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Step 2: Curds and Whey

Picture of Curds and Whey
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Put the milk in your saucepan and heat it on medium low (any higher will make the milk stick to the pan) to between 170°F - 190°F

When the milk reaches the right temperature, turn off heat add the lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until curds (lumps of fat) form. Remove from that burner.

Let mixture cool to a temperature that you can handle. Separate the curds from the whey by pouring the mixture through the strainer. Dump the curds onto the cloth. Take the four corners in one hand and use the other to twist it until most of the whey (liquid drained from the curds) is out of the curds.

Break up and salt (if you want a block, look at next step. DO NOT BREAKUP!)
 
lazemaple4 years ago
What you are seeing/calling fat is not; its the coagulated milk solids with only 4.30% fat.

If you look at the USDA Food Database - cottage cheese curd; and this is the type of cheese you are making here aka Farmers Cheese, has per 100 grams [3 oz approx] 79.79% water, 11.12% protein and only 4.30% total fats. As well that 100gram sample is chock full of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Vitamins C, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Vitamin B-12 and other good stuff.

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/list_nut_edit.pl
note: curdling is not related to the fat but to the protein in the milk reacting to the acid in the lemon juice (the protein is relaxed by the heat and will 'agglomerate' under the effect of the acid)