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After doing some research, I plan on learning how to make Yogurt, Yogurt cheese, Ricotta cheese and Dill bread after my dairy thermometer and yogurt culture arrives by mail. Hopefully, you will also find these recipes useful.

Homemade Yogurt

Fill half gallon w/milk (2 qts)
Pour into lg pot
On medium heat, heat to 180 degrees. Use a dairy thermometer to read degrees.
Take milk off the heat and let it cool to 120 degrees.
While milk is cooling, boil water to heat 2 quart jars and cooler.
Pour heated water into quart jars to prepare them for the hot milk and pour water into cooler to heat it up.
Empty water from cooler and line with a bath towel.
Pour milk into jars filling to lip of jar. Don’t need the extra room at top of jar for yogurt.
Add yogurt culture (Yo-Mix 401 LYO 50 DCU) about ½ size of a lentil to each jar, or 1 tbsp of previous batch of yogurt, or store bought Dannon yogurt. Stir culture into the milk and put on plastic lids.
Put jars in cooler and wrap about 3 towels around jars.
Put cooler out of the way and leave undisturbed for 8 to 12 hours. If you like it more sour, leave longer.
After rest time, stir cream that’s settled on the top into the yogurt.

Homemade Yogurt Cheese (soft sour cream cheese)

Double layer cheesecloth laid into a bowl and pour yogurt into cheese cloth.
Tie a string or rubberband around the bundled cloth. Using a paper clip that is straightened into a S, loop onto string and hang on cup hangers w/bowl underneath to catch the Whey.
Hang for 24 hours. This process will separate the curds (cheese) from the Whey.
Eat on crackers or sweeten with honey and blueberries to make a blueberry pie.
Can save the Whey in the fridge to use numerous ways.
Can use a little Whey to soak beans with to help digest them better.
Can also use the Whey to nourish your soil. Use in bread making, soup starter, to cook pasta or beans in (increase cooking time slightly). Feed it to the pigs or chickens. Water your plants with it. Drink it plain or sweetened or use it to make Ricotta cheese.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese, using only Whey

Ricotta is Italian for “twice cooked”.

Heat Whey to 200 degrees. You will see tiny white particles floating.
Can add 3 tsp to ½ gallon of Whey at this time. Heat Whey back up to 200 degrees.
Line a colander with butter muslin cloth (a very fine cheesecloth) or use a clean pillow case.
Place colander over a big pot to catch the Whey and carefully pour the Whey into the colander.
Tie ends of cloth together and hang ricotta to drain for a couple hours.
When it has drained, place the ricotta in a bowl and add salt to taste.
Ricotta made from the Whey of different cheeses has different taste and textures.
It will keep in fridge for 2 weeks and the taste increases as it ages.
Note: You can use Ricotta in recipes that call for cottage cheese or cream cheese. You can also stir in herbs and eat it on crackers.

Whole Milk Ricotta (Can also use ghoat milk)

In a heavy pot, over direct heat, heat 2 quarts of whole milk to 200 degrees.
Add 2 tbsp of white vinegar or ¼ cup of lemon juice. Bring milk temperature back up to 200 degrees. You will see tiny white particles floating.
Remove the pot from the stove/heat and let it set covered and undisturbed for 15 minutes.
Line a colander with “butter muslin” or a clean pillow case.
Place the colander over a big pot to catch the Whey and pour the Whey into the colander.
Tie ends of the cloth together and hook with a paper clip to hang to drain for an hour or so.
When drained, place ricotta in a bowl and stir. Add salt to taste. This Ricotta will keep in the fridge for 1 week.

Dill Bread, using Ricotta and Whey…Makes 2 loaves

½ C Whey
1 T yeast
2 C Ricotta
2 T Butter
4 T Sugar
1 sm minced onion
2 T Dill weed
2 T Dill seed
2 ½ T salt
½ T Baking Soda
2 Eggs
½ C Wheat germ
5 -6 C Flour

Heat Whey to luke warm and place in mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the Whey.
Heat Ricotta and butter in microwave until butter melts
Add sugar, onion, dill weed & seed, salt, baking soda and eggs to the yeast mixture. Mix until combined.
Add the Wheat germ and Ricotta butter mix to mixer and mix well.
Add 1 ½ C flour & beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.
Slowly add another 1 ½ cups of flour.
Switch to dough hook and continue to slowly add the rest of the flour. This will create a stiff dough.
Knead dough on floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes until dough springs back when poked.
Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with wet cloth until dough has doubled (about 1 ½ hrs)
Divide dough in half. Shape dough into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Back at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Note: Water and small curd cottage cheese and substitute for the Whey & Ricotta.

This bread makes a delicious toast and grilled cheese sandwhich.
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