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Recipe: Amish Buttermilk Cheese

This recipe comes from the heart of Southern Amish country. It is a simple but delicious cheese that complements any menu. This recipe starts with fresh raw buttermilk (left over from making butter), and it is naturally cultured on your kitchen counter right before you make the cheese.


  • 1/2 gallon fresh (not cultured) raw buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Let the buttermilk sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours, or overnight. Try not to disturb the milk while it cultures. It will be nice and thick when it is ready.
  2. Pour the cultured buttermilk into your cheese pot and heat slowly (about 2ºF per minute) to 160°F. Don’t stir it too much while it heats. It should begin to separate into curds and whey.
  3. When temperature has been reached, pour the curds and whey through a colander lined with one layer of clean butter muslin. Hang the curds to dry until they stop dripping.
  4. Pour the cheese into a bowl and work in the baking soda. Let the cheese sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the melted butter into the cheese and stir it in very well.
  6. Put the cheese into a double boiler and melt it, stirring very frequently. You can add any herbs or spices or cheese powder you would like to at this point.
  7. Pour the melted cheese into small containers with lids, and chill them in the refrigerator.