Russian Friday – Farmers Cheese (Low Fat Version)

Ladies, happy International Women’s Day! Let it be the most beautiful spring day filled with many smiles! My daughter and I are totally prepared to be admired and cherished for the next 24 hours! No doubt the husband and the son are ready to deliver! Wink-wink!

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As always, feeling a bit nostalgic this day, I’m putting together a recipe from my homeland.  OK, I posted it before, but my mom informed me there is a low fat version that works just as well! So, here is a low fat Russian farmers’ cheese. It could be enjoyed on its own, sprinkled over your salads, stuffed into huge dumplings, baked with, and the list goes on and on.

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Don’t be intimidated by the word “cheese”. It’s very easy to make, and requires only about 15 minutes of hands-on time!

Low Fat Farmers Cheese

From While Chasing Kids | Side Dishes | Russian

This homemade cheese is used in so many Russian dishes, there would be enough to fill a cook book. Its consistency is very similar to goat cheese, but the flavor is much milder.

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10 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 liters fatfree milk
  • 2 tbs low-fat sour cream

Directions

  1. Combine milk and sour cream in a large jar (I used 3 Liter glass canning jar). Leave at a room temperature to ferment for 12-24 hours). Cover with a lid but don’t clamp it.
  2. When the milk turns into a clabber of hair-jell-like consistency, the cheese is ready to be made.
  3. Fill a large pot 1/2 way with water and warm it up on the stove.
  4. When the water is almost boiling (about 180° F /approx. 80º C or higher) carefully place the jar with clabber into the pot. It’s ok if the water is below the sour milk level. Let it heat up for about 10 minutes. The milk will start separating into curds (solid) and whey (liquid).
  5. Line up a large colander with a large cheese cloth folded twice. Carefully dump the milk mixture into it and drain. You may have to use a spoon to empty the jar. Tie a knot with a cheese cloth and hang it above a dish or your kitchen sink for a couple hours.
  6. If you don’t fully drain it, the farmers cheese will be very soft and tender, ready to eat.
  7. A drier farmers cheese is perfect for cooking.

Tips

  • Keep an eye on your fermentation process. Try a little bit of the clabber – it should have a pleasant slightly sour taste. Too long of a fermentation could cause bitter clabber; the cheese made with it would have an unpleasant taste.
  • The farmers cheese should be stored in the fridge for a few days, and could be frozen for up to 1 month.

 

If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy:

Sourdough Rye

Ladies, happy International Women’s Day!  I know it’s not much here, but back in Russia you get showered with flowers, presents, dinners, songs, poems, romantic movies, and whatever else you can possibly imagine.  The rules are simple: every female gets to be admired on this one day, and every male gets to participate in accomplishing the task.

Early in the relationship I managed to train my husband to deliver on this holiday.  It started beautifully with a home-made cake (from a box) broken in half by an accident and drowned in chocolate pudding (also from a box) – the most romantic dessert I’ve ever had! It continued with shampooed carpets in our apartment in Houston.  It migrated to dates at our favorite restaurants.  And it finally arrived to “I’ll be home early for the holiday dinner”.

Ah, the honeymoon stage, where art thou?

Well, to remind myself of home, and the good times everyone is having there, I’m simply baking bread.  It doesn’t quite look as the black bricks we used to buy, but it surely smells and tastes like them. 

Print this recipe

SOURDOUGH RYE BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200 g leaven
  • 760 g water (75⁰ F/ 25⁰ C)
  • 40 g dark molasses
  • 170 g whole-rye flour
  • 830 g unbleached bread flour
  • 20 g salt

Yields 2 loafs

DIRECTIONS:

Day 1: make leaven – combine 200 g water, 1 tbs of sourdough starter and 200 g unbleached all-purpose flour.  Mix well, loosely cover the tope of the container with a plastic wrap, and let ferment overnight.  Discard the rest of the starter.

Day 2: Test the leaven: it’s ready if a tsp of it dropped in the water floats.

Once the leaven passes the floating test, combine all ingredients but salt and mix very well.

Cover the mixing bowl with plastic and let rest for 25-30 minutes.

Save leftover leaven – it’s now your starter.

After the first rest, add the salt, and mix it well into the dough.  Let rest for about 3 hours, turning the dough upside down with wet hands twice during the first two hours.

After about 3 hours, when the dough has increased in size, dump it onto a floured surface and separate into two balls.

Working with one half at a time: with a bread scraper fold the dough edges in to form a ball.  Let rest on a floured surface for about 25-30 minutes, covered by plastic or a floured towel.

Next, working with one half at a time, place it face down on a floured surface.  Fold the edges with your hands slightly pressing them into the remaining dough: starting by carefully stretching the bottom edge and folding it to meet the opposite end; repeating with left, right, and finishing with the top edge. Form a loaf.  Place a loaf in a proofing basket, lightly sprinkled with rice flour, lined with a floured tile, face down, seam up.

Put the baskets in plastic bags and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

To bake: place an iron pot in the oven and preheat the oven to 500⁰ F/ 260⁰ C.  Dump the loaf into the preheated pot, seam side down.Cover the iron pot, and bake the bread in it for 20 minutes at 475 ⁰ F/ 245 ⁰ C.

After 20 minutes remove the lid and let bake for 25 more minutes.

Let chill on a wire rack or eat while it’s hot.

If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy:

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