How to Make Cottage Cheese

Learning how to make cottage cheese is a simple but rewarding skill. Because this recipe does not use rennet for quicker coagulation, however, you will need to plan to make it one day in advance of when you'd like to use it.

All you will need for making cottage cheese is a quart of milk and 1/4 cup of buttermilk. (See how to make your own fresh buttermilk in How to Make Buttermilk.)

Warm the milk slowly to 95°. Add the buttermilk and mix well. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12-18 hours. The milk will clabber into a gel-like consistency.

Using a long knife, slice the clabbered milk into cubes at 1/2" intervals and let rest for 15 minutes.

Cutting Curds to Make Cottage Cheese

Next, using a double-boiler setup (or simply a larger pot with water in it, with a canning ring in the bottom to hold your cheese pot up), heat very slowly to a temperature of 115° F, stirring often. This will take a while, so be patient!

The clabbered milk will begin to separate into curds. The curds should be slightly firm when done. You can cook a few minutes longer if needed.
Heating Curds for Cottage Cheese

Stirring Cottage Cheese Curds

Remove from heat and drain the curds by pouring or scooping gently into a cheese cloth-lined colander placed in the sink or over a bowl.
Pouring Cottage Cheese Curds into Bowl

Draining Cottage Cheese Curds

When the cheese has finished dripping, place in a bowl and salt, if desired. A small amount of milk or cream can also be added for a richer cottage cheese.
Cottage Cheese in a Bowl

Adding Salt to Cottage Cheese

Read Cottage Cheese for more information and serving ideas.


Articles are updated frequently, so check back here for any new information related to making cottage cheese!

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