1gallonwhole milkNOT ultra-high temperature processed or "long life"
3tbspheavy cream(optional, see step 7)
Pour milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat slowly to 190°F/88°C stirring regularly so the milk doesn't burn on the bottom of the pot.
Remove from heat, pour in vinegar and stir a few times. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a colander with a clean piece of doubled cheesecloth or a tea towel. Place the colander over another bowl to catch any liquid (whey) that drips out.
Spoon the solids from the pot into the lined colander. Let drain for 30 minutes.
Gather the ends of the cloth tightly together and form a cloth-wrapped ball of cheese. Holding this in one hand, run cold water over the ball, kneading and squeezing it with your other hand until the entire ball of cheese is cool.
Dump the cheese out of the cloth into a bowl and use a spoon to break it into small curds. Stir in salt to taste.
For creamy cottage cheese, stir in the heavy cream 2 tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Check taste and add more salt if needed.
Chill for at least 1 hour then stir before serving.
Data is calculated by a software program that does not take into account the extraction of whey protein from the milk. Calories are roughly equal to the same in commercially prepared whole milk cottage cheese. (100 cal. per 1/2 cup serving.)