Recipe for making your own cottage cheese at home.
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 deg., turn the heat on under the larger pot for 2 - 3 minutes, 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 thermometer. 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 thermometer. in the milk. By covering the pot and checking the temp. a few times, hold the temp. at 86 deg. 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 minutes. after cutting to allow more of the whey to separate, keeping the temp. at 86 deg. Then slowly begin to cook the curd until the temp. reaches 100 - 104 deg. F. Use the same method of heating as before. Don't hurry the process. Allow about 30 minutes. to reach 100 - 104 deg. 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 minutes, then rinse curd by immersing the cheese cloth & curd in lukewarm water. Allow to drain for several more minutes. 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 tablespoons 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.