Homemade Fresh Farmer’s Cheese (Tvorog)
I make Homemade Fresh Farmer’s Cheese (or Tvorog) pretty often because both me and my daughter enjoy it for breakfast with honey, sprinkled with chia seeds. I like it not just for the taste, but also because Fresh Farmer’s Cheese is high in Calcium. Couple tablespoons can make up for your daily recommended dose. This homemade cheese is great to use as filling for pastries, pierogies and (aka vareniki). Some even stuff crepes with Homemade Fresh Farmer’s cheese, as a clever way to camouflage something healthy into something delicious. How smart and delicious!
I experimented with different buttermilk & yogurt brands and found one brand of buttermilk that invites the correct probiotic bacteria into the milk, to make the best quality Fresh Farmer’s Cheese. If you like homemade buttermilk, you can make that as well, all without the slimy looking product that regular buttermilk or yogurt produces.
I used to use cheesecloth to collect the curds and allow the whey to drip off, but I have always hated the clean up afterwards. Now I use paper towel lined sieve to achieve the same thing. Clean up is a breeze now as you just take the paper towel and throw it away. I can’t believe I didn’t come up with this sooner.
Over the years of making my own Fresh Farmer’s Cheese I have also found that when I heat the buttermilk, dump it straight into the cheesecloth and hang it, it takes forever for the whey to separate, because all the curds have broken up and mixed in with the whey.
Lately though, after I heat the buttermilk, I use a scoop colander (any other colander with large holes and a handle will work) to gently remove the curds, then I give it a shake to remove most of the whey and lastly I transfer the now whey-less curds to the paper towel lined sieve, the cheese does not need more than an hour before all whey has dripped off and cheese is ready for consumption.
So, here are my step by step instructions to how I achieve perfect cheese, every time
Homemade Fresh Farmer's Cheese
Homemade Fresh Farmer’s Cheese (Tvorog) recipe made with buttermilk and milk. A simple how to make cheese recipe. This Farmers Cheese is served great with honey or used as a filling.
Ingredients for Homemade Farmer's Fresh Cheese
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 1-2 cups Dairy Gold Buttermilk
*Read complete post before the recipe to get a better understanding of how and why you do what you need to do.
- Pour 1 gallon of milk into a large heavy bottom pot.
- Heat to 100F, or until it’s slightly hotter than warm. (Do not make it hot, or it will kill the buttermilk culture.) Remove from heat.
- Shake the bottle with buttermilk and pour 1-2 cups into the warm milk. Stir for about 1-2 minutes.
- Cover with lid and allow to sit at room temperature, undisturbed for 12-24 hours depending on how warm it is. If room temperature is below 70, place pot of warm milk in the oven with just the light on (NO heat).
- Buttermilk is ready, when it’s thick and you’re able to ‘cut’ it with a spoon, that means when taking a spoonful of buttermilk, it doesn’t run like milk, but holds it’s shape. (When in doubt, leave it for full 24 hours.)
- Cut the buttermilk into 1 inch squares with a long knife.
- Insert a thermometer into one of the curds and start heating over very low heat. It will take about 15 minutes to reach to 120F. This is what it will look like when it’s heated to 130F.
- Make sure the thermometer is inserted into the curd, not the whey. Whey around the curds might even start boiling because it’s of less density than the curds. When temperature inside the curd reaches 100F, give a gentle stir with a large spoon and bring the hot curd from the bottom to the top. It only needs to be heated another 30F-40F degrees before you will need to drain it. You will see both cheese-like chunks and big curd chunks, that’s ok, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
- Once the temperature inside the curd reaches 130-140, give it another gentle stir, to break up large curd chunks and to distribute the heat evenly.
- Carefully pour the heated curds to a different pot lined with a cheese cloth, then gather the ends of the cheesecloth, tie them and hang over the kitchen cabinet door handle or some other device. Allow the whey to drip off, until droplets fall about 30 seconds apart. At this point, transfer the cheese with the cheesecloth to the refrigerator. It will harden up and it will be easier to remove the cheesecloth without ruining the cheese ‘ball’.
Option 2 - How to make Homemade Buttermilk
- To make homemade buttermilk, do not heat like you would to make fresh cheese, but vigorously stir, transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator.
To make homemade buttermilk, do not heat like you would to make fresh cheese, but vigorously stir, transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator.
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