Too bad it was gone in less than 2 days.


I also volunteered to get rid of the last remnants of a gallon container of milk. It’s only acceptable if it’s the last bit of milk in the container and the kids are in bed (so says Milly).


There’s a bunch of good recipes out on the internet. I’ve listed some sources below.

They mostly say cheese making is tough and takes a great craftsman to get it right. I haven’t found that at all. I mean if I can do it surely it’s not that tough. I don’t really even follow the recipe all that close. Of course there is a slight difference in my cheese and Milly’s cheese but hey, who’s keeping score.

Cheese making links

Fias Co Farms – Cottage cheese

Heavenly Homemakers - Mozarella cheese

David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D. -  Beginning cheese making

Simple Green Frugal Co-Op - How to wax cheese

5 Acre’s and a dream – Lot’s of cheese links under real food links on the right hand side

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