Homemade Fresh Farmer’s Cheese (Tvorog)

Make your own Homemade Fresh Cheese...with only two natural ingredients, no preservatives and no nasty junk they seem to put in everything these days. Get your doze of calcium, tastiest way possible!

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!

Make your own Homemade Fresh Farmer's Cheese...with only two natural ingredients, no preservatives and no nasty junk they seem to put in everything these days. Get your dose of calcium, tastiest way possible!

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.

Make your own Homemade Fresh Farmer's Cheese...with only two natural ingredients, no preservatives and no nasty junk they seem to put in everything these days. Get your dose of calcium, tastiest way possible!

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.

Make your own Homemade Fresh Farmer's Cheese...with only two natural ingredients, no preservatives and no nasty junk they seem to put in everything these days. Get your dose of calcium, tastiest way possible!

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.

Make your own Homemade Fresh Farmer's Cheese...with only two natural ingredients, no preservatives and no nasty junk they seem to put in everything these days. Get your dose of calcium, tastiest way possible!

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.

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Calories: 245 kcal
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 11 hours
Servings: 10

Ingredients

Ingredients for Homemade Farmer's Fresh Cheese

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 1-2 cups Dairy Gold Buttermilk

Utensils:

Instructions

*Read complete post before the recipe to get a better understanding of how and why you do what you need to do.

  1. Pour 1 gallon of milk into a large heavy bottom pot.
  2. 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.
  3. Shake the bottle with buttermilk and pour 1-2 cups into the warm milk. Stir for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.)
  6. Cut the buttermilk into 1 inch squares with a long knife.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Option 1

  1. 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

  1. 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.

Recipe Notes

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.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Fresh Farmer's Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 245 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 187mg 8%
Potassium 532mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 19g 6%
Sugars 20g
Protein 12g 24%
Vitamin A 13.1%
Calcium 45.5%
Iron 0.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  • […] into a separate bowl. Add the remaining egg to 8 ounces feta, 3 ounces cottage cheese (or homemade farmer’s cheese) and mix together until everything is well combined. Now add the spinach and mix […]

    · Reply
  • […] recipe was a take on the something that my mom used to make for us when we were kids. She would use fresh farmer’s cheese in place of cream cheese and sometimes add raisins to it too. The pasta wasn’t really […]

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  • […] can make this cheese using a regular pot to heat the milk, like I have shown HERE, but if you have some sort of multi-cooker like an Instapot, or in my case FAGOR multi-cooker that […]

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  • John

    Oachen’ khorosho! Svobodno! Been trying different recipes for farmer cheese for many years. This one has ended my search! I need it to fill german kasekuchen and for Easter paskha. Thank you very much. Bud’te zdroviy.

    · Reply
  • […] cooker, but also because it’s one pot that would replace several others. Plus, since I make my own farmer’s cheese on regular basis, this pot would help with the incubation period guaranteeing that I will have […]

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  • Tamara

    Made my first homemade cheese and realized there is nothing better than what I ve tasted!!!

    Didn’t have buttermilk mentioned in the recipe, so ended up having yogurt like consistency. Anyway, followed the instructions and got the cheese.

    My 2 year old baby loves it like lazy cooked dumplings with cooked onions and bacon crumbles.

    Thanks Marina! Your recipes are rocking!

    · Reply
  • Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles - Spanokopita - Let the Baking Begin! Let the Baking Begin!

    […] into a separate bowl. Add the remaining egg to 8 ounces feta, 3 ounces cottage cheese (or homemade farmer’s cheese) and mix together until everything is well combined. Now add the spinach and mix […]

    · Reply
  • Larisa

    Do you suggest using room temperature milk and buttermilk? thanks!

    · Reply
    • Since we will be heating both, it doesn’t matter if it’s room temperature or not. It will just heat faster if it’s room temperature to begin with.

      · Reply
  • […] one syrnik. One syrnik didn’t do it for me though. I wanted to make some more at home but had no fresh farmers cheese. Fresh farmers cheese is kind of the key ingredient in the recipe, so that was a […]

    · Reply
  • Barb.

    Can I use whole milk and substitute buttermilk for active plain yogurt instead and how much?
    Will I get cheese or some kind of yogurt?

    · Reply
    • Yes you can. Using different kind of culturing agent (yogurt/buttermilk etc.) will produce different texture of the cultured milk, but once you heat it and drain it, it will still make farmer’s cheese.
      When using yogurt, I would use at least 1 to 2 cups yogurt per gallon of milk.

      But if you did want to make yogurt, you would heat the milk, stir in yogurt and let it sit at room temperature until it’s thickened – that’s it.
      To make cheese, you heat this yogurt until the whey separates from the curds.

      · Reply
  • […] cup well drained fresh cheese (Can be replaced with cream cheese or ricotta […]

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  • Ally Koop

    Hi Marina,
    I live in MN and am not familiar with dairygold buttermilk. Do you know of anything else I could use that would work as well? -Ally

    · Reply
    • Tip
      Simona

      Organic Valley has buttermilk and it’s from Wisconsin. That’s what I am planning to use to make cheese.

      · Reply
  • […] packed cup of fresh cheese (or […]

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  • […] oz. of cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (1½ […]

    · Reply
  • Pam

    Would it work to use goats milk? Is there a goat buttermilk?

    · Reply
    • I can’t think of why it wouldn’t, but can not guarantee success since I have not done it myself.

      · Reply
  • christine

    I didn’t have that brand of buttermilk at my store. My milk mixture has been on the counter over 24 hours now and it’s not thick enough to cut. I just read through the comments and saw the buttermilk needs to have live cultures so I checked mine and it doesn’t say that it has those. 🙁 Any idea what I should do?? It’s the consistency of regular yogurt right now. ~christine

    · Reply
    • If it’s thickened to yogurt consistency just start heating it over low heat and stirring it about every 7-8 minutes until you see curds form. When you see cheese curds form, stir a little bit more (follow the guide with the temperature in the recipe), then allow to cool and follow with the rest of the recipe. While it’s easier to figure things out when you use the mentioned buttermilk, it will still work with other buttermilks. I am just not a fan of that consistency that’s why I go with the one I mentioned in the post. Let me know how it all goes.

      · Reply
  • Tina

    Is this truly cheese or more like a glorified yogurt? What’s the taste like?
    Thanks for the tutorial, this is really interesting.

    · Reply
    • Hi Tina, Thanks for the question! It’s definitely not glorified yogurt. It has the consistency of ricotta cheese, but it’s not as bland as ricotta, because it has the tang of a yogurt.

      · Reply
  • […] pot or heavy bottomed sauce pan, you’ll be done in a jiffy. Also, this recipe can use ricotta or fresh farmers cheese , as long as it’s well drained and not runny. If it’s not, not a problem, just put the cheese […]

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  • Diana

    I use leftover whey to make russian pancakes… just add a lil baking soda, flour, and sugar… they are amazing

    · Reply
    • That’s a great idea Diana! Thank you!

      · Reply
    • Nancy

      I use leftover whey as a substitute for the liquid when I make bread or buns. The bread tastes a little like sourdough but is absolutely delicious.

      · Reply
  • Darigold

    The images are beautiful! It looks delicious! Thank you for sharing Marina. Glad to hear our buttermilk works well 🙂

    · Reply
    • Oh thank You! I’m happy your buttermilk works for my cheese 🙂 thank you for making it!!

      · Reply
  • Marina

    Marina, THANK YOU for this recipe! I wonder if the fatter buttermilk is better (like that Darigold 3.5% Buttermilk instead of a low fat 1% one)

    · Reply
    • No problem Marina! Milk with higher fat content does produce more delicious cheese and yields more cheese, as well, but because there’s such small amount of buttermilk being added to the milk, I doubt it makes much of a difference on the flavor.

      · Reply
  • Caroline

    This cheese is really beautiful! I cannot wait to make it. My Mom used to make cheese similar to this and I remember loving it!

    · Reply
  • Carol

    Whole milk or raw milk? Isn’t most milk pasturized? What do you recommend if Dairy Gold buttermilk isn’t available.

    · Reply
    • Whole milk. In this recipe pasteurization does not negatively affect final product. If Dairy Gold is not available, just look for buttermilk that contains live cultures, and then experiment with different brands for the best quality, but as long as it has live cultures it will work.

      · Reply
      • Where is the recipe for that nut & seed bar lying below the dish of cheese w/ raisins in that photo? Looks delicious! 🙂
        Also, I make raw, organic yogurt with my Probiotic 11. How would I do it differently to make buttermilk, but still raw & w/ my culture?
        I also have some Kirovskaya Russian kefir grains. Can I use kefir in place of the buttermilk?
        Can I make tvarog raw? I make a raw yogurt cheese but it comes out more like a cream cheese.
        🙂
        Thanks for the great recipes.

        · Reply
        • Sorry, the nut and seed bar was purchased from the store, not something I made 🙁 I bought it at the Russian store, by the way.

          Anything that has live and active cultures will be a good replacement for buttermilk, as it will do the same exact job.

          To make tvorog you need to heat the cultured milk to about 110F – 120F, it’s well below the boiling point but still uses heat. There’s not way to make tvorog with unheated milk. The cultured milk curdles to the right consistency (of tvorog) only when heated. You can make cream cheese consistency cheese with completely raw milk, but not the tvorog consistency.

          · Reply
  • Homemade Yogurt in 3 Hours

    […] fact we like all milk products, from regular milk, to buttermilk (with pan-fried potatoes, yum!), homemade fresh cheese, to sour cream (with borsh for example). While I do not own a cow and can not get fresh milk, I do […]

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  • Lea @ Lea's Cooking

    Yummy!!! I love tvorog any where in any foods. I always wanted to try making it with buttermilk. Thanks for the recipe Marina 🙂

    · Reply
    • I wonder if you’ve tried it yet 🙂

      · Reply
  • galina

    Marina! thank you so much for this recipe. I just discovered your blog today you are awesome!!!!! I browsed all of your recipes cant wait to try some of your creations.

    · Reply
  • Julia | JuliasAlbum.com

    This cheese is gorgeous! Love the photos where honey is dripping and where cheese is mixed with raisins – I want that for breakfast.

    · Reply
    • Thank you! I actually took pictures two separate times because I wasn’t sure I liked the cheese where it’s mixed with raisins)) in the end I included photos from both times 🙂

      · Reply
      • Where is the recipe for that nut & seed bar lying below the dish of cheese w/ raisins in that photo? Looks delicious! 🙂

        · Reply

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