You Can Make Your Own Dry Curd or Farmer's Cheese

Do it yourself in under an hour

Farmers dairy products
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  • 01 of 12

    What Is Farmer's Cheese?

    Crepes with farmer's cheese
    Istetiana / Getty Images

    Farmer's cheese is a fresh or unaged cheese. It is also known as dry curd cheese or peasant cheese. This type of cheese is used in countless European recipes.

    Farmer's cheese goes by many names in different languages: twaróg in Polish, surutka in Croatian and Serbian, tvaroh in Czech and Slovak, túró in Hungarian, varškės in Lithuanian, lapte covăsit in Romanian, tvorog in Russian, skuta in Slovenian, and syr in Ukrainian.

    You can make farmer's cheese easily at home with basic ingredients. You need only about an hour to make it.

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  • 02 of 12

    Ingredients for One Pound of Farmer's Cheese

    Ingredients Needed to Make Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek

    A simple recipe for farmer's cheese requires only a few ingredients: 2 quarts of milk (whole; use pasteurized, instead of ultra-pasteurized, if available); 2 cups of buttermilk; 1 tablespoon of white vinegar; and 1.5 teaspoons of salt.

    You will also need a butter muslin or fine cheesecloth as well as butcher's twine.

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  • 03 of 12

    Heat the Milk

    Whole Milk Slowly Heating to 180 Degrees to Make Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek

    In a heavy-bottomed pot, over low heat, slowly heat up 2 quarts of milk to 180 F, stirring often, until it is just about to simmer.

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  • 04 of 12

    Add Buttermilk and Vinegar

    Buttermilk Being Poured into Heated Milk to Make Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek

    Once the temperature of the milk reaches 180 F, stir in 2 cups of buttermilk. Then, stir in the vinegar.

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  • 05 of 12

    Stir Until the Mixture Separates

    Heated Milk Separating into Curds and Whey for Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek

    With the addition of the buttermilk and vinegar, the milk will begin to curdle. Turn off the heat and, very slowly, stir until the milk begins to separate into curds (solids) and whey (liquid). Then, leave the mixture undisturbed for 10 minutes.

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  • 06 of 12

    Skim the Curds

    Curds Being Skimmed Into Cheesecloth to Make Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek

    Meanwhile, wet the butter muslin or two layers of fine cheesecloth. Make sure that it is large enough to line a colander and hang over the sides. Place the lined colander over a bowl to catch any whey. After the milk-buttermilk-vinegar mixture has sat undisturbed for 10 minutes, use a skimmer or slotted spoon to ladle the curds into the cheesecloth. Allow the curds to drain for 10 minutes.

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  • 07 of 12

    Wrap the Curds

    Gathering up the Cheesecloth to Drain Curds for Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek

    Gather up the edges of the muslin or cheesecloth to form a bundle around the curds. Drain away as much whey as possible from the curds.

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  • 08 of 12

    Tie up the Bundle

    Curds in Cheesecloth Tied into a Bundle for Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek

    Use a length of butcher's twine to tie the muslin or cheesecloth containing the curds tightly into a neat bundle. Press on the cheesecloth to help the whey drain off.

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  • 09 of 12

    Hang the Bundle

    Cheese Curds Draining in the Farmer's Cheese-Making Process
    Barbara Rolek

    Tie the butcher's twine to a wooden spoon or dowel, and hang the curd bundle over a pot or container to collect any remaining whey. Continue draining for 30 minutes.

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  • 10 of 12

    Remove the Wrapper

    Farmer's Cheese After Removing from Cheesecloth
    Barbara Rolek

    After 30 minutes of draining, remove the curds from the muslin or cheesecloth, and transfer it to a nonmetallic bowl or container.

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  • 11 of 12

    Stir in Salt

    Homemade Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek.

    Stir the curds. Add 1.5 teaspoons of salt into the curds as you stir. This will break up the cheese into dry curds. You now have farmer's cheese.

    You can form it into a solid piece by molding it by hand, or you can leave it crumbly. Store it in a nonmetallic container, cover, and refrigerate. Use the cheese within five days.

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  • 12 of 12

    Use the Whey

    Photo of Whey After Making Farmer's Cheese
    Barbara Rolek

    The whey or liquid byproduct of the cheesemaking process is excellent to use when making bread—use the whey in place of water or milk. Also, whey can be used as a soup base.