Cottage Cheese / Cheese Curds(Fias Co Farm Style)
- 2-3 gallons goat milk (or cow milk) (I use raw, unpasteurized milk)
- 1/4 tsp. mesophilic DVI Culture "MM"* or 4 oz. Mesophilic culture or 1 Cup. Buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp. Liquid rennet (I use double strength vegetable rennet), dissolved in 1/4 C. water
- 1-2 T. kosher salt
Bring the milk to 86° (90° for cow milk) and add the mesophilic culture. Stir well and let set, to ripen, for 1 hour. Add the rennet and stir briskly for 15 seconds. Cover the pot and let the milk set for 45 minutes, or until you get a clean break. Hold the milk at a temperature of 86° (90° for cow milk) for the entire time. Cut the curds into 1/2" pieces with a stainless steel knife. This always seem to be the trickiest part of cheese making, but take your time, and don't worry if all the curds are cut to exactly 1/2". After you have cut the curds, do not stir them yet. Let them rest, undisturbed for 10 minutes (5 minutes for cow milk).
Now you can stir the curds gently and cut any that you had missed. What you are doing here is making the size cottage cheese curd/lump you like. Raise the temperature of the curds to 95° (99° for cow milk) over the next 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the curds do not stick together. Let the curds settle for 5 minutes, undisturbed.
Drain the the whey until it in level with the curds (about 1/2-3/4 of the whey). Add enough cold water to lower the temp to 85°. Stir as you add the water. Now, leave the curds in this cheese 85° water/whey for for 10 minutes, stirring with your hand occasionally so that the curds don't stick together.
Pour the curds into a colander and let drain. Carefully stir occasionally so it dose not stick together (too badly). After about 1/2 hour, you can carefully separate/break up the curds into a bowl and salt to taste. Cover and let sit in the fridge at least 2 days. The curds may be "squeaky" at first, but with the aging, they loose their squeak".
This is a "dry" cottage cheese, if you like it "wet", you may add some cream to it.