COTTAGE CHEESE

16 cups milk (breastmilk)
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
1 cup buttermilk
Salt, to taste

Pour the milk into a 6 quart stainless steel pot. Stir in the dry milk. Set the 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 of the way.

Get the milk to 86°F: turn the heat on under the larger pot for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring the milk slowly. Then turn off the heat, not stirring and wait a few minutes. Check the temperature, and if it is not warm enough repeat the procedure. Add the buttermilk to the milk. Stir well. By covering the pot and checking the temperature a few times, hold the temperature at 86°F for 12 hours. This allows the curd to form. The curd should be custard like.

Cut the curd into 1/2″ pieces. Allow the cut curd to set for about 30 minutes to allow more of the whey to separate, keeping the temperature at 86°F. Then slowly begin to cook the curd until the temperature reaches 100°F. Use the same method of heating as before.

Don’t hurry the process; it should take about 30 minutes.

Stir gently once in awhile for even heating and to prevent the curd from sticking together. This will also allow you to cut up any oversize curd. As the temperature 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 temperature.

Line a large colander with 2 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 and curd in lukewarm water. Allow to drain for several more minutes. Place drained curd into a large bowl. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of salt and mix with hands to blend evenly. Put into a covered container and chill. When cool, taste for salt and add if needed. You’ll get about 1 1/2 pounds.