My cheesemaking adventures continued this morning with homemade ricotta following the recipe from Bake the Bread and Buy the Butter. (Sidenote on the title: I still want to make my own butter at least once.)
Ricotta is incredibly easy to make and uses ingredients you already have in your kitchen. It takes about an hour total, and perhaps 5 minutes of that is hands on time. We're having lasagna tonight with homemade ricotta. Makes me sound a lot fancier and more together than I really am.
1 gallon milk
3/4 cup white vinegar
Combine milk and vinegar in a large pot. Slowly heat, bringing to almost a boil. The mixture should have clearly defined curd (solidish) and whey (liquid). Turn off the heat, and let the mixture stand 20 minutes.
Line a colander with cheesecloth or flour sack towel. Place colander over a large bowl. Gently ladle curd into the colander. Let stand 20 minutes or until whey is drained.
Place ricotta in a tightly sealed container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The leftover whey (and there's a lot) can be used for baking breads in place of water or milk. I bet it could be used in cakes as well in place of buttermilk.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups of ricotta.