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Finnish Rye Bread and Cheese

How to Make Homemade Buttermilk Cheese

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  • Author: Maria Laitinen
  • Total Time: 5 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cheese 1x


A soft, creamy cheese with a subtle tang, perfect for enhancing salads, spreading on crackers, or complementing fresh fruit.


Units Scale
  • 34 fl oz (1 liter) buttermilk
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 50 fl oz (1.5 liters) low-fat milk
  • 1 cup (100g) skim milk powder
  • 13 tbsp lemon juice (as needed)
  • Fresh oregano, chopped, to serve


  1. Combine Eggs and Buttermilk: Lightly beat the eggs and buttermilk together until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat Milk: In a large saucepan, gently heat the low-fat milk until warm, reaching approximately 107°F (42°C).
  3. Add Milk Powder: Whisk in the skim milk powder into the warm milk, continuing to heat the mixture until it’s almost boiling.
  4. Combine Mixtures: Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the buttermilk and egg mixture. Cover with a lid and leave in a warm place for about one hour.
  5. Curdle the Mixture: If no curd forms on the mixture’s surface after an hour, stir in lemon juice. The amount needed can vary, so start with 1 tablespoon and add more as necessary.
  6. Drain the Curd: Once the mixture has curdled, use a slotted spoon to transfer the curd into a sieve lined with cheesecloth, set over a bowl to catch the whey.
  7. Press the Curd: Fold the cheesecloth over the curd and place a weight on top to press it down. Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours, or overnight for best results.
  8. Flavor and Serve: Unwrap the set cheese, flavor with freshly chopped oregano, and serve with rye bread.


  • Ensure all utensils and the saucepan are very clean to avoid any unwanted bacteria.
  • The temperature of the milk is crucial: too hot, and you risk scrambling the eggs; too cold, and the curds won’t form properly.
  • The cheese’s firmness can be adjusted by the length of time under weight: longer for firmer cheese.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Curdling Time: 300 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Cheese
  • Method: Curdling
  • Cuisine: Finnish
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