HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE
Did you know that the Italian word “ricotta” means “recooked”? It refers to the "old-school" method for making this cheese. After milk is separated into curds and whey, the whey is RECOOKED to extract the remaining curds. Once those curds are drained, you have a soft, tasty cheese.
1 gal whole milk
4 c buttermilk
Cheesecloth, preferably unbleached cotton
Put the milk & buttermilk in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir this every now and then, scraping the bottom of the pan.
Place a colander lined with at least four layers of cheesecloth over a medium-size bowl.
When the milk starts to get slightly hot to the touch, watch it: pretty soon the white, fluffy curds in the milk will separate from the pale, translucent whey. About a minute after the first curds form, take the pot off the heat. Scoop the curds with a slotted spoon and place them in the colander. Watch the whey for another few minutes to gather any additional curds to add to those in the colander.
Gather the cloth around the curds and let the ricotta drain for about a minute (or more if you want the cheese drier). Gradually mix in salt to taste.