Homemade Buttermilk Ricotta…

1 gallon whole milk
1 cup cream
1 quart buttermilk
cheesecloth

In a very large, heavy duty pot add the milk, cream and buttermilk.  Heat over medium/low heat stirring only occasionally so the milk doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. On the pot, clip on a candy thermometer or use an instant read thermometer.   Heat the milk mixture to 200 degrees F.  Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand for 30 minutes.  Place a wire mesh strainer over a very large bowl or pot. Pour the mixture through a wire mesh strainer that has been lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Gently stir the curd to release the liquid or whey from the ricotta.  Cover the ricotta completely with the ends of the cheesecloth.  Leave in the strainer and place in the refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours.  Transfer ricotta to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.  Ricotta will last for about 7-10 days.  Yield:  3 – 3 1/2 lbs.

I will then turn it into Ricotta Gnocchi (It has to sit in fridge for 24 hours). Going to try store bought ricotta and homemade to see the difference. The difference in taste is very noticeably as well as the texture. Homemade is wonderful and so easy.

I will also try Ricotta Pancakes- heard they are wonderful and full of protien. Homemade ricotta is suppose to be very smooth and wonderful tasting- I’ll let you know how this endeavor turns out!

I will use the whey to make…Crusty Bread.

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water (substitute Whey here for a sourdough flavor)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours.  Overnight works great.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

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