MILK. Choose pasteurized milk, preferably the one sold in the refrigerator section. The higher the fat content, the better. Milk with 3.2 – 3.5% fat is an excellent choice as it will result in a creamier taste.
Remember the HYGIENE of your small but important production. The cheesecloth or towel should be clean. After washing, pour boiling water over the cheesecloth and let it dry. Alternatively, iron it before use.
The pot and colander should also be clean. Rinse them with boiling water before using.
STARTER CULTURE. To make the milk curdle, you can use sour cream or yogurt. Each will give a slightly different taste. I prefer using sour cream as it gives a more farmhouse-like taste, while yogurt results in a more diet-friendly option. After the first preparation, you can save some unstrained cottage cheese and use it as a starter culture. It will last for about 7-10 days. I haven’t tried keeping it for longer.
You can use the WHEY after straining the cottage cheese to prepare Okroshka or Pancakes.
How to make FARMER’S COTTAGE CHEESE at home.
Perfect for making delicious Syrnyky
|1-2 days||1 kg / 2,2 lb|
INGREDIENTS (for 1 kg / 2,2 lb of cottage cheese)
- 4 liters / 1 gallon of milk (3.2 – 3.5% fat)
- 2 tbsp of tasty sour cream
4 STEPS of making cottage cheese:
You can find a short video recipe of FARMER’S COTTAGE CHEESE in my Instagram. Let’s be friends!
- CULTURING THE MILK: For this, you need to introduce good bacteria into the milk. Heat the milk until it becomes slightly warm (~ 30°C / 85°F). Add sour cream and mix well with a whisk. Place the milk in a warm place. The warmer it is, the quicker the process will take. The milk should curdle not in the refrigerator but in a warm environment. If it curdles in the fridge or in a cold place, it will become bitter.
- In summer: You can leave it at room temperature; this will take about 2 days. Just avoid leaving the milk in direct sunlight.
- In a cold home: Place it near a heater.
- You can use the oven as well, as I do. Simply turn on the light in the oven and wedge the oven door with a towel to create a small gap. This amount of warmth will be enough for the milk to curdle overnight.
- Do not leave the milk for too long, or it will go sour. Overly sour milk has an unpleasant, overly acidic smell. If you can’t make the cottage cheese right away, place the milk in the refrigerator, but only for a short time.
- HEATING: The milk is ready when you see one large, slightly jelly-like curd (lump) and a bit of whey around it. Heat it on very low flame and gently stir with a spoon, as if cutting through the layers, to ensure even heating.
- Using a thermometer: Heat the curdled milk to 60°C / 140°F. I like the cottage cheese when heated to this temperature. You can heat it starting from 45°C / 115°F, but the higher the temperature, the firmer the cottage cheese will be.
- Without a thermometer: Try the temperature with a clean finger. The milk should be hot enough that you can dip your finger in, but you’ll quickly want to take it out. In any case, you’ll have cottage cheese.
- COOLING: Strain only when the milk has completely cooled or is slightly warm. Do not strain immediately; the cottage cheese needs to form.
- STRAINING & FORMATION: Take a large bowl, a colander, and a cheesecloth or towel. When the whey has drained completely, hang the cottage cheese or place it under a small weight in the refrigerator overnight. To hang it, you can use the oven rack. If you are going to make syrnyky, remember you need dry, well-drained cottage cheese.
Watch the video recipe of FARMER’S COTTAGE CHEESE on my Instagram. Let’s be friends!
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