Making cheese is an interest that I would like to learn more about. I intend to purchase a kit with includes more starters that I could use to make a variety of cheeses, but for now I decided to start easy with ricotta.
Start by heating the milk to 185*-195*
Soon the curds will begin to form.
The separation will become more and more apparent.
Drain the cheese in a fine cheese cloth.
I rigged up this handy draining mechanism
I drained mine a bit to long this time.
1 gallon whole milk (not ultra pasteurized)
2 tsp citric acid (liquid)
1 tsp sea salt or canning salt (do not use iodized)
3 tbsp heavy cream
Heat milk and citric acid and salt to 185*-195* stirring constantly. Reduce heat to maintain the temperature in that range and stir until the curds separate from the whey. Ladle curds gently into a fine mesh cheese cloth. Tie cloth and hang to drain. Drain ~20 minutes. Your cheese is ready to be used as soon as it is drained to your preference. Additional salt may be added to taste.
For a creamier texture stir in heavy cream after the cheese is drained.
The excess whey can be used in a variety of recipes. We used it in a bread recipe, substituting it for the water. Worked out great!