Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese Recipe

The process for making Cottage Cheese involves good dairy bacteria converting lactose to lactic acid. After the bacteria culture activity begins, the milk acidity increases until the milk coagulates into a solid curd that can be cut into small cubes. The curd is then cooked to release moisture, then the curd is chilled to make cottage cheese. Cream can be added to the finished cheese to increase the richness and texture.

Q. Hi. I have tried making this cottage cheese many many times each time trying something different from using raw milk to pasteurized to different milk and each time as soon i start to stir it disintegrates and the end results is more of a chunky spread . What am i doing wrong?

A. So if it’s raw milk and doing this, there has to be something inhibiting the protein/calcium link that forms the curd. I see nothing in the info provided that ties to the issue.

Things that can cause weak curd formation:

  • Alkaline sanitizer or cleaner on equipment.
  • Not rinsing the measure for rennet or using chlorinated water for dilution
  • Milk too old and loss of calcium (raw milk must be used within 2-3 days from milking.)
  • Poor quality milk from herd selection or seasonal changes, diet lacking calcium, etc

Q. I milk a Jersey cow and was wondering if I could just use the morning milk that’s already warm so I wouldn’t have to warm for so long. The only problem is that this milk is not skimmed. I don’t have a cream separator so it would be full fat milk. Will this produce an inferior end product?

A. Cottage cheese really should be done with skimmed milk. The high fat in your fresh milk is hard to drain for cottage cheese. No need for a separator! You can leave the milk to sit overnight to allow the cream to rise, and skim it off in the morning. The skimming is pretty easy with a shallow ladle or dish.

Q. Can lactose free milk be used to make cottage cheese?

A. Thank you for your inquiry. Generally speaking, the lactose free milk will not work for cheeses requiring a culture. The bacteria in the cultures feed on the lactose to convert it to lactic acid, which is what ripens and flavors the cheese. That said, we do have a dry curd cottage cheese recipe that results in a final cottage cheese with little to no lactose present, which may work for you depending on your reasons for avoiding lactose. Here is a copy of the URL for that recipe page.

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