I still had left-over Buttermilk after drinking some and making Quark so I decided to try Buttermilk Pot cheese. Pot cheese is half way between cottage cheese and farmers cheese and is similar to Cream Cheese and Ricotta. I ended up using it as a base for an Avocado dip. Buttermilk Pot Cheese consists of only Buttermilk and salt and varies from Quark in that it is heated to a higher temperature, which seemed to separate the curds and whey to a greater degree than in the Quark making process.
1. Obtain or make 2L (2 quartz) of buttermilk and a little salt and heat slowly to 93°C (200°F), stirring to ensure the milk doesn’t boil.
2. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat resistant clear tub (see photo).
3. Let sit for 2 hours until the curd has separated from the whey. The whey will look like a yellow watery substance and the curds will be kind of chunky and white.
4. After 2 hours pour the curds and whey into a double layer of butter muslin, draining the whey into a container to be used later. Let the Pot cheese sit and drain for 1 hour at room temp or 5-6 hours in a sealed container in the fridge.
It ended up getting late during the time I made this so I let it drain over night, which created a drier cheese. Hint: Dont over-drain unless you like dry cottage cheese ;).
5. Salt can be added at this point to reduce the risk of spoiling and to add flavour. Refrigerate and keep for up to 1 week.
Whey: Lots can be done with the whey that is left over from cheese making. I dilute it with some water and use it to feed my plants, in particular the tomatoes, which tend to tolerate a little acidity (lemon juice was used to make some of the buttermilk). Be careful if using whey from acidic sources (Any cheese making where acid was added to aid the curdling process) as some plants don’t like acidity. There are many other uses for whey and there is a great blog post by The Prairie Homestead that lists 16 of them.
Buttermilk Biscuits (Cookies)
I STILL had left over buttermilk after making the Pot Cheese so I decided to make some Buttermilk biscuits. Buttermilk is great for baking. It has acidic qualities, which react with baking soda (an alkali) in a flour based batter. The reaction that occurs causes carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles give whatever you are baking a fine, moist, yet stable texture. These bickies are best eaten when they are warm straight out of the oven, however you can freeze them. This is a really simple recipe, it takes about 20 mins to make and yeah its a little unhealthy, but its not intended to be eaten all at once.
The Ingredients are:
1/2 cup butter (made during an earlier post)
1 cup sugar
1 egg (will hopefully one day come from our own chooks :))
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 cup buttermilk (made during an earlier post)
2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
Cook it !
1. Mix the sugar and butter together with an electric whisk
2. Add Soda, Vanilla extract and Egg
3. Mix in the flour slowly while adding small amounts of Buttermilk to keep the moisture up.
4. Form small dollops of biscuit mix onto an oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 10-15 mins or until lightly browned.